Abstract

Teaching design in a non-Western culture makes one vaguely aware of its embedded cultural and technological determinants, such as the machine aesthetic or mass production techniques and materials. When this is juxtaposed against local design traditions and cultures of practice – many of which pre-date post-war Europe – these ‘normalisations’ become glaringly self-evident. Design education in the non-Western context, therefore, becomes more an acculturation project (along with its shadow, ‘deculturation’) than one involving technical training. This paper attempts to narrate this epiphanic experience of a designer-educator, which has met with instant and widespread resonance when sharing this with peers from non-Western origins or work experience, and leads up to a set of propositions to unlock the gates of the design community and allow a lot more diversity to flow in and enrich the discourse.

Keywords

tradition; knowledge; method; diversity

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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Jun 4th, 12:00 AM

Opening up our Gated Community

Teaching design in a non-Western culture makes one vaguely aware of its embedded cultural and technological determinants, such as the machine aesthetic or mass production techniques and materials. When this is juxtaposed against local design traditions and cultures of practice – many of which pre-date post-war Europe – these ‘normalisations’ become glaringly self-evident. Design education in the non-Western context, therefore, becomes more an acculturation project (along with its shadow, ‘deculturation’) than one involving technical training. This paper attempts to narrate this epiphanic experience of a designer-educator, which has met with instant and widespread resonance when sharing this with peers from non-Western origins or work experience, and leads up to a set of propositions to unlock the gates of the design community and allow a lot more diversity to flow in and enrich the discourse.

 

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