University of Pretoria

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.

Green Screen: The Actor’s Challenge

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Discipline: 

Photography, Film & Multimedia

The design options in the contemporary computerised era, lead to the digitised manipulation of proposed reality. Green screen is a technique used within film/television and permits compositing and manipulation of the proposed reality. This allows the filmmaker and the virtual designers to substitute the green screen area with whatever designed ‘environment’ the filmmaker desires.

Design Thinking – Crossing Disciplinary Borders

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Discipline: 

Design Education Research

Design thinking, a well known topic of discussion in the design discourse, offers exciting innovative possibilities when applied in other disciplines. This paper explores the potential of design thinking in the seemingly disparate discipline of Operations Research/Management Science (OR/MS). OR/MS develops mathematical models for analysis based on quantitative logic as an answer to management or other real life problems. Design shares this concern with trying to improve current situations but approaches these problems differently, using ‘designerly ways of thinking’.

Design management education: the intersection between design and business

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Discipline: 

Media & Communications Design

Students from various disciplines have been exposed to design thinking and praxis over the last decade at the University of Pretoria. Students from publishing, journalism, marketing, management, communication, multimedia (engineering) and a variety of other disciplines enrolled for design modules at under- and postgraduate levels. Learning is extended to include collaborative projects between design students and students from other disciplines.

Developing a theoretical framework for understanding the communicative value of typographic elements

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Discipline: 

Media & Communications Design

It is accepted that design is moving away from static, two-dimensional outputs to multiple hybrid media which play out in four dimensions. This shift away from design as an art of composition to one of choreography “involves understanding how the conventions of typography and the dynamics between words and images change with the introduction of time, motion, and sound”(Pullman in Heller 1998:109).

Time-based media enable words to move as if living, thereby extending the expressiveness of traditional typographic language. The communicative value of time and motion as powerful and persuasive design elements must be explored and understood in order for designers to create meaningful four-dimensional design products.

Buchanan’s Matrix: A Framework for Strategic Alliance between design and business management

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Discipline: 

Media & Communications Design

The relationship between design and business management becomes critical when contexts change and new problems emerge. Some new problems in the design industry are a redefinition of disciplinary boundaries, new technologies and shifts in business thinking and client expectations. Design educators need to understand current demands and anticipate the future requirements of design clients when devising courses and content. This requires conceptual flexibility and continued scenario planning.

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