A sign is a representation of something or stand for something. For example, if I show you a photo of a dog and ask what it is? Everyone will answer that it is a dog, but actually it is not. It is a picture of dog, it just the representation of dog. It is a sign of dog that we read, so it’s made us think that it is a dog. But the sign also depends on human perception and translation, for example if I show you a picture of “chair” each people will answer differently. It can be a sofa, it can be a stool, it can be a bench, It can be anything that people can sit on. This is also a kind of sign too. Sign helps us understand what this object is for?
What’s about design (DE-SIGN) we, designers are also a part of sign too. We use sign to communicate with people, we use it in our designs. For example in construction lesson we have to study many of sign and symbol, then we use it to design and communicate with others. Even if the sign is not look like the actual object but we create them to everyone will understand in the same meaning without any different translation.
For me, I think design and translation is linked. Before we design anything, we must translate and designers can change that translation into our design. For example the “pentagon” can represent of a pentagon and a house, but if we add the thickness and extruded the pentagon, add some windows and doors. Is it still a sign of a house? Yes it still a sign, but it is a de-sign, the translation that can transformed a representation of something into new perspective.