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Title: Culture rich design : a 'cultural-semiotic' framework in product design applied to urban streetscape elements
Author: Mortezaei, Seyed-Reza
ISNI:       0000 0001 3426 1071
Awarding Body: University of Brighton
Current Institution: University of Brighton
Date of Award: 2007
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The aim of this study was to extend the application of culture into product design with particular attention to urban stre.etscape elements (known as street furniture). Poor understanding of culture and the lack of opportunity to use culture ina practical manner within the student group were explored as the problem areas. The initial motivation for the study stemmed from a desire to encourage the integration of the non-technological aspects of the design products, in which culture was categorised. This was believed to mainly achieve by developing a Cultural-Semiotic framework, which enables and encourages design students (novice designers) to approach culture in their projects. Therefore, a hypothesis was formulated to examine the extent of the .framework: A culturally orientated framework can be developed to determine important/significant variables to produce predictable culturally relevant changes in product design in general and urban streetscape elements in partl.cuIar. '' Culture could have strong interactions with product design in several ways, due to the symbolic qualities that a design product provides. Therefore, this enables products to be studied culturally, e.g. within a designer's mind (subjective aspects of culture) or outside his/her mind (objective aspects). To develop the framework, three fieldworks as a triangulation methodology were initially undertaken. Through Fieldwork 1 the author acquired a general idea about the current cultural understanding of novice designers. Fieldwork 2, examined the cultural extent of the design courses, and the understanding of culture amongst a wider and versatile audience. Meanwhile, Fieldwork 3 looked at how novice designers could convert cultural knowledge into practice. This established the problem areas and indicated the area of focus, which was representation. Representation is the process that gives product-signs their particular meaning. Then, a number of associated models were studied and the relevant ones were used as the basis. By implementing Schwartz Value Inventory, Four semantic functions of signs and the Saussrean model of sign, the Cultural-Semiotic framework was developed. The framework could perform on the degree of cultural meaning one might want to put into a design product. The framework was examined and evaluated through a workshop and a sample project session, involVing a selected group of novice designers. The Circuit of Culture model was used as an evaluation model alongside the SOLO Taxonomy, a model that describes the levels of increasing compleXity in a student's understanding of subjects. The emphasis was on the representational qualities of products. The result confirmed the role of the framework in enhancing the cultural understanding of novice designers. It specified: • The degree of cultural insight of a selected group; • The level of objectiVity in a totally subjective issue; • A deeper understanding of culture compared to the preliminary participants; • A certain degree of confirmation of the proposed hypothesis.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available