A critique of design methodologies appropriate to private-sector activity in development
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This paper, by two founder members of The Cardiff Group, addresses the research problem of design methodologies appropriate to the development context; a key issue identified by the first Design and Development seminar in July 2001. The paper also moves the examination of the role of design in development into the wider intellectual territory of development studies, and presents and discusses findings from recent doctoral research within the Cardiff Group that examines evidence for appropriate models for design within private-sector activity in the field of development. The paper concludes that there is no significant published or circumstantial evidence of appropriate models for design in development from the activities of large, corporate and global enterprises, but that there is an emerging body of evidence of the use of appropriate methodologies in this field by small and medium-sized enterprises. Research findings are that: these enterprises are either led by, or include in prominent positions, design-educated individuals, whose approaches to design in this context are research-led, with an emphasis on the process of design; are participatory in nature, employing indigenous skills and knowledge, and supportive of local markets and cultures.
Development in Practice 15 (3&4), pp.451-462
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