Week 5 Task 1 Summary’s

Culture based knowledge towards a new Design Thinking

The main focus of this article was exploring the potential of designing from the basis of cultural knowledge and understanding. A process called the ‘East west’ approach to design conducted by Benny Ding Leong to offer a more involved design process and deeper understanding of the specific culture at hand. Leong initially begins by providing an overview of the reasons behind his unique approach, then explains his inspirations and dislikes and how he ultimately became intrigued by Ming furniture. This was a revelation to him and something he could build upon whilst studying overseas. During this time, he reinforced a belief he had had once before that Chinese creative thinking could potentially provide an alternative to western Design Thinking. He then related this to his design studies and desire to explore the traditional Chinese culture. The article then touched on if people would desire a traditional Chinese design style instead of the common western style. Following this, it explained the development of his processes to explore various areas of Traditional Chinese culture, such as cognitive traits, traditional concepts and their influences etc. Some key learning’s from this article are: Expansion of factors in the design process to allow for exploration of multiple paths. New ways to achieve alternative processes of design.

Design, Development, Culture and Cultural Legacies

This article firstly explained the way people assume that design is ontological equipment, or that design exists as a “full-fledged discipline”, much the same as history and economics exist. It elaborated by saying that similar disciplines could be “woven together” and accommodated by a common methodological thread. Following this, it explained the contemporary mainstream concept of design in the west and explored how it’s connected subtly with technological breakthroughs, mass production and global quest for markets. With this, it touched on how it is a tool and holds legacies from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Legacies of the way design could work as a ‘leveller’ (or Bridger) in society and promote a sense of “clean, rational and impersonal order”. It talked about two key principles underlying the western design model, (1) that society was capable of transforming it’s self through modernisation with design as a key tool, (2) that design is influenced by rationalism, therefore different contexts, cultures, religion etc would all be applicable and embracing. After this, it then visited the perception of First world technology and consumerism from an Asian perspective, and their desires to follow this successful path from their countries. In this article, it explained certain problems third world countries face when attempting to sell and integrate into a first world market, such as the first world standards of quality/economic, social, cultural etc conditions and needs. The key learning’s from this article are the varying functions/impacts of design, especially from country to country. The segregation of markets (first world, second world) and the many implemented pathways to allow their integration. In contrast to the previous article which explores the processes of design and ways to new Design Thinking, This article explores the markets, economies and fundamental pathways for products to reach sale.

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