Geographical : Japan consists of 6,852 islands. Only about 430 are inhabited. The 4 main islands are: Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu
HDI (Human Development Index) : .912, ranking 10th in the world. (Australia is .938, ranking 2nd)
Power Generation : 60% Coal/oil/natural gas. 29% Nuclear. 9% Hydroelectric. 2% Renewable energy sources.
Internet : 79% of the Japanese population regularly access to the internet.
Literacy : 99% of the population can read and write.
Handheld digital pet. Tamagotchi toys took the world by storm as they gave children a digital ‘pet’. Emotional connections were made to Tamagotchis as their owners had to take care of them through feeding and playing games.
Although officially designed for ‘all ages’ the Tamagotchi is largely seen as a children’s toy, being a simple consumer product that any child could play with and enjoy.
House in Chiba, 2014
A galvanised sheet covered house, designed to make full use of its site. Containing a car parking space and balcony.
Owner who purchased the land. Their requirements were: Bright and large living, Balcony with privacy and a simple appearance like a factory.
A two story, three metre wide house designed to fit into its oddly shaped site, which resides in a residential district of Aichi Prefecture, Japan
Katsutoshi and his associates designed this house as a reinterpretation of scale and the uses of rooms.
Splinter Collection, 2013
A simple use of the flexibility of wood. Timber dowels are split apart and branch off to form elegant style yet also providing function by reducing the amount of joinery needed. This plays off the idea of a splinter in timber, which is generally regarded as unfortunate when it occurs, however in this case a splinter is desirable and attractive.
Geographical : 12.5% of India is prone to flooding.
HDI (Human Development Index) : .554, ranking 136th in the world. (Australia is .938, ranking 2nd)
Power Generation : 69% Coal/oil/natural gas. 17% Hydroelectric. 12% Renewable energy sources . 2% Nuclear.
Internet : 12.6% of the Indian population regularly access the internet.
Literacy : 74% of the population can read and write.
ACE Chair, 2012
Executive chair range designed to address the needs of modern working environments. Organic form derived from nature, along with a user -friendly adjustment system of knobs, makes this chair desirable and ergonomic for a large variety of clients.
This range is designed for high end office buildings, which have an established feel and look of quality and advancement. The mesh backing of the chairs allow them to fit in with their surroundings without standing out too much, or affecting the feel of the room. They are a nice and functional compliment to an already designed office interior.
Duron Breeze, 2012
A small, effective and affordable solar charged power generator. The Breeze can be set up anywhere and comes with a fan, two LEDs and a mobile phone charger adapter. It was designed in rural India, ensuring that this is indeed a product that could be used to great effect to improve the lifestyle of families that have no access to electricity.
The Duron Breeze is designed to be affordable for Indian families or shopkeepers. The ABS casing is a good example of a user centred design, for the Breeze will surely see some opportunities to prove it’s ruggedness and not fail in the heat and dirt of India.
Mushroom collection, 2012
This serve ware range is inspired from nature, using traditional Indian craftsmanship combined with modern technology.
The Mushroom range was designed for JSL Lifestyle, which caters to high end silver and kitchenware. These products are often very flattering in design, yet not too expensive to make, and the high sales prices come from the ‘image’ and ‘brand’ that the customer is buying.
Interactive Split Air Conditioner
An air conditioner that is designed to work within a ‘smart and energy efficient’ home. The high tech control pad interacts wirelessly with the air conditioner to provide an elegant solution to managing the climate at home. It features advance controls that allow the unit to be suited to an individual’s or family’s lifestyle.
Ingersoll-Rand International India Ltd
Design, Development, Culture and Cultural Legacies in Asia
I found that the ability for designers to critically analyse their work against the culture they are designing for is essential. As opposed to thinking, ‘will this culture adopt my design’, designers should follow a thought process of, ‘How can I make my designs more suited to this culture, so that it won’t impose upon it?’
It seems that there is much more importance on designing for a culture than most people think. It may be hard to grasp, as most people undertaking the ID course, wouldn’t have designed for an entirely different culture, perhaps only for their interpretations of it from an outside view so far.
Cultures are not something that can be easily analysed though, for one to truly understand a culture, the best way is to live in it for some time, as there is huge differences in ‘Asian’ culture between countries, even within certain states/cities/towns in each country. To try and use a blanket term for Asian culture seems like a very foolhardy and insensitive way to approach the design process.
Perhaps it would be a sign of respect or maybe just a complimentary homage to include a cultures design history into the process when creating a new product or service for them. For example, mixing classic and renowned processes of a culture with more contemporary techniques that provide the advantages of modern technology.
It can easily be misunderstood that the large variety in Asian cultures, from age old designs to current pop culture, is their willingness to consume and accept a huge variety of design influences. This obviously is not the case, and seems to be the downfall of many inappropriate designs for particular cultures.
Once again, it seems worth stating that cultures should be studied and absorbed, from the ground up, not just on face value. All systems of a culture should be analysed and discussed/reviewed before embarking on a large design project that could have a large impact on said culture.
Culture Based Knowledge Towards New Design Thinking and Practice: A Dialogue
The way this article is set out, in dialogue, is appropriate for the subject of cultural analysis and discussion. Cultural mapping isn’t something that is certain, and it is merely the conclusions the one who is studying the culture has come to, therefore I found it was relevant to read the dialogue from two people discussing the matter, as it is their opinions on culture base knowledge we are delving into.
I particularly agreed with the ideal that cultural research is difficult and dynamic, as cultures are constantly changing, moving forward with the world and interacting with each other. The entirety of a culture is almost unfathomable, for its origins hundreds, or even thousands of years ago can be as important as the events that took place in the past 10 years. Perhaps these events affect more areas of a culture than another, or maybe, what seems important from an outside perspective, isn’t really a culture defining moment that we think it is.
A design however, doesn’t have to suit all of the conventions of a cultural identity, for instance, not every product designed for China has to be red or gold, that would be using an outside glance of a culture as a guideline for design. The user centred design of the product would be better integrated into the function of the design, how it works with a person from said culture throughout their daily lives.
The bigger picture of this scenario is how the society would see this product, it may be useful for an individual, but is there a way it might be inappropriate for society at large? A designs success can be made or broken by the value that society associates with it.
The article really highlights how important it is to look at the big picture, whilst having the ability to delve into the intricate depths of a culture to analyse individual components.
I found the articles to be very comparable, and not very contrasting. Both placed a huge importance on submersing oneself in a culture to fully appreciate it, and to be able to produce designs that the culture itself could appreciate. It seemed that the need to find intricacies in a culture that aren’t discoverable on a face level must be observed, however they also discussed how difficult that can be, with cultures constantly changing and adapting to changes around them.
The need for ‘user centred design’ to remain at the forefront of the mind when designing a product or service is critical in both articles, as it will surely fail if the design is not appropriate for that specific culture.
Key Points of Articles
- Breadth and depth is equally important when studying a culture
- User centred design is critical when designing for another culture
- A design must be appropriate in it’s environment
- A culture can have strong ties to age old traditions, or recent events, or both.
- There is no ‘Asian Culture’, instead, there are many cultures that vary within Asia.
- Some aspects of a culture will only show themselves through spending time within them.
The gods must be crazy component is soon to come. (Promise)