Q: What are some cultural considerations people make when designing products?
The designers should ensure that the design is not offensive to anybody especially the intended consumers. The language and the symbols should also be ensured that they have the right meaning in other cultures because things can be very different in different society. In the process of making this Chinese lantern, we checked in with our Chinese teachers to make sure the language and symbols we were using are appropriate.
Q: How does the design of a product communicate traditions and values?
Design can communicate traditions and values through words and symbols. In this project, I wanted to pass on the message of good luck so I wrote 万事如意 which have the the meaning of “May all your wishes come true”; and I drew a tiger in the middle which symbolizes power, and bravery but also lucks and peace in Chinese culture.
Q: Are handmade products an effective way of minimizing environmental impact?
Handmade products are neater and it means a lot more when it comes gift giving. But in terms of environmental impacts, no it’s not the best solution because in large companies, they could minimize their waste by reusing a lot of the left over materials; but when you are doing a handmade product, you have to buy everything and often you are only going to use it once which is wasteful.