Kahn, Zakkiya

The ethics of tastemaking: towards responsible conspicuous consumption

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Product & Industrial Design

The systemic nature of cultural production implies that designed objects are made desirable (or acceptable) by tastemakers who endow objects with forms of social distinction. Social distinction highlights or diffuses status and reveals self-perceptions of consumers’ identities. In this way, design becomes a form of tastemaking, invested in the construction of identity and is therefore a form of cultural production rooted in consumption. The role of the designer in facilitating conspicuous consumption is therefore critical in the context of social distinction, cohesion and identity.

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