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A reflection on “the disclosing whole” as the primary subject matter of design research [ITU J Faculty Arch]
ITU J Faculty Arch. 2010; 7(2): 146-162

A reflection on “the disclosing whole” as the primary subject matter of design research

Ahmet Zeki Turan
Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Faculty of Architecture, Department of Industrial Product Design, Istanbul, TURKEY

The objective of this essay is to present a conceptual reflection for understanding the original existence of the designing subject and the designed object within the concept of the “disclosing whole”. Inspired from the “disclosive structure” of alethic hermeneutics, disclosing whole is a unifying principle among the three core subject matters of design discourse: the designer, the product and the process; it is an ontological level presented as the primary subject matter of design theory. Methodologically, the inquiry is based on a deductive approach rather than analytic induction; the essentially implicit whole is reduced into its core elements to have an explicit understanding about its basic process. Exploring the way to propositional knowledge in design, the unknowable whole is spontaneously spaced within itself, interrupted and deduced into its primary sections: the synchronic “self” and the sequential “world”. Disclosure of the whole is argued to be from central complexity to peripheral simplicity indicating a “modal difference” for which design is introduced as a compatibility potential. Natural and artificial states of the creative whole are presented. In order to gain an insight about mutual contexts of design and use, the sides of construction and deconstruction are introduced as the primordial faces of human creation. Finally, potentials of the idea of disclosing whole and the understanding of the basic deduction are discussed for an ontologically, epistemologically and ethically articulated ground for design theory and philosophy as well as for the cultures of sustainment.

Keywords: Design research, design theory, philosophy of design, design semantics, artificiality, alethic hermeneutics, holistic systems, disclosure, creativity


Ahmet Zeki Turan. A reflection on “the disclosing whole” as the primary subject matter of design research. ITU J Faculty Arch. 2010; 7(2): 146-162

Corresponding Author: Ahmet Zeki Turan, Türkiye


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