Exphrasis: Verbalizing unexisting objects in the world of design

Jonathan Ventura, Gal Ventura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Ekphrasis is a well-known term alluding to the process of verbalizing a visual representation. However, as part of the design process, industrial designers conduct what we wish to call “exphrasis” – a process by which a written account (a “brief,” in designers’ “lingua”) is converted into a designed material object. We wish to introduce this concept as applied theoretical knowledge in the work of designers and visual researchers alike, claiming that it may enhance creativity stemming from a conscious process of reflection. Through a comprehensive analysis of the differences between the two terms, we will demonstrate the applicability of the term “exphrasis” as a creative and resourceful industrial tool.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)185-202
Number of pages18
JournalDesign and Culture
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:


  • Design theory
  • Ekphrasis
  • Industrial design
  • Visual culture


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