Konigk, Raymond

The ethics of tastemaking: towards responsible conspicuous consumption

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Discipline: 

Product & Industrial Design

The systemic nature of cultural production implies that designed objects are made desirable (or acceptable) by tastemakers who endow objects with forms of social distinction. Social distinction highlights or diffuses status and reveals self-perceptions of consumers’ identities. In this way, design becomes a form of tastemaking, invested in the construction of identity and is therefore a form of cultural production rooted in consumption. The role of the designer in facilitating conspicuous consumption is therefore critical in the context of social distinction, cohesion and identity.

Interior design’s occupational closure: an ethical opportunity

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Discipline: 

Interior & Furniture Design

In March 2015 the South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP) announced its intention to register new professional categories for interior designers. This will provide statutory recognition for the professional status of the interior design occupation and it will allow interior design occupational closure, a state where both the practice and title of the occupation will be regulated.

To reach this milestone interior design’s practical and scholarly endeavour was focussed on the professionalisation of the discipline;  a lacuna was produced in which the discipline did not adequately consider a separate identity for interior design. The pursuit of a stronger discrete identity could provide a stronger professional identity (Breytenbach, 2012).

Determining selection criteria for the compilation of an interior design corpus

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Discipline: 

Interior & Furniture Design

The paper considers culture as a collection of meanings which are produced and consumed by a given social group. Thus, the generation of meaning would be analogous to the generation of culture. In the investigation of architectural (built) artefacts it is unusual to identify a representative sample; instead research focus is on the in-­depth precedent study. The purpose of this paper is to identify selection criteria for such a broad corpus of interior design artefacts (which may be studied from a semiotic perspective) as grounded theory requires a large and broad data sample. This is a novel application.

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