A Method Proposal For Mapping the Patterns of Originality in Design: Raymond Williams (RW) and the Keywords



Originality is a relatively modern and controversial concept in design. Although it has been widely used in English since the end of the 18th century, its root 'origin' is an old word that has been in the language since the 14th century. Etymologically deriving from the root word ‘origin, originem’ (lt.) -source, rise, birth-, origin has an intrinsic retrospective meaning. ‘Original,’ on the other hand, keeps this retrospective meaning of source but also takes on additional definitions as ‘new, unique and authentic’ over time. Deriving from this secondary meaning of the original, the concept of ‘originality’  has described an idealized innovation and source of artistic expression. It has been theorized to signify value in creative industries. The fact that the word original can be attributed with different and opposing meanings; changes the way we deal with originality and related concepts in design, art, and aesthetics, making them open to discussion. Even though the definitions within the framework of the concept of originality take place in different discoursive areas, they create changing conditions and transform accordingly. Traces of these conditions and transformations show themselves on the meanings and definitions of words and form the hidden patterns of ‘originality’. It is a challenge to visually represent these changes that occur in language and are reflected in our ways of thinking.This paper proposes a method to analyze and represent the evolving and changing definitions of all these concepts and the dynamic conditions that create them by bringing them together contextually, semantically, and interdisciplinary. Unlike traditional linguistic tools of defining and examining words and concepts, this study encourages the use of Raymond Williams’ (1985) inspiring work ‘Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society’ to map all the interdisciplinary relations of the keywords into a network, to visualize the changes in meaning, to selectively bring all the data around the keyword ‘originality’ and to reveal the patterns of the concepts of and around originalityKeywords: Originality, Raymond Williams, Keywords, Cultural Studies, Data Visualization, Textual Representation


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