This thesis illustrates the potential of Kenneth Burke’s theory for interrogating visual design trend dynamics and rhetorics. The investigation originated in response to the perceived unsustainability of accelerated design trend dynamics, as amplified by rhetorically-driven aesthetic obsolescence. The hermeneutic framework developed in this study, referred to as a Burkean meta-rhetorical approach, is thus used towards re-framing attitudes towards and engagements with design trends. The framework is illustrated throughout the study by referring to visual design examples as well as verbal discourse surrounding prominent historical and contemporary design movements or trends. Various theoretical facets form part of the meta-rhetorical framework, namely Burke’s dialectics, dramatism, rhetoric, criticism and ethics. A Burkean dialectical perspective on design trends offers foundational insights on how symbolic language creates ‘design dialectics’, which translate into dynamic design change over time. Burke’s ‘dramatism’ sheds light on the human-relational ‘design drama’ that impacts design trend engagements. Burke’s rhetoric offers insights on rhetorical strategies or persuasive tactics found in ‘the rhetorical design situation’, where designers are both producers and consumers of design trend rhetorics. Burke’s critical theory is useful for interrogating perceived ‘design (dis)orders’ or design attitudes and behaviours that become imbalanced, potentially contributing to and exacerbating problematic trend dynamics. Lastly, Burke’s symbolic re-framing strategies are considered towards developing more ethical, honest and responsible (less polemical or melodramatic) trend rhetorics. Burke’s meta-rhetorical theory is thus presented as a valuable theoretical approach in design, for nurturing greater rhetorical awareness and promoting more responsible rhetorical design citizenship.