Basic terms

communication design, as explained in Wikipedia.


Please view the lecture slides in e-format too, and follow the links to the material embedded.

Other examples: Potency of social media in making hits: Gotye & Kimbra.

The wonderful ease of parody, a take on the above with millions of views: ‘Some study that I used to know’.



Please make a serious attempt at reading 1 and 2, as well as the design thinking reading by Buchanan that follows. These readings will only be accessible to you from inside the Waseda campus owing to the publisher database needing to recognise the unique Waseda URL to grant access based on our subscription. They are challenging academic works but provide solid academic foundations for our studies in the course.

1.  Robert T. Craig (1999) ‘Communication Theory as a Field’, Communication Theory, 9(2): 119-161.

2. Richard Braddock (1958) An Extension of the “Lasswell Formula”, Journal of Communication, 8(2): 88-93


3. Design Thinking

Richard Buchanan (1992) ‘Wicked Problems in Design Thinking’, Design Issues, VIII(2): 5-21.

It can be accessed through Waseda’s J Stor subscription here. This will require you to be on campus or accessing through special remote access.

For those who are having troubles accessing the article as above there is dodgy option of accessing a copy via an upload of it to by a third party. I would normally never even mention this but as you are all entitled to access a copy there will be no harm done.


4. Limits of words + image

boundaries of metaphor:

For instance, the nazis and Hitler are often evoked rhetorically in some countries, sometimes to the consternation of organisations and individuals who suffered directly during their rule.

An English satirical website mocks the Archbishop of Canterbury for this, through satire and parody itself might transgress limits in the eyes of many:

‘Don’t Mickey Mouse the Holocaust’: a Hebrew expression.

rhetorical dangers:

A German politician, then Bundestag president Philipp Jenninger, provoked controversy  in 1988 when his rhetorical attempt to re-invoke the reasons for Nazism’s appeal, as a way of repudiating it, seemed to give credence again to the discourse. The event was the anniversary of the 50th anniversary of the so-called ‘Kristallnacht’ that was an orchestrated  mass outpouring of anti-semitic and anti-liberal violence.


5. Supplementary materials ( for the motivated and ambitious)

S. R. Corman, S. R.,  A. Trethewey & B. Goodall (2007)  21st Century Model for Communication in the Global War of Ideas: From Simplistic Influence to Pragmatic Complexity, Consortium for Strategic Communication Arizona State University

The following is a good resource for those who want to develop a better understanding of the development of the academic field of communication studies.

Maria Loblich & Andreas Matthias Scheu (2011) ‘Writing the History of Communication Studies: A Sociology of Science Approach’, Communication Theory, 21: 1-22


True Spin: Communications from a position of weakness

For the ‘art of spin’, and for assessments of the management of particular image problems, see the site Unfortunately the editor of the blog has taken leave from the project since mid-2014 but there is still plenty of interesting historical stuff available on the site to get a feel for the PR game.


Political scandals: 

Please look at:

Ingrid A. Lehmann (2011) The Political and Cultural Dynamics of United Nations Media Scandals: from Waldheim to Annan, LSE media & Communications working papers:

Ingrid A. Lehmann

For those interested in politics, scandal and media, the following interesting articles can also be accessed through the Waseda electronic collections (just go via Google Scholar search, from within Waseda).

Tumber, Howard and Waisbord, Silvio (2004) Political Scandals and Media Across Democracies, vols. I and II. American Behavioral Scientist, vols. 47 and 48. April and May.

Elmelund-Praestekaer, Christian and Charlotte Wien, (2008) “What’s the Fuss about? The Interplay of Media Hypes and Politics”, The International Journal of Press/Politics, 13, 247-65.