Societies worldwide are increasingly interconnected through trade, migration, education, and digitization. This has resulted in a profound new complexity of cultural groups. Consequently, designers are confronted with the challenge of gaining a clear understanding of this cultural diversity.
Culture is a complex phenomenon defined by an ongoing process of shifts in human interactions and experiences. In addition to the functional, technical, and economic requirements, it is primarily culture that defines how any designed object and service will perform and prove itself: a process that largely takes place outside the designer's domain and control.
Culture Sensitive Design provides an overview of theory and practical models and methods aimed to motivate and inspire design students, practitioners, and educators to get in touch with different cultural values, customs, and symbols. It is to avoid mistakes that may be obstructive for certain groups of people; to enable cross-cultural cooperation; to learn more about the diverse and complex layers of culture that define who we are, how we think, how we imagine, and how we create; and to open up the design space, thereby creating a tremendous source of new ideas. Richly illustrated with real-life situations, the book provides everything necessary to generate optimal circumstances for the best design solutions to emerge.
Annemiek van Boeijen, trained as an industrial designer, is Assistant Professor Industrial Design at the faculty of Industrial Design Engineering at the Delft University of Technology. Her research focuses on the role of culture in design processes. The aim is to develop knowledge and design methods & tools that support designers with a culture-sensitive design approach. She is the initiator and co-editor of the Delft Design Guide, moderator of the awarded Massive Open Online Course Product Design: The Delft Design Approach, and runs the double blended online course for master design students and design practitioners Culture Sensitive Design.