Week 5

Part 1 – Two Readings and Summary. 

Cultural based knowledge towards new design thinking.

From what I extracted, Benny Ding Leong’s design intentions revolve heavily around tradition and culture. This became instantly clear to me when he states early in the interview that he has “little sympathy” in contemporary design which served ones “style and taste” as well as the western influence had on the country. However, the fundamental cognitive traits that affected conscious and unconscious perceptions of life, matter, nature, and human relation- ships derived from the Chinese enlightenment “proved” to be most essential to his research and curiosity.

Furthermore, Leong had dedicated 5 years of research to traditional Chinese design, which suggests that he wanted to re-connect the Chinese culture to the traditional “aesthetics” of design, and the “synthesis” of alternative design. I.e:
Life centring: Designing from human and cultural perspective.
Totality: Not for individuals but for an entire society which brings people together.
Reflectivity: Design that reflects/demonstrates a proposed situation rather than imposing design onto a given situation to influence it.
Unification: to free human beings from the contemporary adaptation to technology and encourage one to the liberated re-orientation of cultural design and influence.

Design, Development, Culture and Cultural Legacies in Asia.

This article discusses the economic and political value of design. How design can be used to create social change and alleviate poverty primarily. This is accomplished by comparing two definitions of Asian design.
1. The acquisition of western design as structural technique to stimulate and discipline economic and industrial growth.
2. Ideology surrounding each nation which has it’s own unique cultural identity, demonstrated in it’s traditional arts, crafts and architecture.

Furthermore, the article explores a brief history of the west’s influence on Asian countries through design and the challenge of balancing economic growth, social/cultural structure, especially keeping in mind the intention to alleviate poverty as well as the environmental impact with which is explored and discussed with thought provoking examples. After reading this article I was given the impression nations within Asia possesses the ability to thrive, however can only be achieved if there is better communication between all the people concerned ie, designers, governments, manufactures, and the people.

In comparsion:

The two articles heavily focus on the future of Asian culture and design. The difference being, the first article talks about the traditional roots of design intention whilst the second explores the economic and political value of design which is required to better improve some countries and Asia as a whole. Whilst the first article is heavily driven by emotional and cultural attachment, the second article focuses not so much on tradition and how things used to be, but what lies ahead and how things will be. 

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