The Nature of Culture in Design

The Nature of Culture in Design

Patricia A. Young (University of Maryland at Baltimore, USA)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-426-2.ch002
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Abstract

There have been many definitions of culture hypothesized by theorists and scholars as a way to understand human beings, other species and entities; human nature; Mother Nature, and artifacts (Giles & Middleton, 1999; Hall, 1996; Kroeber & Kluckhohn, 1966; Williams, 1958). Culture has been characterized as being descriptive, historical, normative, psychological, structural, and genetic (Kroeber & Kluckhohn, 1966). Kroeber (1948) theorized culture as “how it comes to be” versus “what it is” (p. 253). Therefore, culture is socially constructed. Geertz (1973) interpreted culture as a “historically transmitted pattern of meanings embodied in symbols, a system of inherited conceptions expressed in symbolic forms by means of which men communicate, perpetuate, and develop their knowledge about and attitudes toward life” (p. 89). Hofstede (1991) proposed that culture is learned; it is not part of one’s genetic makeup. In the area of cultural studies, culture is concerned with how meanings are interpreted and created in a society (Gray & McGuigan, 1997; Hall, 1997). Williams (1958), a cultural theorist, believes that “culture is ordinary” (p. 74). It is made in the human mind, making possible effort, examination, and explication. This means culture is what is known (tradition) and what comes to be known through investigation and invention (creativity). Baumeister (2005) argued that culture is not innately human. Other species (e.g., monkeys and chimpanzees)show patterns of learned behavior that is passed on from generation to generation. Culture is artificial; it is civilization. (Kroeber, 1948). A simple question-and-answer scenario about culture might proceed as follows: What is culture? Culture is everything human made and nature made. What is the purpose of culture? The purpose of culture is to serve humans. How does culture function? Culture functions as directed by humans. When will culture end? When humankind ends, culture will end. Where is culture? Culture is everywhere. Why do we need culture? We need culture to tell our history.
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Qualifying Culture In Design

The nature of culture in design moves beyond petrified interpretations. Culture is not tied to a discipline, theory, or controversy. The transformation is like moving culture from theory to practice, and in this sense, the pieces of culture must be deconstructed and transferred from a theoretical dimension to a practical dimension. In a practical dimension; culture maintains both physical and virtual properties, and the properties of culture are free to be transported, reinvented, mixed, and coagulated in the space of design.

Culture is dynamic, malleable, fluid, and always in motion.1 Therefore, culture can take on any form, fashion or feline. Culture exists freely in the space of design. This emulsion is the space in which design should exist and designers should work. In the design of ICTs, the goal is to recreate or represent culture. As a design construct, culture takes on properties that make it visible and invisible, dynamic and static, virtual and physical. Like the paint an artist applies to canvas, the nature of culture in design maintains an infinite number of possibilities and properties. Culture does not have physical or virtual properties in design until the designer assigns those properties. Culture is not real until designers make it real.

The nature of culture in design is creative. This creativity is derived through the implementation of the design process. However, some innate creative ability is required of designers and the design. Should creativity be a prerequisite for designers, or can anyone be a designer? An inventive spirit requires the ability to see beyond the obvious and to design new ways to envision one’s physical and virtual reality. So yes, creativity is highly desirable.

Complete Chapter List

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Dedication
Table of Contents
Foreword
Rita C. Richey
Acknowledgment
Chapter 1
Patricia A. Young
If the history of the world is properly searched, the birth of innovation in learning theory as a practice and psychology as a science can be found... Sample PDF
Beginnings in Instructional Design and Culture
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Chapter 2
Patricia A. Young
There have been many definitions of culture hypothesized by theorists and scholars as a way to understand human beings, other species and entities;... Sample PDF
The Nature of Culture in Design
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Chapter 3
Patricia A. Young
The incorporation of culture in the design process is not a simple task. It is one with multiple layers of depth and complexity. But it is also not... Sample PDF
The Culture-Based Model Framework
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Chapter 4
Patricia A. Young
Inquiry (11-16) monitors development, automates the internal flow of the design process, and functions as internal sensors. This monitoring checks... Sample PDF
CBM Inquiry, Development
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Chapter 5
Patricia A. Young
Team (T1–T3) focuses on the recruitment of a culturally sensitive design team that includes a cultural expert, an educator, and other culturally... Sample PDF
CBM Team, Assessments, Brainstorming
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Chapter 6
CBM Learners  (pages 88-99)
Patricia A. Young
The Learners (L1-L10) area centers on the needs of learners and learning. These design factors assist in providing a dynamic learning environment... Sample PDF
CBM Learners
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Chapter 7
CBM Elements I  (pages 100-125)
Patricia A. Young
Elements (E1-E25) facilitate content development. These Elements are intended to be comprehensive in providing the fundamental total of which all... Sample PDF
CBM Elements I
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Chapter 8
CBM Elements II  (pages 126-141)
Patricia A. Young
This chapter continues with CBM Elements and the design factors related to the anthropology of culture. Cultural communications is covered in its... Sample PDF
CBM Elements II
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Chapter 9
CBM Elements III  (pages 142-173)
Patricia A. Young
This chapter continues with CBM Elements and the design factors related to the anthropology of culture. Cultural demographics and Cultural... Sample PDF
CBM Elements III
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Chapter 10
CBM Elements IV  (pages 174-214)
Patricia A. Young
This chapter continues with CBM Elements and the design factors related to the anthropology of culture. Cultural history is covered in its entirety.... Sample PDF
CBM Elements IV
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Chapter 11
CBM Elements V  (pages 215-231)
Patricia A. Young
This chapter continues with CBM Elements and the design factors related to the anthropology of culture. Cultural knowledge, Cultural language... Sample PDF
CBM Elements V
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Chapter 12
CBM Elements VI  (pages 232-253)
Patricia A. Young
This chapter continues with CBM Elements and the design factors related to the psychology of culture. All of the design factors related to... Sample PDF
CBM Elements VI
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Chapter 13
CBM Elements VII  (pages 254-278)
Patricia A. Young
This chapter continues with CBM Elements and the design factors related to the science of culture. The following design factors are covered in this... Sample PDF
CBM Elements VII
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Chapter 14
Patricia A. Young
This chapter continues with CBM Elements and the design factors related to the science of culture. The following design factors are covered in this... Sample PDF
CBM Elements VII & Training
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Chapter 15
Patricia A. Young
Instructional design includes the production of educational products such as software, Web-based environments, video games, videos, films, and print... Sample PDF
Case Study of an Educational Product
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Chapter 16
Case Study in Game Design  (pages 316-330)
Patricia A. Young
The global game industry expects substantial growth in the next decades. Massive multiplayer online games (MMOG) are expected to skyrocket from the... Sample PDF
Case Study in Game Design
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Chapter 17
Case Study in E-Learning  (pages 331-341)
Patricia A. Young
The future of e-learning is wide open in terms of innovations in software, hardware, instructional content, and teaching practices. Recent... Sample PDF
Case Study in E-Learning
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Chapter 18
Case Study in Research  (pages 342-358)
Patricia A. Young
Research is seen as a bad word, more work and lots more money. However, research is a good thing to do and engage in before, during and after... Sample PDF
Case Study in Research
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Chapter 19
Conclusion  (pages 359-364)
Patricia A. Young
Culture works as a design construct. It is apparent that there are many factors operating to make this happen. First, the nature of culture in... Sample PDF
Conclusion
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About the Author