Design Education for Local Development

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Pernille Askerud
Barbara Adler


In the western part of the world, the concept of design is increasingly perceived as a central means of how we organize the world and imbue it with (cultural) meaning, rather than a quality attached to material objects. In this article we are interested in what concept of design is implied in typical design training activities in different cultural contexts (Morocco, India, Thailand, Mexico, and Singapore).

Inspired by the questions that have arisen in connection with project experience and research done by the authors in many countries, this survey outlines approaches and efforts to establish design competence with a particular paradigm to the fostering of sustainable economic and cultural development in local communities. Having worked with development projects involving various aspects of design, we have chosen to study projects with clear design goals as examples of how diverse the interpretation of the concept of design can be.  

These observations may stimulate an awareness of the important impact of notions of design in terms of innovation and cultural diversity and may even give rise to more research into these issues.

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