Cross-Cultural Communication for International Urban Design Practice: Lessons from a Field Studio in China
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Economic realities are leading more and more Western and American Architect-Engineer-Consultant (AEC) firms to work in China. To be successful, these firms must not only be skilled in physical design, but also in cross-cultural communication. Similarly, Chinese domestic designers who work with Western and American designers must also have these skills. In this thesis, I consult existing literature, compare my own personal experiences, and report on interviews with international design practitioners to analyze the advantages and disadvantages of Western design firms working in China. I also describe a case study of a University of Washington international design field studio in which I participated in the summer of 2011, which provides a possible model for American and other Western design firms working in China. This thesis intends to promote awareness of the difficulties and importance of cross-cultural communication between designers from different cultures working on international urban design projects. It highlights some major pitfalls and hopefully provides some solutions for designers to use to become more successful in international design practice.
- Urban planning