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What is culture?
There are many definitions.
What could be a good definition from the perspective of design?
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what isn't culture?
Seriously. When I first moved to San Diego I was complaining about the lack of culture compared to San Francisco. A friend of mine said it depends on your point of view. Sure there are less art shows, museums, stuff like that. But there is the beach, and there is beach culture. there is skateboarding and the skateboarding culture that goes with it. There is car culture... so, really everything is culture. The questions depends on what lens you are using to view it through.
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Everything exists in a socio-cultural environment, and while society relates more to a top-down organization of human life, you can say that culture relates to how human life develops organically in a bottom-up way.
Simply defined 'the ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a particular people or society', you can simplify it further to 'how people do things, and why'.
As a designer you can study culture very directly through observations, but also come to understand deeper layers of human behavior, what are the underlying human relationships, thought processes, beliefs and values of the people you design for. In modern Western societies, the term 'pressure cooker' signifies a new way of working with high efficiency and people from multiple cultures and disciplines working together. In some communist regimes, it is a cooking device people use because it is recommended by their leader because of its efficiency. It hangs together with a common way of doing things - culture.