Kalenahalli Sudarshan, Pratap
The Influence of Designers' Culture on the Design and Design Process for Familiar and Unfamiliar User Cultures.
Technische Universität, Darmstadt
[Ph.D. Thesis], (2015)
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|Item Type:||Ph.D. Thesis|
|Title:||The Influence of Designers' Culture on the Design and Design Process for Familiar and Unfamiliar User Cultures|
Recent years have seen an increased demand for designers to be able to design for users in different and unfamiliar cultures. This demand has resulted in a recent research focus on culture and design. However, a state of the art review revealed limited focus thus far on the influence of designers’ and users’ cultures on both individual designs and the design process as a whole. The key research questions to examine the influence of the designers’ and users’ cultures on designs and the design process were addressed via 1:1 design studies with German and Indian design students, where the results of the design process (design concepts) were evaluated with the help of experts.
The 1:1 design studies indicated little difference in the steps in the design process followed between designers from the two cultures or when designing for different cultures, except for variations in strategy based on the target culture/persona. The expert evaluation of the designs showed clear influences of designers’ culture on the design, along with the fact that intimate knowledge of target user/user’s culture played an important role in the success of designing for the unfamiliar.
In order to help better design for unfamiliar cultures, a modified design process was suggested, with an explicit call to understand the difference in perceptions between the designer and the target user/culture. The suggested modified design process was validated through multiphase design activity with design students in Germany and India. The validation studies showed the modified design process and the perception studies had a positive impact on designing for both familiar and unfamiliar cultures. However, qualitative analysis and feedback revealed the need to develop a simpler tool to understand perceptions.
One envisioned consequence of this thesis is the formal sensitisation of students to aspects of culture and its influence on design, which in turn would help students be better prepared to design for different and unfamiliar users/cultures. Finally, the future scope of research based on this thesis could include the development of formal methods and parameters to measure cultural engagement of various products and product categories, and research into the mapping of popularly used cultural dimensions onto product design and design process.
From a larger perspective, this thesis makes an original contribution to research in the area of culture and design by addressing the identified gap in research through a study of the influence of culture (designers’ and users’) on both individuals designs and the design process as a whole, thereby building on and complementing the work done by Razzaghi (2007). The methodology used to examine the identified research questions establishes an initial framework to compare designs and design processes across cultures. The suggestion of the modified design process along with the perception studies adds to the body of work in the area of methods and tools to design for different cultures. Furthermore, a preliminary idea about a mixed card sort method is made in response to one of the findings, in an attempt to develop simpler tools for designers to understand perceptions.
|Place of Publication:||Darmstadt|
|Uncontrolled Keywords:||Design, Design Process, Culture|
|Classification DDC:||000 Allgemeines, Informatik, Informationswissenschaft > 000 Allgemeines, Wissenschaft
600 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften > 620 Ingenieurwissenschaften
|Divisions:||16 Department of Mechanical Engineering
16 Department of Mechanical Engineering > Ergonomics (IAD)
|Date Deposited:||12 Mar 2015 13:10|
|Last Modified:||12 Mar 2015 13:10|
|Referees:||Bruder, Prof.Dr.- Ralph and Ray, Prof. Gaur G.|
|Refereed:||24 February 2015|