The impact of socio-cultural factors upon human-centred design in Botswana

Moalosi, Richie (2007) The impact of socio-cultural factors upon human-centred design in Botswana. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


This thesis explores the relationship between culture and human-centred design in Botswana, a topic on which there is little previous research. The pinnacle of good product innovation is when it is grounded on sensitive cultural analysis of users' culture; however, it has been observed that designers have not yet been able to encode cultural phenomena to the same extent as cognitive and physical human factors. The study develops a theoretical framework of cultural analysis, comparing traditional with contemporary socio-cultural factors that can be applied to designing products. The content analysis method was used to extract and synthesise traditional and contemporary socio-cultural factors from Botswana's cultural sources. An experimental study was undertaken in Botswana to investigate how socio-cultural factors can be integrated in product design, and the participants' challenge was to transfer and apply these into product features that reflect Botswana's culture. This data was analysed using the qualitative method of textual and visual content analysis.

A culture-orientated design model has been proposed to assist designers to consciously integrate culture in their design practice. The framework demonstrates how to specify, analyse and integrate socio-cultural factors in the early stages of the design process by advancing local thought, content and solutions. It advances a new approach to design education, theory, research and practice. It emerged that culture can be used as a resource of information and a source of inspiration for product innovation that connects with users' traditions. The research findings show that culture-orientated products have meaningful content that reflects users' lifestyles as well as providing them with symbolic personal, social and cultural values, and that these aspects facilitate product acceptance.

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ID Code: 16353
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Popovic, Vesna, Hickling-Hudson, Anne, & Kumar, K
Keywords: culture, culture-orientated design model, emotional factors, human-centred design, material factors, novel design concepts, product acceptance, product design, product innovation, socio-cultural factors, social practices, technology/design factors, Botswana
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Past > Schools > School of Design
Department: Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Richie Moalosi
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 04:01
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 19:46

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