Culture + Design for IxD12 (Dublin, IRE)

Posted by on Jul 1, 2012 in Culture, Design, Presentations | No Comments
Culture + Design for IxD12 (Dublin, IRE)

In February, I had the honor of presenting a talk about Culture and Design at Interaction 12 in Dublin, Ireland. Culture is something that I often think about and pervades my design practice. I’ll be writing more about culture and design on this blog, and I wanted to start things out by posting my recent talk at the IxD12 Conference.

By taking a cultural approach to design our perspective naturally broadens and lengthens, and by definition, the solutions we come up with are more sustainable and culturally relevant. The underlying questions that drive a cultural design approach are (1) how do we create designs and products that resonate deeply with people, and (2) how do the products we create impact the cultures into which we introduce them.

There are alot of the theories and ideas about culture and design that I wasn’t able to include in this talk, and I’m looking forward to exploring them on this blog.

Below is the talk description, a video of the actual talk in Dublin at Interaction12 and a the slides.

I would appreciate and comments or critiques of the ideas presented here.



Talk Description:

The products and services we design and deploy are embedded within a culture and not just a context. Culture is an important concept that is often overlooked by designers. We need to think beyond user’s goals, needs, desires, emotions, context, psychology and principles of design; we need to start designing from a place of culture.

This talk explores how cultural understanding can inform design as well as how our designs impact the cultures that use them. I define culture in terms of design and build a framework designers can use to better understand culture and it’s implications on their design work. Designers will walk away from this talk with basic cultural literacy and the tools to incorporate cultural understanding into their design process. I will also show the impact the products and services we design have on cultures.

Ultimately, design (even if data and pattern driven) is subjective and we bring our own historical trajectory to our designs. Having a deeper understanding of culture will have a direct impact on what we bring to our design decisions.

More broadly, as a design profession we need to be expanding our discourse to include culture and cultural theory into our understanding of interactions, experiences and design.


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