Product Analysis in Relation to the Socio-cultural Perspective of Botswana

Moalosi, Richie, Popovic, Vesna, Lall Kumar, Krishan, & Hickling-Hudson, Anne R. (2005) Product Analysis in Relation to the Socio-cultural Perspective of Botswana. In International Conference on Design Education: Tradition and Modernity, 2 - 4 March 2005, National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, India.

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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.

Impact and interest:

3 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 2739
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: culture, socio, cultural variables, design, Botswana
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > DESIGN PRACTICE AND MANAGEMENT (120300)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 29 Nov 2005 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 12:28

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