Amsterdam, Netherlands

Arts and Culture: Design Cultures

Language: EnglishStudies in English
Subject area: arts
Time study: 1 year
University website:
Culture () is the social behavior and norms found in human societies. Culture is considered a central concept in anthropology, encompassing the range of phenomena that are transmitted through social learning in human societies. Some aspects of human behavior, social practices such as culture, expressive forms such as art, music, dance, ritual, religion, and technologies such as tool usage, cooking, shelter, and clothing are said to be cultural universals, found in all human societies. The concept of material culture covers the physical expressions of culture, such as technology, architecture and art, whereas the immaterial aspects of culture such as principles of social organization (including practices of political organization and social institutions), mythology, philosophy, literature (both written and oral), and science comprise the intangible cultural heritage of a society.
Design is the creation of a plan or convention for the construction of an object, system or measurable human interaction (as in architectural blueprints, engineering drawings, business processes, circuit diagrams, and sewing patterns). Design has different connotations in different fields (see design disciplines below). In some cases, the direct construction of an object (as in pottery, engineering, management, coding, and graphic design) is also considered to use design thinking.
Design is redesign.
Jan Michl (2002), in "On seeing design as redesign" (Scandinavian Journal of Design History 12, 2002: 7-23.)
Good design looks right. It is simple (clear and uncomplicated). Good design is also elegant, and does not look contrived. A map should be aesthetically pleasing, thought provoking, and communicative
Arthur H. Robinson (1953) Elements of Cartography p. 318
This is exactly the meaning of design: the conflict between form and content, form being the problem. [...] It is the coming together of form and content that is the realization of design.
Paul Rand (2008), Conversations with Students p. 32
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