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From tool making to pictures : a design semiotics approach

Mendoza-Collazos, Juan Carlos LU (2019) 12th Conference of the IAVS-AISV p.76-77
Abstract
Studies on cultural evolution from archaeology, neuroscience and cognitive semiotics have shown the role of tool making for development of novel cognitive capabilities in early humans. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that tool making was a cognitive threshold from nonhuman primates to hominins. Tool making begun with rudimentary skills for tool production based on motor patterns, learned socially by direct imitation. Further evolution led to a continuous improvement of tools with refined technology, supported by bodily mimesis (Zlatev 2014) as a device for learning, rehearsal and skills enhancement. Ultimately, the process led to a developed society with language, technology and symbolic culture. In this paper, I propose that tool... (More)
Studies on cultural evolution from archaeology, neuroscience and cognitive semiotics have shown the role of tool making for development of novel cognitive capabilities in early humans. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that tool making was a cognitive threshold from nonhuman primates to hominins. Tool making begun with rudimentary skills for tool production based on motor patterns, learned socially by direct imitation. Further evolution led to a continuous improvement of tools with refined technology, supported by bodily mimesis (Zlatev 2014) as a device for learning, rehearsal and skills enhancement. Ultimately, the process led to a developed society with language, technology and symbolic culture. In this paper, I propose that tool making could be connected with the origin of pictures. I present a design semiotics explanation of tool-making based on the cognitive resources of a typical design process. The elaboration of this thesis focuses on the evolution of design (Mendoza-Collazos, in progress). Proto-design emerged along with tool production in nonhuman hominids. It evolved into design, preserving and improving its original cognitive resources in early humans (perceptual-motor adaptations, controlled motion patterns, observation, bodily mimesis, social cognition, social learning and cultural transmission). These cognitive resources resulted in two payoffs for design. First, perceptual-motor adaptations, controlled motion patterns and observation are capacities required both to shape stone tools (in proto-design and early forms of design) and to shape prototypes and 3D scale models in modern design. Second, bodily mimesis along with the improvement of working directly with materials (see Malafouris 2013), and the need for social learning and cultural transmission evolved to the capacity of drawing and sketching. Thus, I argue that this process marked the emergence of pictures in early hominids. Today, the abilities of sketching and modelling still are primary in design processes. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to conference
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Cognitive Semiotics, visual semiotics, tool making, design semiotics
pages
2 pages
conference name
12th Conference of the IAVS-AISV
conference location
Lund, Sweden
conference dates
2019-08-22 - 2019-08-24
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
7896ebd9-5381-4d40-8bcc-3e47b44b93ca
alternative location
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/338554491_From_tool_making_to_pictures_a_design_semiotics_approach
date added to LUP
2019-10-11 13:45:49
date last changed
2020-01-21 11:42:23
@misc{7896ebd9-5381-4d40-8bcc-3e47b44b93ca,
  abstract     = {Studies on cultural evolution from archaeology, neuroscience and cognitive semiotics have shown the role of tool making for development of novel cognitive capabilities in early humans. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that tool making was a cognitive threshold from nonhuman primates to hominins. Tool making begun with rudimentary skills for tool production based on motor patterns, learned socially by direct imitation. Further evolution led to a continuous improvement of tools with refined technology, supported by bodily mimesis (Zlatev 2014) as a device for learning, rehearsal and skills enhancement. Ultimately, the process led to a developed society with language, technology and symbolic culture. In this paper, I propose that tool making could be connected with the origin of pictures. I present a design semiotics explanation of tool-making based on the cognitive resources of a typical design process. The elaboration of this thesis focuses on the evolution of design (Mendoza-Collazos, in progress). Proto-design emerged along with tool production in nonhuman hominids. It evolved into design, preserving and improving its original cognitive resources in early humans (perceptual-motor adaptations, controlled motion patterns, observation, bodily mimesis, social cognition, social learning and cultural transmission). These cognitive resources resulted in two payoffs for design. First, perceptual-motor adaptations, controlled motion patterns and observation are capacities required both to shape stone tools (in proto-design and early forms of design) and to shape prototypes and 3D scale models in modern design. Second, bodily mimesis along with the improvement of working directly with materials (see Malafouris 2013), and the need for social learning and cultural transmission evolved to the capacity of drawing and sketching. Thus, I argue that this process marked the emergence of pictures in early hominids. Today, the abilities of sketching and modelling still are primary in design processes.},
  author       = {Mendoza-Collazos, Juan Carlos},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {76--77},
  title        = {From tool making to pictures : a design semiotics approach},
  url          = {https://www.researchgate.net/publication/338554491_From_tool_making_to_pictures_a_design_semiotics_approach},
  year         = {2019},
}