Based on two studies of different meaning-making phenomena, post-it notes and furniture, this paper highlights the role of materiality in everyday semiosis. A perspective on the semiotics of material artifacts is adopted, in which the “social” in combination with the specific affordances of materials are crucial for meaning-making. Partially in opposition to a Saussurean view of the semiotic sign, it is argued that materiality in itself contributes to meaning-making, through discourses and activity types. This paper contributes to the theoretical and the methodological dialogue between social semiotics and other approaches in the wider field of semiotic research.
© 2011 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/Boston