Manuel Carrión: Diagrammatica Question 2

[This is the second of five questions about the the Diagrammatica ProjectThe questions were provided by Manuel Antonio Carrión Lira of the Design School at the University of Valparaiso, Chile (  An abstract of Manuel's research and the full set of questions can be viewed here.]

  • Manuel Carrión: Do you think that there are some basic elements that make a diagram what it is? What makes a good diagram?

At the basic level, I see a diagram as a collection of language and lines.  The words present elements or fields of significance, while lines form the vectors or trails that connect them.  Continue reading

Manuel Carrión Research Process

[The text of this post is copied from a document sent to me by Manuel Antonio Carrión Lira.  Manuel is exploring diagrammatic aesthetics and diagram practice in the Design School of the University of Valparaiso, Chile (  He previously worked at CRAC Valparaíso, which displays a wonderful diagram on its homepage.  I'll be answering Manuel's questions about the Diagrammatica Project in future posts. - J.R.]

The following questions are part of Manuel Carrión Lira’s research project for his Thesis assignment in the Bachelor of Design. The research is about diagrams, specifically how can we manage their construction, what does this implies and what should be the role of design in this process. This investigation aims to initiate a much deeper and longer process of investigation regarding diagrams, design, philosophy and semiotics, this is why the main objective is to gather the main theoretical materials and references to build what is called a ‘tool box’ to draw some specific research topics. Continue reading

Negative Semiotics?

The concept of the "Negative Semiotic" bounced in my head while purusing Thodore Adorno's Negative Dialectics.  It's the application of Adorn’o’s negative dialectic to the systematic structures of semiotic analayis.  Negative semiotics aims to undo the idealism and generalizing concept of the semiotic (this too was the goal of post-structuralism, once semiotic structuralism pushed its limits). Continue reading