Interior design's 100%: engaging the cultural capital of the 'Other'

Konigk, Raymund (2014) Interior design's 100%: engaging the cultural capital of the 'Other'. In: Design with the other 90%: Changing the world by design, 22-24 Sept 2014, Johannesburg, South Africa.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Paper)
Item Status:Live Archive


Design for the other 90%: Changing the World by Design is a tacit criticism of praxis: it implies that design is not adequately fulfilling its social responsibility and introduces a call for improvement. This indicates that design is produced for the (privileged) few; design is implicated as the self; the (underprivileged) many is constructed as ‘Other’; and that design have different ethical standards for the ‘Other’. This is a hegemonic attitude which supports design’s privileged position. The contributing role of interior design in the establishment of cultural identities, and how this is relevant to sustainable social enhancement, is considered. From a pragmatic perspective the position is taken that culture is strategically important for human development and that interior design is a cultural activity which provides the tangible vehicles for the expression of intangible cultural practices. Within this context I address the sub-theme ‘respect and responsibility’. In an attempt to design for diversity the creation and maintenance of culture is considered holistically. I consider the notion of curating cultures which acts by creating narratives into which curated cultures are inserted. Id est, cultural production may be based on the selection and synthesis of cultural codes of the ‘Other’. Globalisation affords greater opportunities for cultural exchange, but may threaten cultural diversity if imbalances between cultural expressions are not considered. Further, globalisation threatens our intangible cultural heritage. I am concerned about the possibility of a one-way decoding where the ‘Other’ is decoded and translated into a global lingua franca generating easily swappable pockets of virtual meaning. It is reflected how interior design services the few; what its relationship to the ‘Other 90%’ should be; and whether there should be an ‘other 90%’ at all. If it is accepted that as a cultural practice interior design is a method of communication then it must be assumed that the designed interior offers possibilities to express respect and responsibility in the engagement with the shared 100% of humanity.

Keywords:cultural exchange, cultural diversity, interior design, the Other
Subjects:W Creative Arts and Design > W250 Interior Design
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Architecture & Design > School of Architecture & Design (Design)
ID Code:24047
Deposited On:09 Sep 2016 15:21

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