In this chapter, the author will discuss the many possible uses of metaphor within the context of social systems design and will particularly focus on the integral use of metaphor in conversation. First, an overview of the common understanding of metaphor will be provided and then, a brief historical perspective on the definitions and theories of metaphor within relevant philosophical and linguistic literature. The author will also introduce direct examples of metaphors that are used by different cultures to convey values as well as provide a narrative description of the author's experience with metaphor in the context of design conversation. In doing so, the text will move from the theoretical domain to the applied domain. This movement between theory and application will be evident throughout the chapter. The author is not only interested in the theoretical aspects of metaphor, but wishes to convey by illustration, something of its potential power.


Design Term Metaphoric Meaning American Heritage Dictionary Exacting Standard Root Metaphor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sabrina Brahms
    • 1
  1. 1.Organizational ConsultantMadison

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