A single visual sign, such as X, can represent a multiplicity of ideas, transcending time and diverse contexts of use. X is simultaneously ubiquitous yet elusive, universal and particular. Yet, in much commercial visual communication, signs and symbols are often reduced to stereotypes: a univocal visual language that simplifies and narrows representations of human experience. X is a socio-cultural sign that embodies a multiplicity of meanings by sustaining a fluid and open status and forms the focus of my critical design research. Through typographic, pictorial, spatial, philosophical, anecdotal and technological instances of X the attributes of ambiguity are elucidated through practice.
In a changing world design must use adaptable methods and tools to suit the demands of new audiences and conditions of communication: ambiguity is framed as the most appropriate resource for today’s (design) needs. X marks a conceptual spot for a nexus of diverse ideas and voices in contemporary cultural discourse.