While reading an article about web design, I came across the following phrase — "((meta-)meta-)meta-design systems". I'm well aware what meta-design is, but have problems understanding the usage of "((meta-)meta-)". My first thought was that it belongs to terminology or industry jargon, but google search didn't return anything to confirm this assumption. Are these repetitions of "meta-" used to create exaggeration? If yes, is there any particular reason why brackets are used? Please assist.


In 2011 I had my a first quick shot at working on systemized algorithmic web layouts at Prismatic (RIP); then captivated by the 2014 article about Flipboard’s layout algorithm I resolved to shift my design career towards abstractions and work on ((meta-)meta-)meta-design systems and tools to enable more powerful forms of thought amongst human designers. Full article

1 Answer 1




is an abstraction about design, I think the author's use of


is to emphasize the layering of abstraction they are interested in since the context is about algorithmic AI generation of websites. It is not about the design of a website, or the design of the design of the website, but several levels deeper.

The author might have something specific in mind to list three levels of abstraction, also since it is written with precedence "(..)"'s.

  • Rather than denoting some sort of precedence, the brackets could just mean that the writer works on meta-design and on meta-meta-design and on meta-meta-meta-design
    – aPaulT
    May 15, 2017 at 22:17

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