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Chiara Scanagatta, Research Fellow, Department of Architecture and Arts, Università Iuav di Venezia, Venezia, Italy

Methods of Increasing Intercultural Competence in Emerging Interior Designers: An Educational Intervention that Works View Digital Media

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Taneshia W. Albert,  Lindsay Tan,  Courtney Brown,  Mayuko Nakamura  

The noticeable shift in interior design practice towards understanding issues of emotional and cultural intelligence offers opportunities for educational programs to provide industry change by increasing the levels of emotional and cultural intelligence of emerging interior design practitioners. The use of intercultural competence (ICC) as part of critical professional training in many fields aligns to the aforementioned idea, as ICC seeks to understand how professionals functionalize their understandings of cultural differences into solutions that are appropriate for their end-users. The hypothesis is that it is possible to change students’ ICC through strategic course-level curriculum intervention. Based on this hypothesis, this paper reports the results of an academic intervention intended to increase interior design students’ intercultural competency. The intervention engaged students enrolled in an undergraduate, theory-based lecture course in learning experiences related to community spaces, social justice, global issues of design, and sustainability, intended to improve ICC levels. The research design utilized the proprietary Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) survey as a pre- and post-test instrument to measure ICC levels before and after the intervention. Results, utilizing a chi-square analysis of data, revealed a significant ICC change at the individual level. Specifically, data indicate the interventions 1) gave students a deeper understanding and insight of their culture and cultural norms; and 2) allowed for significant positive movement along the IDI continuum. The results indicate a positive relationship between course-level curriculum interventions and ICC levels, which supports the hypothesis that it is possible to change students’ ICC through strategic academic intervention.

Conscious Speculative Design Practice through Community Participation View Digital Media

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Hernani Alves,  Ana Margarida Ferreira,  Eduardo Gonçalves  

Speculative and Critical design has been framed as a design-led approach with an expert’s mindset. Following initial cultural probes work, design experts produce provocative outputs to generate debate between their audiences on what is a preferable outcome. But those provocations and implications are known for appealing more to sophisticated museums than to the communities they purpose to engage. What if we could create opportunities for a collaborative analysis of the probes and a co-design approach to these functional fictions? Would the outcomes be more effective and avoid common critiques of a WEIRD (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic) design practice? This paper sets an exploration of examples and methods of recent worldwide efforts to create more inclusive futures practices as a way to generate diverse and equitable design manifestations. Through that, a given community can feel empowered and identified, possibly increasing the discursive consequence and expanding the conversation beyond the community’s borders. The seminal examples of Speculative and Critical design tend to be dystopias, yet, recent participatory foresight and design futures practices frequently reflect a more optimistic vision of the co-designed futures. The futures tend to be protopias, not inherently good or bad, although they convey mixed views of what is desirable and what is not in the scenarios. Blurring the traditional boundaries of design expertise can be an approach to addressing complex challenges efficiently.

Design and Development of Graphic Healthcare Information Materials to Assist Health Communication among Semi-literate Rural Population of India View Digital Media

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Rohit Kumar,  Shatarupa Thakurta Roy  

Effective health communication design is one of the essential parameters for achieving better health objectives and eliminating public health disparities through the promotion and dissemination of health information. In developing countries like India, communication between health practitioners and patients is often difficult compared to developed countries due to socioeconomic, cultural, literacy and language differences. The problem of health communication is prominent among the population with low literacy levels. The likelihood of an individual understanding health information and making informed decisions is very low. Maternal health is one of the challenging issues around the World and in India. India accounts for about 33,800 maternal mortalities, one-fifth of the total maternal mortality across the world. Majorities of these mortalities are preventable and are reported from the rural region of India with poor economies and low literacy levels. Over the past decades, interventions in health and communication have been considering the use of graphic mediums, storytelling, testimonial, and educational entertainment to achieve better health outcomes for populations with low literacy. Health information in graphic-medium format has several advantages. Users can read and understand at their pace, images compliment the text and reduce reading fatigue, and individuals can mark and review material for future reference. This study aims to explore and develop a graphic-based design intervention to communicate maternal health to the semi-literate rural population of India. The evaluation phase of the study reports the assessment of readability, comprehension, and suitability qualities of the health guidebook (new design) for community health workers.

Capabilities for Circular Economy: Design Culture Experience as a Way to Develop Future Personal Capabilities View Digital Media

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Ruta Valusyte  

Transitioning from a linear to a circular economy requires extensive economic and societal changes. However, whereas environmental implications and impacts are extensively discussed, the social dimensions of the transition are far less considered. The transition towards a circular economy demands a radical mindset shift, integration of design thinking, systemic thinking, interdisciplinary knowledge, and the ability to collaborate among multiple ecosystem actors across various fields and (micro, meso, macro) scales. Design is recognized as an interdisciplinary agent and the engine of CE. Consequently, design-related capabilities (skills, competencies, and mindset) are crucial for the implementation of the circular economy. This paper investigates how experience in design culture can influence individuals from different disciplines (nondesign) to induce design-related capabilities labelled as Future Personal Capabilities, FPCs. Fifteen semi-structured interviews with non-designer participants of the experimental cultural project DesignLibrary Kaunas held in Lithuania were conducted to learn about their experience and its relation to the development of FPCs. The results show the existence of three experience characteristics that highlight the most significant influence on the development of FPCs among non-designers: (1) interaction with designers; (2) storytelling on design; (3) observation and discussion of design artefacts; (4) staying in design-intensive environments. This study contributes to constructing a holistic model for circular design.

Digital Media

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