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Cultural affordance of products: coverage within industrial design education

Cultural affordance of products: coverage within industrial design education

Year: 2009

Section: DESIGN AND EMOTION

Editor: Clarke, A, Ion, W, McMahon, C and Hogarth, P

Author: Razzaghi, Mohammad; Ramirez, Mariano

Series: E&PDE

Section: DESIGN AND EMOTION

Pages: 483-488

Abstract

Products are regarded as possessing not only physical properties but also subjective qualities such as culturally-based user preferences. To communicate these cultural aspects, products must "afford" conversation with their intended users using some type of language. Being initiators of product creation, industrial designers are supposed to facilitate the communication of the products' physical and non-physical attributes to users in a self-explanatory way. In this paper, the authors argue that if the cultural affordance of products is deemed to be important, then industrial design education must accordingly cover this topic in the curricula. To that effect, we examined the courses of study for industrial design from 39 universities worldwide, to determine if the relationship between culture and design is convincingly addressed within the training of designers. It is found that the majority of industrial design curricula suffer from a relative lack of subjects related to the links between culture and design. This paper concludes with propositions to integrate and enhance cultural affordance within the curricular structure of industrial design degree programs.

Keywords: Cultural affordance of products, culture, design education, industrial design curricula

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ds conferenceE&PDE 2009: Engineering and Product Design Education 2009

The 11th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education will be organised by the University of Brighton in Brighton, UK, in partnership with the Design Education Special Interest Group (DESIG) of the Design Society and the Institution of Engineering Designers (IED). The E&PDE conference will bring together representatives from education and industry who have an interest in developing new approaches and directions in design education. The conference will provide a forum...

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Special Interest Group (SIG)Design Education

Design EducationTo bring together academics, designers, training professionals and others throughout the world who have an interest in design education at the tertiary level....

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