Cultures and Systems of Thought: a Preliminary Investigation on Implications for the Design Process and its Artifacts

Gul E. Okudan
Engineering Design Program, 213T Hammond Building, Penn State, University Park, PA 16802, USA
E-mail: gek3@engr.psu.edu

Henri Thevenot
General Electric Transportation, 2901 East Lake Road, Erie, PA 16531, USA

Yang Zhang
Psychology Department, 130 Moore Building, Penn State, University Park, PA 16802, USA

Mieke Schuurman
Assessment Specialist, 201H Hammond Building, Penn State, University Park, PA 16802, USA

Abstract:
This paper presents our preliminary exploration of differences in design thinking patterns due to cultural differences. While our ultimate goal is to seek empirical evidence for how culture impacts on the design process and design outcomes 􏰊the artifacts), in this study we focus on the attention paid to objects versus contexts by a group of Eastern and Western designers. Our work is informed by the recent findings in social psychology regarding the covariance of persisting social differences and cognitive processes.

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