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Abstraction is a fundamental concept in design that involves simplifying complex ideas, forms, or functions to their essential elements. It is a process of distilling information, removing unnecessary details, and focusing on the core characteristics or underlying principles of a subject. In design, abstraction is used to create visual representations that communicate ideas or emotions in a clear, concise, and often symbolic manner. This concept is applied across various design disciplines, including graphic design, art, architecture, and user interface design. Abstraction allows designers to convey complex messages or evoke specific responses from viewers by reducing visual clutter and emphasizing key elements. It often involves the use of geometric shapes, simplified forms, color, and typography to create compositions that are visually striking and emotionally resonant. The level of abstraction can vary depending on the intended purpose and audience, ranging from highly simplified, iconic representations to more complex, layered abstractions that retain some level of detail. Historically, abstraction has been a significant influence in modern art and design movements such as Cubism, Constructivism, and Minimalism, which sought to break down traditional forms of representation and explore new ways of perceiving and depicting reality. In contemporary design, abstraction continues to be a powerful tool for creating memorable, impactful, and universally understandable visual communication.

simplification distillation symbolism minimalism

John Armstrong


Abstraction is a fundamental concept that is used in various fields, including computer science, linguistics, and philosophy. At its core, abstraction refers to the process of creating a simplified version of a complex idea or concept by focusing on its essential features and ignoring the details. This process allows individuals to understand and manipulate complex ideas more easily, as they can focus on the general concept without getting bogged down in the specifics. In computer science, abstraction is used to create more robust and efficient software systems. By separating high-level concepts from low-level details, software engineers can create modular systems that are easier to maintain and modify. Abstraction is also used to create reusable code, as high-level concepts can be implemented in a variety of ways without having to create entirely new implementations. In linguistics, abstraction is used to create new words and concepts by combining existing words and elements. This process allows individuals to express complex ideas more efficiently and accurately. Abstraction is also used in philosophy, where it is used to describe the process of forming concepts from general characteristics. Overall, abstraction is a powerful tool that allows individuals to understand and manipulate complex ideas more easily. By focusing on essential features and ignoring details, individuals can create more efficient and robust systems, express complex ideas more accurately, and form new concepts from existing ones.

computer science, linguistics, philosophy, essential features, robust systems

Michael Jackson


Abstraction, derived from the Latin abstractio, refers to a philosophical and linguistic concept which describes the process of forming a concept from its general characteristics. A core principle of language and linguistic structure, abstractions describe the ability to create new words from existing ones by incorporating a particular methodology, such as the stem, suffix or prefix of a word. The concept of abstraction has been studied from various perspectives, including linguistics, historical linguistics, morphology, and pragmatics. From a linguistic standpoint, abstraction is used to signify the evolution of words over time and the creation of new words using existing ones. The evolution of abstraction can be broken down into two imperatives; the first being the evolution of the form of the word, and the second being the evolution of its meaning over time. In terms of morphology, abstraction involves the use of affixes and suffixes to alter the form of the word, while maintaining the original meaning. From a pragmatic perspective, abstraction is used to create a new concept by rearranging existing words and combining them with certain elements in order to carry a new meaning.

Morphology, Etymology, Pragmatics, Lexicalization, Semantics

Henry Fontaine


Abstraction is a noun, defined as a concept or idea not associated with any specific instance. Its synonyms include generality, idea, abstractionism and concept. Its antonyms include reality and particulars. Its cognates include abstract, abstractedness and abstractionism. Variants of the word include abstracted, abstracting and abstractly.

etymic, origin, structural, synthesis, meanings

George Adrian Postea


Abstraction is a term used to refer to the process of creating a simplified version of an original concept in order to aid understanding. It is often used to define a concept in terms of its characteristics or characteristics in general. Abstraction involves the process of abstracting from the immediate characteristics of a particular thing to try and identify the essence of its identity. In a linguistic context, this form of abstraction is widely used to create new words or phrases in other languages. Examples include: sugestiune (Romanian), abstrakcya (Polish), abstrakzio (Basque), begrip (Dutch), abstraksi (Indonesian), abstraksión (Galician), abstraksiyon (Turkish), abstraktsioon (Estonian), abstraksjo (Norwegian), abstraction (French).

Multilingual terminology, concept, concepto, concetto, abstrakti, abstraktion, abstrakt, abstraktion, abstrahieren, abstraer, abstraheere, abstraerai, abstrair, abstraida, abstrahiere, abstrair, abstrahiere.

Harris Awan


Abstraction is the process of representing concepts independently from the specific details of how they are implemented. This allows a software engineer to focus on the general idea without getting bogged down in the specifics. Abstraction is often used to create a more robust design, as high level concepts are often more easily reused than low level details. It is also used to simplify the development process, as a concept can be implemented in a variety of ways without having to create entirely new implementations. Important works by abstraction include the use of abstraction layers to separate large software systems and the use of abstraction algorithms to improve the efficiency of a system.

Software engineering, object-oriented programming, encapsulation, generalization.

Ahmad Al-Khatib

CITATION : "Ahmad Al-Khatib. 'Abstraction.' Design+Encyclopedia. (Accessed on April 15, 2024)"

Abstraction Definition
Abstraction on Design+Encyclopedia

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