Semiotic study on desire-elicitation in conceptual design

Mei Ling Fung, Kai Ming Yu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Using the Graph of Desire by Jacques Lacan as the system of significations, researchers may elicit the unconscious desire in human mind. A psychoanalytical approach is employed to locate the unconscious desire of the customer (the Subject). The designer and her/his client will take part as the analyst, who is in the Other's place. Charles Sanders Peirce's Triadic Semiotic Theory is then engaged to further interpret these symbols and signs. In the category of signs, there are icon by its own quality, index by the relation to its object, and symbol by a habit or rule for its interpretant. There are different levels of interpretation for the designers to work out and to uncover the hidden desire of the consumers before developing any initial idea.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-160
Number of pages14
JournalDesign Principles and Practices
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


  • Conceptual Design
  • Graph of Desire
  • Peirce's Triadic Semiotic Theory
  • Unconscious

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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