cultural influence

Academics are trying to rid South Africa’s universities of the procedures, values, norms, practices, thinking, beliefs and choices that mark anything non-European and not white as inferior. Professor of English Language Teaching and Literacy Development, Rhodes University discusses the issue.

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Beauty (Lie)s In The Eye Of The Beholder

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Photography, Film & Multimedia

This paper explores the relationship between Indian aesthetics, ethics and performance art by engaging  in  the  process,  the  cultural  influences  and  application  of  aesthetic  judgments  on performance artists.  A predominantly western aesthetic judgment is applied to artworks created and the application of an alternative as rasa aesthetics in terms of ethics will be discussed.

The ethics of tastemaking: towards responsible conspicuous consumption

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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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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).

Mr Paterson's rounded testimony: ethics, intersubjectivity and the interview

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Design Education Research

As the interview as a method of data gathering has gained in popularity in the disciplines of art and design, templates of consent letters are generated in their hundreds, and the absence of a duly signed document  —  in  a  research  output  using  humans  as  a  source  of  data  —  usually  renders  the undertaking unethical and invalid. However, in the rush to protect the institution and its agents against litigation, it is perhaps forgotten that the signing of the obligatory letter is only a first, technical, step in a personal encounter between individuals.

Ethics in design and issues of social class: reflecting on the learning unit: Design and the Construction of Class Distinction

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Product & Industrial Design

The second year Design Studies learning unit “Design and the Construction of Class Distinction” (BA Communication Design, Industrial Design, University of Johannesburg) introduces students to definitions of social class in terms of capitalism (Olin-Wright 2008, Goldthorpe 1980, Crompton 1998, 2003) as well as to Bourdieusian concepts of habitus, field and capital (Bourdieu 1989; Weininger 2005, Bennett, et al 2010; Jenkins 2003; Grenfell 2003).

Supporting a community through design: Melville Johannesburg

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Media & Communications Design

In 2012 the Melville Community Development Organisation (MCDO) approached the Department of Strategic Communications at the University of Johannesburg for a collaboration between the University and the Melville community, with the support of the Melville Residence Association (MRA). These Melville institutions requested groups of Honours students to research and propose a solution for the urban degeneration within the area, as perceived by its businesses, tourists and residents.

The Myth of Unified Global Culture: transcoding national cultures within website interfaces

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Software, UX & Game Design

This paper probes two areas relating to transcoding culture in a website interface development context. Firstly, culture is interrogated through the lens of current anthropological models of dimensions (traits/tendencies) of national culture. Secondly, transcoding anthropological models of dimensions of national culture into culturally adaptive website interfaces through the graphic design process.

Praxis of Design Education to the current Digital Culture Student

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Design Education Strategy

If “Design is shaped by the community and community shapes design” (DEFSA 2013 brief author), then how do we teach design to a culture that is engrossed within the ever-­changing information age, what is the impact of this ethos on the current day designer and design?

Interactions: shaping the places we inhabit

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Graphic Design & Visual Art

A.W. Sprin’s definition of landscape as a process of the “mutual shaping of people and places” implies that the inhabitants of any space are implicated in, but also susceptible to, the shaping of their surroundings. This paper examines such interactions by theorising landscape as embodied, individuated experience of place in relation to representations of landscape. The Vaal Metropolitan area is reflected on in terms of the researcher’s experience of place, where experience of place refers to the consideration of direct (multi-­‐sensory) perception, memories and prior knowledge as well as imaginings of place. This understanding of experience of place is based on a combination of theories of place from the writings of Edward Casey, J.B.

Determining selection criteria for the compilation of an interior design corpus

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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.

Visual literacy in community communication: pretesting nutrition education materials for elderly caregivers in Boipatong

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Media & Communications Design

The paper deals with issues and concerns relating to the process of pre-­‐testing visual  illustrations used in educational material in a community communication setting.

