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Lost in Translation: Teaching Product Design Across Cultural and Language Boundaries in China and the United Kingdom

Lambert, Ian; Firth, Richard


Ian Lambert


This paper will explore strategies for transcending cultural and language barriers by two British design tutors when teaching in design studios at a Chinese university. Ian Lambert and Richard Firth, both based at Edinburgh
Napier University in Scotland, have been visiting tutors at the Zhengzhou University of Light Industry (ZZULI) in China for three years and have recently been exploring the use of entirely visual design briefs.

The pedagogical differences between Chinese and British design education are widely known and the nuances of
British design pedagogy, and even the most blatant differences, are often lost through the translation of verbal

Pedagogic design communities in China and the UK are keen to share ideas on design education and innovation
in industry. While such cross cultural design exchanges seem to focus on the export of western design and
innovation philosophies, approaches to Chinese design education have also been imported back to the UK with
positive results.

The paper will draw upon hands on experience and primary field research, including the experience of British
design students on exchange in the China.

Conference Name Cumulus Conference (38 degrees) 2009
Start Date Nov 12, 2009
End Date Nov 14, 2009
Publication Date Nov 14, 2009
Deposit Date Jun 1, 2015
Publicly Available Date Jun 1, 2015
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Design; Transnational Eduction; International
Public URL
Contract Date Jun 1, 2015


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