Socio-cultural dimensions to sharpen designer’s cultural eyeglasses

DS 76: Proceedings of E&PDE 2013, the 15th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, Dublin, Ireland, 05-06.09.2013

Year: 2013
Editor: John Lawlor, Ger Reilly, Robert Simpson, Michael Ring, Ahmed Kovacevic, Mark McGrath, William Ion, David Tormey, Erik Bohemia, Chris McMahon, Brian Parkinson
Author: van Boeijen, Annemiek
Series: E&PDE
Institution: Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
Section: Design Cultures
Page(s): 556-561
ISBN: 978-1-904670-42-1


This paper answers the question, how the dimensions that have been developed by anthropologists to typify cultures, can support designers in user-centred design processes. An analysis and evaluation of the use of cultural dimensions in design projects was performed. Although many of the dimensions found in the literature appear relevant for designers, the theories ‘as is’ often lead designers astray. On the basis of this, a set of socio-cultural dimensions was compiled: hierarchy, identification, time, aim, gender, space, attitude, expression, truth and ‘the ones we do not know yet’. This set is proposed as a means to help designers to generate culture specific research questions, tune design methods to the local cultural context and to generate ideas for vision and concept development.

Keywords: Socio-cultural dimensions, cultural dimensions, design education, design process


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