The first part of the paper discusses  how selected aspects of nutrition education materials meant for elderly care givers in Boipatong  were pre-­‐tested using questionnaires (n=55) and focus group discussions in order to establish the  target group’s views and opinions about different types of visual illustration approaches. The  information was subsequently used to guide the production of a visually illustrated nutrition  education booklet, which was distributed free of charge in the community as part of a nutrition  education intervention.

Understanding cultural identity and visual communication in the appropriation of iconic photojournal

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Photography, Film & Multimedia

Modern society experiences the world predominantly through their eyes and the recognition of vision‘s unique power has led to the development of many new forms of visual communication. Photojournalism is a relatively 'young' form of visual communication; however, photojournalists appreciate that a single iconic image may convey a common understanding of an entire event. It is the aim of the paper to review how the appropriation of an iconic image may suggest original associations, particularly within a South African context.

The social dimension of studio space: face-to-face and beyond - exploring online learner experience

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Architecture & Built Environment

There is wide acceptance that the studio stands central to architectural design education (Bakarman, 2003, 2005; Kuhn 2001; Forsyth., Zehner and McDermott 2007). It is a social environment (Gross, 1997; Chen and You 2010:152) which is characterised by communication, critique and collaboration. The studio is a physical place that facilitates pedagogy that supports community-centred instruction. It utilizes the theories of apprenticeship, social constructivism, socio-cultural theory of learning, collaborative learning, situated learning in communities of practice and enculturation.

Synergy between fashion design education and fashion districts

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Fashion, Jewellery & Textile Design

Cities, and their inner-cities, are in constant flux. One of the reasons for this is the need to address the social and economic conditions which have resulted from the decline in manufacturing and consequent increased levels of unemployment. Regeneration is a means of addressing this problem. It requires a creative and integrated approach and necessitates developing the cultural and economic foci and resources of the city. Furthermore, regeneration also requires collaboration with various stakeholders including higher education institutions (HEIs).

Enhancing Learner Performance in Design Education for Disadvantaged Students

Cultural Action for Change: A case for cross-cultural, multidisciplinary collaborations

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Media & Communications Design

Cultural Action for Change began in 2000 as a joining of artists, educators, and student-researchers to assess sustainability and address the impact of HIV within Phumani Paper; a government-funded poverty alleviation program, establishing hand papermaking and craft enterprises across South Africa. Inspired by ideals of empowerment and self-determination, a series of qualitative, Participatory Action Research (PAR) interventions for HIV awareness and action were introduced at six Phumani papermaking workshop sites. Student researchers and participants, with the collaboration of academics from the University of Michigan, were trained in Photovoice methodology to document with photographs and personal narrative the participants‘ struggles for economic independence.

Making Space For Identity, Diversity And Voice In A Transcultural Visual Arts Community Of Practice

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Graphic Design & Visual Art

There is national and institutional pressure to transform education, to revisit curriculums and approaches to teaching and learning and to address issues around dominant worldviews, inclusiveness and diversity. Visual arts lecturer practitioners, like other academics, are being challenged to respond.

We know that the students entering our programmes, in all their growing diversity, provide new challenges, bringing with them as they do different and often complex social, cultural and familial identities, some of which they leave, wittingly or unwittingly, willingly or unwillingly, at the door, as they look to conform to the expectations of the disciplinary communities.

From the Grave to the Cradle: The Eco-Design Case for the Re-Evaluation of Hemp

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Fashion, Jewellery & Textile Design

This paper argues that the story of hemp is one of mistaken identity and focuses on the potential of hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) in a social and economic context and how it can help to develop with modern technology into ‘new’ materials on a national level with reference to examples from abroad.

Designing in Person – Locally and Globally

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Architecture & Built Environment

Professional undergraduate degree programs in built environment disciplines prepare students to become practicing architects, interior and landscape architects, industrial designers, planners and construction managers. However, students are rarely exposed to projects in their coursework or in work experience that challenge them beyond the theoretical, and adequately assist them in developing empathy for the needs of disadvantaged or marginalised groups in our society. Design students generally work on briefs provided by their studio leaders, and within discipline-specific groups of their educations programs.

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