Article Comparison

‘Design, development, culture and cultural legacies’ written by Rajeshwari Ghose is an interesting insight into the differences between the history’s of western and Asian design culture and practice. Will standardization of design stay a common practice or will the worlds needs call for anon-standardized approach?

I find it interesting to think how on a global scale great design comes from western values and practice. This however does not transfer into Asian lifestyles and ways of living. There is a part in the article when it talks about how imported design solutions are not always practical. A Karachi slum dweller was housed in a new block of flats and asked the developer where could he house his chickens? To this family chickens were a crucial part of how the family made money to live. Another example of when design ideas are imported and lacking in cultural and practical ways is when the article talks about the fisherman in Madras who was moved from the slums on the beach to a low cost high-rise apartment. He ended up renting out the apartment and moved back to the slums on the beach as it had a social structure and security, which was handy in times of need.

‘Culture based knowledge towards a new design thinking’ is a written dialogue between two authors, Hazel Clark and Benny Ding Leong. During the conversation Benny talks about his investigation into Asian based design thinking and the different layers that are between his understanding of ancient and modern design in Asia.

His methods of thinking are interesting to compare to a western approach to design. He talks about his research into Confucianism, Taoism, and ancient literature, specifically the I Ching. Using traditional concepts and values taken from these sources Benny explains some of the key design criteria that has stemmed from his research such as ‘life-centering’ which is designing from a human and cultural perspective for the wellbeing of living organisms and ‘Totality’ where the well being of society takes precedence over the individual.

Benny Ding Leong explains that his investigation led him to explore the “inner” levels of ancient Chinese culture that explores the “ultimate-nature” of the world.

I found a lot of truth in what Benny says and he sums up the conversation by saying

“I believe that cultural knowledge could enrich contemporary design theory and underpin innovation in design practice, providing an alternative to western design that would have an international application.”

Compare contrast the two

Both articles have strong ideas about the differences between Asian and Western design. They explain that it is important for design to be considered in cultural contexts, as a western approach is not the only way to think about design

‘Design, development, culture and cultural legacies’ written by Rajeshwari Ghose has a larger scale approach to design think than ‘Culture based knowledge towards a new design thinking’. Benny’s insight into his design thinking and research focus’s on the inner more spiritual connections that we have gathered and used throughout history.

Both articles have conceptual design frameworks that can be used in design practice today. Some key outcomes are found in the following examples:

 .      The Transcendent – with sensation as the cognitive mode

..     The Harmonious – where intuition coorerates with rational cognition

…   The progressive – with intellect as the major cognitive mode


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