Integration of culture within Botswana product design

Moalosi, Richie, Popovic, Vesna, Hickling-Hudson, Anne R., & Kumar, Krishan L. (2005) Integration of culture within Botswana product design. In 2005 International Design Congress, 1-4 Nov, National Yunlin University of Science and Technology- Yunlin,Taiwan.


This paper investigates how culture can be integrated into designing products within Botswana’s context. The concept of culture and design compliment each other and one is inconceivable without the other. Therefore, design does not take place in isolation but it is embedded in users’ culture. Designers need to be mindful of the interdependence between culture and design because it might enable them to improve their concepts in responding appropriately to users’ needs, wants and desires. However, it has been observed that there is little in-depth research on this topic.

In order to explore the relationship between culture and design, an experimental approach was adopted. The experiment was conducted with design students of the University of Botswana. This experiment involved analysing and identifying socio-cultural factors from Botswana’s folktales and other sources that impact upon design. The challenge for participants was to transfer and apply the identified socio-cultural factors into product design features which have relevance to the local context. The socio-cultural factors were broadly divided into two broad groups that is, traditional and contemporary. The data comprised of visual and textual data. This data was then analysed using the qualitative content analysis methodology.

The paper concludes by discussing a proposed socio-cultural design model developed from the results which might assist designers to integrate culture by ‘conscious design effort’ rather than by ‘accident or incidently’ in product design. This is ultimately expected to lead to more innovative, culturally sensitive and user-friendly products. Keywords: Product design, Culture, Socio-cultural factors, Socio-cultural design model, Botswana

Impact and interest:

Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

1,547 since deposited on 21 Nov 2005
91 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 2678
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Product design, Culture, Socio, cultural factors, Socio, cultural design model, Botswana
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > DESIGN PRACTICE AND MANAGEMENT (120300)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > DESIGN PRACTICE AND MANAGEMENT (120300) > Design Practice and Management not elsewhere classified (120399)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > DESIGN PRACTICE AND MANAGEMENT (120300) > Design Innovation (120302)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 21 Nov 2005 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:16

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page