What is Cultural Design?

The Center for Cultural Design (CCD) is a research group seeking to expand and enhance design-focused research that has merged in the Department of Science and Technology Studies, the School of Architecture, and elsewhere at Rensselaer during the past several years. Cross-disciplinary inquiry and teaching on campus have already produced a number of important steps, including the formation of the program in Product Design and Innovation. Now it is time to move ahead, organizing initiatives in research and graduate education aimed at developing the special combination of intellectual and practical interests that have evolved here.

Cultural design is analogous to environmental design in its potential for improving the relationship between technological change and the quality of life. Environmental design seeks not only improved impact on nature, but also making better use of natural materials and processes. Similarly, cultural design not only strives to make technologies more appropriate for their social context, but also to make better use of culture itself as a resource for innovation.

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