Thinking with Ungenesis: The Situated Knowledge of a Text Designer

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This essay is a description of Epägenesis, a piece of artistic research conducted by a graphic designer to explore how design and language are connected. The project consists of experimental writing based on seventeen found text documents, gathered from everyday textual practices. Through Epägenesis, I examine the material aspects of written language in a holistic manner, weaving together artistic methods of conceptual writing, models of analysis used in multimodal research, and my practice as a designer of texts. The present essay gives an outline of my process and procedures of writing, and of designing the resulting catalogue publication, Epägenesis : Katalogi. As an example of the holistic approach in this project, the essay describes the Gem series of the catalogue. It is where a model of analysis used in multimodal research is subverted as a means of production—as a model for conceptual writing. The Gem series foregrounds the attention given to text by the designer. Applying Donna Haraway’s (1988) notion of situated knowledges, this essay maps out a terrain where the designer appears as an inherently hybrid presence, and embodied skill and knowledge is seen as a significant node in emergent material networks where written language is created, used, and transformed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20–34
Number of pages15
Issue number02
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • graphic design
  • conceptual writing
  • found text
  • materiality
  • situated knowledges
  • Epägenesis

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