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  • Approaching Chineseness:Investigating the cultural transfer of behavioural factors in and through Chinese industrial design

Yao, Wenjin, 2015, Thesis, Approaching Chineseness:Investigating the cultural transfer of behavioural factors in and through Chinese industrial design PhD thesis, Royal College of Art.

Abstract or Description:

This PhD research by project is for designers investigating relations between culture and design through an experiential perspective of Chi- nese culture in terms of developing a new understanding of ‘Chineseness’. ‘Chineseness’ in my work, can be re-mapped as a form of communication that deals with Chinese culture in design. It is not just along with historical stereotypes, nor a remote copy of other countries’ successful cultural trans- fers, but rather should be inseparable from the radical social phenomena and design culture already emerging within contemporary China. Through a series of design projects, my research is ultimately allowing Chineseness to be less implied and instead, to be made manifest, in terms of what behav- iours over symbolism and decoration.
New knowledge is articulated through exploring my understanding and its shifts during my approach to re-map Chinese cultural elements in design and search for the meaning of ‘Chineseness’. This research remarks the stereotypes, generalisations and categorisations when designers deal with cross-cultural design from both non-Chinese and Chinese angles.
The thesis comprises three parts. The first part is a contextual review of cultural elements and appropriate methods. The second part explores a systematic approach to reflecting Chineseness from various cultural an- gles. These action-research method-led projects describe three ways of ex- ploring the transfer of Chinese culture into design: symbolic, behavioural and political/philosophical. They culminate in an enabling developmental structure through which designers can deal with Chinese cultural com- plexity in design. The third part sees two final projects that reflect back and re-evaluate what Chineseness could be. The thesis contributes a three-layer structure that reflects Chinese cultural elements into design through meth- ods and analysis of values in practice. Additionally, for the readers sympa- thetic with a systematic design approach or cultural identitarianism, this work addresses a view of critical understanding for facing Chinese culture in design.

Qualification Name: PhD
Subjects: Other > Engineering > H900 Others in Engineering
Other > Social studies > L300 Sociology > L330 Ethnic studies
Creative Arts and Design > W200 Design studies
Creative Arts and Design > W200 Design studies > W280 Interactive and Electronic Design
Other > Education > X200 Research and Study Skills in Education > X210 Research skills
School or Centre: School of Design
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2015 10:54
Last Modified: 25 Jun 2015 10:54
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/1695

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