||Using Symbolic Meanings to Design Cultural Products
||Department of Industrial Design
cultural product design methods
Taiwan’s tea culture
Recently, cultural products have raised tremendous interest in both the academic and industrial realms. The cultural product stresses meanings and emotional communication, which is different from the traditional function-oriented product. However, there is not an appropriate method for designers to elicit cultural meanings, and therefore they tend to fail embed proper meanings in the cultural products. In order to address this, this study adopts “Symbolic Interactionism” to develop a design tool which can be used to extract cultural elements and meanings to assist designers in designing cultural products that can reflect culture.
The study can be described in three primary phases. Firstly, it adopted the theoretical viewpoints of “Symbolic Interactionism” based on the “Onion Model” to develop the “Cultural Elements Hierarchy” which can be used to elicit the cultural elements and meanings. Secondly, this study conducted an experiment centered on Taiwan’s tea culture and its product design. Six tea culture experts were interviewed in older to extract the elements and meanings of Taiwan’s tea culture, and to generate a cultural product design tool suitable for Taiwan’s tea culture. A cultural product design activity was held and 19 designers were recruited to design cups representing Taiwan’s tea culture. The participants were randomly assigned into the experimental group (n=10; adopting the cultural product design tool) and the control group (n=9; not adopting the design tool). Thirdly, 128 consumers were recruited to evaluate the design concepts of the Taiwan’s tea culture products through a questionnaire approach in order to further examine the effect of using this cultural product design tool on the design of cultural products. This study found that the cultural product design tool can effectively assist designers in using various cultural elements and meanings to design cultural products. Furthermore, the results showed that adopting the cultural product design tool can significantly enhance originality and the spiritual value of cultural products. Accordingly, the cultural product design tool centered on the Cultural Elements Hierarchy developed in this study can effectively facilitate designers to generate cultural products with abundant creativity and cultural spirituality, which can promote the cultural value of the cultural products and revive traditional or local cultures which are getting disappeared.
TABLE OF CONTENTS vi
LIST OF TABLES ix
LIST OF FIGURES x
LIST OF SYMBOLS AND ABBREVIATIONS xi
CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION 1
1.1 Research Background and Motivation 1
1.1.1 The importance of the cultural product in the global market and culture 1
1.1.2 The current development of the cultural product design methodology in the academic realm 3
1.1.3 Adopting the theory of “Symbolic Interactionism” to develop an approach to eliciting cultural meanings 5
1.2 Research Purpose 6
1.3 Research Scope and Limitation 7
CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW 9
2.1 The definition and interpretive metamodel of culture 9
2.2 Cultural product 12
2.3 The existing cultural product design methodology 14
2.4 The users would better appreciate the meaning-oriented designs 16
2.5 Applying Symbolic Interactionism into the design 18
2.5.1 The definition of Symbolic Interactionism 18
2.5.2 The relative application of Symbolic Interactionism 20
CHAPTER 3 The cultural product design tool: the Cultural Elements Hierarchy 22
3.1 The interpretation of culture: development of the Cultural Elements Hierarchy 22
3.2 The development of cultural product design tool 27
CHAPTER 4 METHOD 29
4.1 The outline of the experiment 29
4.2 Study 1: the construction of the Cultural Elements Hierarchy for Taiwan’ Tea Culture 31
4.2.1 Participants 31
4.2.2 Instruments 31
4.2.3 Semi-structured interviews 31
4.2.4 Data analysis 32
4.3 Study 2: Taiwan’s tea culture product design activity 33
4.3.1 Participants 33
4.3.2 Instruments 33
4.3.3 Between-subjects design experiments 33
4.3.4 Tea Culture products design activity 34
4.3.5 Data analysis 36
4.4 Study 3: the evaluation of the Taiwan’s tea culture product design concept 37
4.4.1 Participants 37
4.4.2 Questionnaire design 37
4.4.3 Data analysis 40
CHAPTER 5 RESULTS 41
5.1 The result of study 1: the Cultural Elements Hierarchy for Taiwan’s tea culture 41
5.1.1 The Cultural Elements Hierarchy for Taiwan’s tea culture 41
5.1.2 The Taiwan’s tea culture product design tool 45
5.2 The result of study 2: the outcome of the Taiwan’s tea culture product design activity 48
5.2.1 The design elements used in the Taiwan’s tea culture product design concepts 55
5.3 The result of the study 3: the result of customers’ evaluation 59
CHAPTER 6 DISCUSSION 63
6.1 The effectiveness of cultural product design tool 63
6.1.1 The domain of extracting and using cultural elements and cultural meanings. 63
6.1.2 The domain of applying “Symbolic Interactionism” and “Onion Model” to develop the “Cultural Elements Hierarchy.” 72
6.2 Summary 74
CHAPTER 7 CONCLUSION 75
Appendix A The framework of tea culture expert interview 82
Appendix B The Chinese version of the questionnaire of tea culture product design concepts evaluation 84
Appendix C The Chinese version of Taiwan’s tea culture product design tool 88
Appendix D The Chinese version of twenty ideas selected by participants in the experimental groups 89
Appendix E The Chinese version of eighteen ideas selected by participants in the control groups 94
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