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Designing local cultures evolution and socialization within the global knowledge

This paper has been presented Cumulus Conference 2010 “Young Creators for Better City and Better Life”, Shanghai, Tongji University, China, September 2010 conference website

Designing local cultures evolution and
socialization within the global knowledge

get the full text proceeding | by Francesca Valsecchi, Eleonora Lupo


The search for “locality” tends to be an obsession in contemporary design: “being local” is considered a synonymous of high identity, authenticity, sustainability and quality, and therefore, deliberately pursued through a design process

that points at re-contextualising a local cultural knowledge in the global dimension. Nevertheless, sometimes the reference is only to a dislocated image of the original place; this is a crucial point in the relation between the local and global dimensions of design.
This is only a design perspective from the point of view of a global design taking advantages from local practices.
This paper aims to discuss the opposite design perspective, if and how local knowledge, and its tangible aspects, can benefit from relating to the global dimension in a sustainable way.
Our thesis bases on the fact that since cultural practices are the result of social relations, they increase their sense the more they are recognized and incorporated in the collective conscience of a community, “practiced” in their “use value”. In this sense the global dimension could promote
and activate negotiation processes in which local cultures necessarily undergo to processes of “translation”, “transformation”, “evolution”, in other world: innovation. To make those processes sustainable and to make local knowledge benefit from facing the global challenge, knowledge
ownership, control and impact factors need to be taken in account.
Our hypothesis is that ICT technology can enable and empower such as socialisation and translation processes, supporting the “coding” and sharing of local cultures. The paper will
provide some examples to support the theoretical reflection.

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