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Citation Information

Type Conference Paper - International Conference on Design Education: Tradition and Modernity, National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, India
Title Product analysis in relation to the socio-cultural perspective of Botswana
Author(s)
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2005
URL https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/71b5/0bb52d2a05c170d674a6bd70582f418eeb2f.pdf
Abstract
This paper investigates the influence of culture on product design in Botswana, a
topic on which there little previous research. It is argued that product innovation
should be assimilated within the context of Botswana’s own culture but it has
been observed that designers have not yet been able to encode cultural
phenomena to the same extent as physical ones. The basis of this paper is that
there is little in-depth research that can assist designers to encode socio-cultural
variables in their design practice.
An experimental approach was adopted to investigate the impact of socio-cultural
variables in product design. This experiment was conducted in Botswana with
design students to analyse the socio-cultural variables embedded in Botswana’s
products. The content analysis methodology was used to analyse the results
from participants. The data collection methods were comprised of visual data
(sketches, photographs and design models) and textual data (retrospective
interviews and design reports). Textual and visual data were both analysed using
ATLAS.ti. The results indicated that there are three major socio-cultural
variables, that is, those related to material factors, the community and
entertainment related variables. This challenges designers to encode these
variables in designing everyday products.
The paper concludes by discussing how designers can integrate socio-cultural
variables by ‘design’ rather than by ‘accident’ in product design. This will
ultimately lead to the design of innovative, culturally sensitive, environmentally
sound, pleasurable and user-friendly products.

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