Design Culture: Objects and Approaches

Editors: Guy Julier, Mads Nygaard Folkmann, Niels Peter Skou, Hans-Christian Jensen,Anders V. Munch

Design culture foregrounds the relationships between the domains of design practice, design production and everyday life. Unlike design history and design studies, it is primarily concerned with contemporary design objects and the networks between the multiple actors engaged in their shaping, functioning and reproduction. It acknowledges the rise of design as both a key component and a key challenge of the modern world.

Featuring an impressive range of international case studies, Design Culture interrogates what this emergent discipline is, its methodologies, its scope and its relationships with other fields of study. The volume’s interdisciplinary approach brings fresh thinking to this fast-evolving field of study.

Table of contents

Introducing Design Culture  

Section 1: Developing Design Culture

Design Culturing: Making Design History Matter
Kjetil Fallan

Taste and Attunement: Design Culture as World Making
Ben Highmore

Embedding Design in the Organisational Culture: Challenges and Perspectives
Alessandro Deserti and Francesca Rizzo

Use in Design Culture
Toke Riis Ebbesen

Section 2: Addressing Market and Society

A Brand for Everyone
Sara Kristoffersson 

Buying into the Future: A Case Study of a Danish Brand of Fashionable Children’s Clothing

Trine Brun Petersen

The Glowing Black of fritz-kola. Aestheticisation in Design Culture

Mads Nygaard Folkmann

Section 3: Positioning Design Professions
Design Culture in the Sex Toy Industry: a new phenomenon
Judith Glover

Working from Home: Fashioning the Professional Designer in Britain
Leah Armstrong

On the Professional and Everyday Design of Graphic Artifacts
Sarah Owens

The Fixing I: Repair as Prefigurative Politics
Gabriele Oropallo

Section 4: Locating Design Culture

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed: Relocating Kähler’s brand heritage
Niels Peter Skou

Performing Turkish Design in Products, Collections and Exhibitions: Expanding the Archive, Seeking Depth
Harun Kaygan

A Theoretical Straddle: Design Culture between National Structures and Transnational Networks
Joana Ozorio de Almeida Meroz and Katarina Serulus

The Challenges and Opportunities of introducing Design Culture in Jordan
Danah Abdulla

Epilogue: Design Culture as Practice


“This stimulating introduction to the approaches and ideas which inform design culture should do much to promote new ways of thinking about both design and culture, and the dialectic between them.” –  Pat Kirkham, Professor Emerita at the Bard Graduate Center, USA and Professor of Design History at Kingston University, UK

Design Culture is an essential contribution to the field of design studies. It addresses the ubiquity of the term ‘design’ from a cross sectional perspective, while introducing a precise, conceptual and methodological focus.” –  Claudia Mareis, Professor of Design Studies at the Academy of Art and Design, Basel, Switzerland

“A stimulating, must-read overview of the interdisciplinary debates around Design Culture as a discipline and object of study for all those interested in the phenomenon of Design.” –  Mónica Farkas, Professor of Visual Communication Design at the Universidad de la República, Uruguay

Design Culture manages to break through the noise, providing an enlightening view of design as a dominating feature of everyday life. From the influence of Turkish paper doilies to the rise of the global sex toy industry, it gives a multi-layered account of seemingly insignificant designs. Filled as it is with impressive philosophical insights and amusing historical connections, Design Culture offers much to ponder. Indeed, designers, historians as well as many non-specialists will find this book both enriching and enjoyable.” –  Elizabeth Guffey, Professor of Art and Design History at the State University of New York at Purchase, USA

“Designers often claim they seek to “improve or maintain the habitability of the world of their fellow citizen”. Design Culture may well be the appropriate theoretical framework I am longing for to better understand and explain what “habitability” is about.” –  Alain Findeli, Professor of Industrial Design at the University of Montreal, Canada