Culture sensitive contextmapping: Discovering the strengths of Eastern and Western participants

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Contextmapping - a set of generative design techniques, used by designers to understand the context of their intended users - has been used successfully over a decade with Western participants, both in practice as well as in design education. However, for East Asian participants, the techniques are found not well attuned to their cultural norms and values. For example, in comparison with Western
participants, many Asian participants tend to be more modest in expressing their feelings, which requires more supports in contextmapping sessions. In this explorative study we compared differences and commonalities regarding the understanding and application of contextmapping techniques among four groups: East Asian design students (from China and South Korea), an international group of design students (from Europe and America), and two groups of design students from the Netherlands,
where the techniques have been developed. In this paper we discuss their behaviour and reflect on four identified culture respective strengths useful for learning and using contextmapping: creativity, autonomy, sensitivity, and effort. Some of the techniques’ characteristics are found to fit better with either Western or East Asian cultures, and could be modified to better accommodate the participants’ cultural preferences.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 19th International Conference on Engineering and Production Design Education (E&PDE17)
EditorsArild Berg, Erik Bohemia, Lydon Buck, Tore Gulden, Ahmed Kovacevic, Nenad Pavel
Place of PublicationGlasgow, United Kingdom
PublisherThe Design Society, IED
Pages716-721
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)978-1-904670-84-1
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventE&PDE 2017 The 19th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education: Building Community: Design Education for a Sustainable Future - Oslo and Akershus University College, Oslo, Norway
Duration: 7 Sep 20178 Sep 2017
http://epde.info/epde2017/

Publication series

NameE&PDE
PublisherThe Design Society
NumberDS 88

Conference

ConferenceE&PDE 2017 The 19th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education
CountryNorway
CityOslo
Period7/09/178/09/17
Internet address

Keywords

  • Contextmapping
  • cultural differences
  • contextual user research
  • design education

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