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Design for foreign cultures

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It’s something I have been facing for a while. Any suggestions on how I can work this out? Is it even possible?

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13 thoughts on “Design for foreign cultures

  1. Su says:

    Read, Watch, Participate and Absorb… the more you do, the more you will discover… everyday and infact everytime that you want to! That’s what I have been doing all this while… you only get better with time. However, you really can’t become one of them, so make that your vantage point! The trick is to make them “accept you” by doing it the way they are used to and but what actually makes them “love you” is because “you” added that dash of exotic nuance, which they couldn’t have.
    A friend here (unknowingly) explained it to me in a very simple way… she loves curries from India and often makes them at home. And we Indian friends actually loves the way she makes them because even though its our familar curry, its different that what we would make at home. Her’s is a special blend which only she can make, and the result is that everyone loves it! So, who cares whether you one one of the locals of foreign?

  2. unrelated to this post – i bought “the grumpy king” book for my son (who’s still too young – 8 months old, but i couldn’t wait and just got the book). your illustrations are amazing and i love the book. my baby really enjoys looking at the pictures and coos when i flip the pages and read out the story to him.

    thanks for the recommendation.

  3. let go of conditionings,open your mind,observe,taste,pick up the language(not that easy i know but it helps)be yourself,and enjoy the new culture,ask questions even if it makes you feel like a fool,experience.

    all this kinda helped me deal with a new culture,and the best part is that i now have two cultures.
    all the best.

  4. d says:

    go out on your way, explore the place, talk to people, make lots of friends, for sometime forget’ that’s what i wud not have done bakc home’…after you see your self adapting to their ways and habits, add a touch of your ‘indianess’ to it…the fusion will be awesome!!!….the ‘unexpected’ is always an attrction..

  5. ananya says:

    Indians are supposed to be naturally good at assimilating new cultures as we’re already used to living in the midst of many cultures (everyone has different mother tongues, different cuisine, north india vs. south india, a history of ‘foreign’ cultures integrated into us, etc.). That’s why people from around the world approach us to do cross-cultural studies. Plus you have the added advantage of an outsider’s view in to the inside (living in Sweden). So you already have an upper hand on this 🙂 And of course, open your eyes, open your mind, be a child, be taught things, be shown things, be insanely curious. For the last few months i’ve been having a wonderful time unraveling Filipinos and sometimes i feel i understand them better than they do themselves!!

  6. Thank you for the comments.
    I think I’ve made great progress in trying to assimilate whatever I can, and also it is probably different in different countries. I’m lucky to have some nice Swedish friends who usually explain things.
    However my problem here is very specific. It’s not so much about living here, as it is about how to design an interaction for an alien culture. I guess it’s not something I can learn overnight!

  7. D says:

    Just do ur normal thing..
    it wil be ur individual take on something foreign.
    you do have to design though..

  8. junuka says:

    hey….i guess there are always things common on the basis of which we bond(with people at large…)
    u will do it very uniquely..coz u wud be so curious and interested…design would be the biproduct!

  9. Sunanda and Ananya> wow! great POVs…makes a lot of sense. I have no idea of designing for a foreign context…am still struggling to understand design for the local context 🙂
    For me, I cant comprehend making films for a foreign audience ALL the time.(operative word being ‘ALL’) Certain one-off themes/stories i feel are pretty universal…but on the whole, without sharing a common cultural context/cliches/sense of humour?/sense of slapstick, to continuously come up with good relevant films which work…is pretty difficult…

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