Guidelines to Develop Product Forms From Two-Dimensional Cultural Cues

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Globalization is one of the most prominent characteristics of the 21st century. The world is becoming a tossed salad comprised of differing cultures, designs and art forms. However, this does not mean that unique cultures are fading away. On the contrary, cultural design sensitivity has enhanced and expanded market lines and product forms while competing on a unilateral scale with contrasting cultures. As the market demonstrates, products that stand out among their peers are those that incorporate the designers’ culture (i.e. Japanese products are sophisticated and delicate; German products are clean and geometric). Market longevity requires product personality. Products must be distinctly different from their competitors, as well as culturally connected to their consumers. This research was designed to study the sustainability of designs based on cultural perspectives. Chinese culture and Malay culture are the main focus of this study. Derived from the heritage of these two cultures, Chinese calligraphy was chosen to represent Chinese culture and Jawi script was chosen to represent Malay culture. The relationship between product form and the aesthetics of these calligraphies was studied. The main purpose of this research was to create a link between contemporary product form design and traditional calligraphies. The goal was to develop a universal approach by applying the two-dimensional cues from different cultures to product form design. In this paper, demonstration of guideline applications was provided and products were designed using different guidelines to arrive at varying designs. As a result, these guidelines may provide product designers with a sustainable approach to incorporating cultural elements into their designs and enhancing cultural connections with their consumers. Researchers argued that consumers prefer product designs that are consistent with their culture. An internet survey of consumer preference was conducted to validate this argument using the designs developed in the demonstration stage as stimuli.


Keywords: Product Design, Chinese Calligraphy, Jawi Script
Stream: Cultural Sustainability
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Yi Sheng Goh

PhD Student, Department of Consumer Affairs, Auburn University
Auburn, AL, USA

Yi Sheng Goh is currently a PhD student at the Auburn University Consumer Affairs Department. She was awarded a Master of Industrial Design by Auburn University in 2005 and a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design by National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan, in 2004. Yi Sheng’s research interests include branding, consumer behavior, and design sustainability.

Ref: S08P0200