A model for integrating culture-based issues in creative thinking and problem solving in design studios

Abimbola Asojo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Design like every other field is influenced by cultural forces. However, current design education is dominated by Eurocentric cultures and thus ignores non-Western cultures. The 2000 U.S. Census indicates ethnic minorities make up 24.9% of the population, representing a 1 3.5% and 12.4% increase from ethnic minority population statistics of 1960 and 1970 census respectively (U.S. Bureau of the Census). Likewise, design schools are also becoming more culturally diverse. This trend indicates an increasing need for studies that introduce diverse perspectives in design education. The question posed to the designer is how is cultural heritage reflected in design?. This report presents a model that applies inclusion, contribution, and transformational approaches to help students integrate culture-based issues into interior design projects. In the inclusion and contribution approaches, students are presented precedents from non-Western environments in order to determine the relationship of cultural elements to new building types and important issues that inform design. The transformational approach uses non-Western precedents as a basis for discussing design elements and principles, and exploring culture-based design. Studio projects using these approaches expose students and educators to culture-based design alternatives, thus raising their awareness and strengthening abilities to successfully design for non-Western cultures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-58
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Interior Design
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 2001


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