Teaching Residential Design Based on a Multicultural Education Ideology

By Read, Marilyn A.; Owens, Nancy J. | Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences, Summer 2011 | Go to article overview

Teaching Residential Design Based on a Multicultural Education Ideology


Read, Marilyn A., Owens, Nancy J., Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences


This experiential teaching method demonstrates students' enhanced understanding of the influences that cross-cultural perspectives have on the interior design of the home and is achieved through research and application of elements of assimilation and acculturation in the United States. Knowledge of human factors, family dynamics, geographic influences, religiosity, and spirituality gave students foundational understanding that guided their comprehensive designs. The final interior residential environments reflected the traditions, rituals, and meaning, demonstrating students' deeper knowledge and interpretation of cultural context and its impact on the design of the residents' home. Students discussed their learning experiences during a juried group critique of their project work.

Higher education is experiencing a transformational process regarding the approach educators take to incorporate multicultural education in curricula (Banks, 2007; Beacham, MacDonald, Yoo, & McFaIl, 2009; Nickols et al., 2009; Schmitz, 1992; Sleeter & Grant, 1994). Issues concerned with diversity and multiculturalism are addressed in teaching methods in most college and university classrooms (Banks, 2007) in order for students to obtain currency and relevancy of course content, which will help lead to successful occupational outcomes in the 21st century. Concomitan tly, design education is focusing on multicultural education as an important curricular perspective (Asojo, 2001; Rubin, 1998). Not surprisingly, interior designers in the United States serve a clientele that represents the changing demographics of the population. Therefore, interior design educators are challenged to adapt the curriculum, which previously had focused on Western European design (Sohoni, 2009) to one that emphasizes cross-cultural perspectives in design. To enable students to be competitive design practitioners in a multicultural society, design work must demonstrate their ability to translate the cultural meanings, traditions, symbols, and rituals into a design context (Gieryn, 2000).

Interior designers who are educated from a multicultural perspective have an opportunity to provide valuable design services to clients who are assimilated and acculturated in the U. S. (Sohoni, 2009). The processes of assimilation and acculturation are challenging because the two concepts may be viewed as somewhat oppositional in meaning. The essence of assimilation means giving up unique cultural values and traditions to blend in with the larger community. Acculturation can be described as a cultural group of individuals whose values and traditions have been altered by the influence of other cultures, yet are distinctly characteristic of that cultural group. Interior design clients usually wish to reflect their personal cultural values and meaning in the design of their home environments, however, professional interior designers seldom have the education or experience to integrate cultural understanding into their design, particularly of clients with a crosscultural perspective and background.

This article describes a teaching approach that adapted an existing multicultural framework (Banks, 2002) to a design framework by integrating concepts used in residential design with four broad cultural groups: (a) African, (b) Asian, (c) Latin American, and (d) Native American. The threads that weave these broad cultures together are the significance of nature and spirituality in the daily lives of individuals from these cultures (Andersen, 1977; Bourdier & Minh-Ha, 1996; Nabokov & Easton, 1989; Waterson, 1997). Nature and spirituality are two themes that are identified and discussed throughout the literature on design inspiration.

Nature and Spirituality

Nature and spirituality are two cornerstones of Christopher Alexander's exploration of the meaning of space in The Timeless Way of Building (1979). In addition, he highlights the key roles family dynamics and human factors play in the design of the interior environment in terms of layout and material application (Alexander, 1979). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Teaching Residential Design Based on a Multicultural Education Ideology
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.