The Importance of Cultural Exposure for Designers

Berger, JanetVega School



Design Education Strategy


  • cultural influence, curriculum


As South Africans, we have often taken a somewhat perverse pride in how complex our society is. It is with a macabre delight that we talk about our population of approximately 43 million people being made up of about 8 different cultural groups speaking 11 official languages and practicing many different religions. We have 1st and 3rd world infrastructures, incredibly diverse literacy levels and ethnic affiliations and we are in the process of re-inventing ourselves as a nation and a new democracy. How complex, how colourful, how diverse we pride ourselves in being.

What this paper is choosing to address is how inadequately this South African reality is engaged with within our design education curricula, to raise debate around why our courses are so ‘international’ and to offer suggestions as to why and how we need to address notions of multiculturalism in our course content.

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