Do they have designs on us or for us? (or Beware of Greeks bearing gifts)

Jarman, Dik (2015) Do they have designs on us or for us? (or Beware of Greeks bearing gifts). In: Regional Urbanism in the Era of Globalisation, 3-5 Feb 2016, Huddersfield, UK. (Unpublished)

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In this paper I am proposing that for a regional project designed by foreign entities to be truly successful the understanding of the culture of the key stakeholders needs to be two way. Not only does the designer need to learn and understand the relevant regional aspects for which they are designing but the client and relevant stakeholders of that project need to understand the culture of those proposing the design for the necessary trust and understanding to facilitate an excellent outcome. This two-way understanding is key in maximising the International Transferability of Urban Design Skills.

To illustrate this I will using examples drawn from interviews from practitioners who work in foreign countries and personal experience as an Australian practicing Architecture in the Middle East, Japan and China where often participants can speak a common language fluently but all have a different culture of business that can trip up the efficacy of the design process leading potentially to poorer outcomes.

The misunderstanding of the local stakeholder of the cultural background of the foreign professional may not be the fault of the stakeholder. For example the ways in which Australian architecture is represented and promoted in Australia and abroad has failed to keep pace with the architectural reality of the main cities, with its architecture being largely portrayed in regional terms related to mythologies of landscape and a perceived national lifestyle. This misperception of Australia’s contemporary architectural expertise devalues the offer of design propositions in the international community from Australian companies.

Awareness of the two way necessity of cultural understanding will assist the manner in which practices offer their services to foreign communities by realising they need to be aware of their own culture’s image to others as well as the advantages of including an educative component about their origins to optimise understanding and communication.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Keywords: Australian, Regional, Cultural Understanding, International Practice
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Engineering > Department of Architecture and Built Environment
Depositing User: Jarman, Dik
Date Deposited: 01 Aug 2016 08:23
Last Modified: 04 May 2020 17:23

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