Cultural Diversity and Design
Consumer perceptions of symbols vary from culture to culture, and so are the designers. Therefore, products designed by designers with different backgrounds and cultures will be diverse in visual languages. Even the same language has different accents, not to mention the distinctiveness of designs from designers with different backgrounds. The experience, cognition, perception and character of a designer will immerse into the design. The design will represent not just the designer but also the soil which cultivated the designer.
Culture is the products of humans' interaction with the time and space we lived in. It concluded human activities throughout the history which were gradually shaped into the state we are today. The encounter and exchange of different cultures make the context more intricate, more dynamic and richer. A multi-ethnic society like Taiwan nurtured diverse cultures. Deeply influenced by the traditional Chinese culture, island culture of the indigenous tribes, Japanese culture and the immigrant culture, Taiwan has formed a complex national character. Foreign cultures were digested, absorbed to transform into our own culture. For example, accents of the same language were initially formed only by geographical division, but the foreign (differ from the original language) language was merged to form a unique local dialect later on.
Cultural imperialism, human migration, globalization and digitalization create hybrid cultures. It narrows down the gap between different cultures by communication. However, design is to solve problems and to providing more choices. When we found the solution and options were too limited, we can look out for answers. By switching different point of view, we can see the light from different angles.
To some extent, all cultures are mimicries and hybrids of dominant cultures in the past. The solutions for the decreasing culture diversities due to the loss of tradition might not how to preserve dying cultures. Instead, designers should take in the culture of old and new, home and abroad to endue cultures with new values by design.
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