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Design as a Common Language: Ronny Edry Designs Peace in the Middle East

Issue 12 Summer | Fall 2013

There are roughly 6,900 recognized languages spoken around the world. While this figure is astounding, it does not even include local dialects or unofficial languages. As a society we are highly reliant upon our ability to verbally express ourselves in order to communicate with one another, yet what happens when there is no common language?

Resorting to gestures and social cues as a means of communication becomes our first instinct; however, we cannot always rely on being able to speak face-to-face. This inability to communicate effectively affects us in a much greater capacity than we realize, as language plays a fundamental role in linking perception to reality. The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis states, “language determines how we perceive and think about the world.” The absence of language can distort our perceptions; therefore, potentially affecting our reality. Language does not only influence our reality, but also our sense of culture.

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