how is globalisation shaping/impacting/degrading design?

are we becoming more homogenised through the integration of cultures, or are we achieving a more diverse world through design?


quite an intersting topic. before making the switch to ID, i studied international politics so the topic of globalisation is one that i have pondered many times

i read an article in the may issue of Wallpaper covering just this topic of homogonised design. i went on to say that once it was quite easy to distinguish a Swedish design from an American or Japanese but now it seems to just flow together.

Of course with globalisation we are facing a loss of cultural identification but it also helps us to break down predjudices and ignorance. With respect to the design world, I feel that a new system of design identification is emerging and we will see more individualism and so amazing cross-cultural ideas. We have a much bigger palette to work with now and the possibilities are endless.

Is globalization causing homogenization ? Interesting question.

It is only recently that there is significant interest and discussion in the design community about design issues - primarily in the emerging markets, which happen to have a historically different design directions, which are being rapidly abandoned in favor of globalization and modernization.

In this period of rapid replication, designs is becoming increasingly boring and contribution to design by famous designers increasingly marginal – compared to the post war world in which social political and cultural aspirations were significantly different. Diverse designs sprung out of diversity of thought giving birth to powerful design movements and truly creative design.

The explosion of market opportunities and technological possibilities seemed to be creating a false diversity and creativity in design appreciated mainly by the media. Globalization seems to be causing the replication of aspirations more rapildy than abzorbing global influences into its main stream.

Compare contemporary Music and Design, you will see the difference in its inspirational base.

people in a global setting are becoming more skilled in picking up trends although they might be seeking a different answer or solution to the same problem.

but there’re more realities out there than globalisation alone. i’m certain that there’re some designers more concerned with other issues involved with design than just thinking of a way to appeal to a broader audience.

the success of any product is also a time related factor. the concept of time in a global framework might be very different. sub-global cultures have developed exclusivity, independent values, and other significant/insignificant attributes which as a whole filter any new concept through any abstract time. so there’s an initial concept, then it is warped into another shape, then it comes out again.

the cycle’s output is very speculative in contrast with input therefore requires another type; of corporeal time (non-abstract) which should be immediate and indifferent if it’s truly functioning as global.

the problem arises when human beings can’t distiguish between the two due to lack of support on epistemology, or leads on cultural breakdowns(anthropology).

It takes a lot of money to be diverse.

I challenge the idea that we are more diverse now than ten years ago. To really produce a diverse product, one that is different that its competitors, the item must be more than a different CAD shape.

Today the marketplace is " miles wide and inches deep" —Getting wider not deeper.

It is not the fault of ID, but the pull of the market.

" miles wide and inches deep" - so very true.

Design seems to be increasingly about the mindless swimming in this inch deep pool - something that will be soon done better by computers.

wow, i´m surprised at the responses. i suppose being quite young has to do with my opinion on globalisation not having really known a wolrd without it. i guess i just look at the good i see in it without really being able to make an accurate comparison to a time when things were more traditional, or perhaps deeper…

its good to see other opinions like this, it really helps you open up a bit

thankyou for your responses.

i think design has become more homogenised, and trend based (aesthetically), and needs to return to the non-market driven responsivenss to design. the L’amour (nokia) phone is a pure example of the terrible decline of ID. i realise we cant all make iPods (i think they have been really well designed, functionally) but we shouldn’t respond when marketers think up an art-nouveau phone…

gripe over… :slight_smile: