chapter  15
14 Pages

Designing identities in a globalised world

WithPenny Sparke

One of the bodies of theory that grew out of 1980s’ post-modernism focused on the idea of identities. The concept of ‘self’ developed within modernity, defined by a number of cultural categories and social organisations, among them age, gender, sexuality, religion, class, ethnicity, disability, education and nationality. One of the most powerful definers of people’s identities is the category of place, whether the locality, the nation or the global context. Globalisation has been described as ‘an intensification of worldwide social relations which link distant localities in such a way that local happenings are shaped by events occurring many miles away and vice’. Designing in a globalised marketplace involves product teams from one culture having to create products for another one. Many of the former member countries of the British Empire began to think about how they could revive their lost identities through design.