Designers from United States, Taiwan and South Korea develop hanbok inspired apparel: a cultural comparison of design elements Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/n296x1789

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  • The purpose of this study was to determine differences in the way a designer designs because of his or her cultural background. For example, would a designer from the US design with the same components of design in mind as someone from another country? The objective was not to explore the exact characteristics or components of design that are different in each country, but to state differences in the way designers design depending on their cultural background. A cross cultural study was conducted of undergraduate, advanced apparel design students from Oregon State University in the United States (with 16 students), Mokpo University in South Korea (with 20 students) and Fu Jen Catholic University in Taiwan (with 28 students). After providing a power point presentation, which explained the traditional design and use of the Korean hanbok as well as a brief description on Korean female celebrities, students in each country were asked to illustrate a hanbok- influenced dress that could be worn by a Korean female celebrity who might wear it to show her own interest in the hanbok along with design inspiration statements. The collected illustrations were evaluated through content analysis of the silhouette and proportion such as the waist length, neckline, sleeve, skirt length, shirt fullness of the illustrated garments from each of the countries. This was done by the researcher‟s observation of the explicit qualities seen on the dress with guidance from the bullet- pointed design inspiration statements. A second content analysis was conducted on the design elements of the hanbok shown in the design element slides during the lecture, including the dongjeong, goreum, barae, geumbak and colors, which are the different parts that make up the hanbok. The data were then translated into descriptive statistics in the form of frequency counts and percentages. These counts were used to determine if designers of each cultural group shared noticeable, common preferences for design characteristics. An analysis of the design styles and elements of these three groups revealed that there were differences in the ways designers design because of their cultural background. Differences were evident in the illustrations of the different cultural groups although it was not possible to draw conclusions on the reasons behind these differences. As a designer, it is important to know who the target market is and know the exact qualities preferred by this group, not what the designer thinks this group wants or needs. From this study it is apparent that the cultural background of the designer plays a crucial role in designing for products of that particular culture. It would be preferable for companies marketing and launching products in other countries to use designers of that particular culture. There appears to be an ingrained set of mind and history behind the designer of a certain culture that affect preference for design characteristics.
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