Culture is an ongoing re-invention and interpretation of what is going on around us rather than just a re-evaluation of what things we like. It is an integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief and behavior that depends upon the capacity for symbolic thought and social learning. It is the set of shared attitudes, values, goals and practices that characterizes an institution, organization or group.
Culture is the starting point, the origin of creative direction. What comes after, at least in the physical world, is a material interpretation of the culture it springs from.
In fact, one might say culture is the DNA of civilization.

Design, as with all other creative forms of expression, is closely linked to the culture surrounding it.
It represents and translates every aspect in this world into understandable equivalents and  can be critical of or even build a culture around itself.
Design depends on culture, for without culture, design has no relevance. It communicates, without speech, the mentality and, hopefully, the philosophy of the designer. Without culture, design cannot exist. And without design, culture would be missing the material component that is deeply anchored within human nature.
It is this material component that gives the profession, or even art form, of “Design” a justification for existence. People want different things to differentiate themselves from their neighbors or friends, so as to build and exemplify their own unique existence and to be able to gather belongings that they could then add metaphysical values to. Designers cater to this need.
 At the same time, this differentiation can lead to connections between unique entities, groups, and cultures. An object has the power to ignite dialogue, bringing people together or setting them apart. Materials and objects can hold and set free a great deal of emotions when linked to a context, when given a relevance in their cultural surrounding. It is this context that designers should be seeking in their work to make their objects worthwhile.

But what happens if an object not only creates harmony, but is conceived and developed through a dialogue between two fundamentally different ideologies, such as two different cultures?

I will be focusing my thesis, in my own opinion, on what culture means for design, and how, in our modern age, cultures are connecting at an increasing rate. I am curious to see if the cultural relevance of an object can gain more depth if more than one mentality is involved in its development.

To be able to tackle any form analysis of how culture(s) impact design, I will elaborate on my personal definition of culture. I will examine the many ways which modern civilizations have found to come together and span geographically significant obstacles, such as distance, in essence shrinking the world down to a 13”-24” screen, keyboard and webcam.


The concept of culture is hard to define in such few words, for as much as it may be a tangible concept for anyone, there will never be two definitions that will be ever be the same. When given the task to define “Culture”, most will list descriptions fitting their own upbringing and status; however, as these are only parts of a bigger structure, culture, it can be argued, includes just about anything that defines us as humans.

“Culture is roughly anything we do and the monkeys don´t”
                                              Lord Raglan

I believe this demonstrates how culture can be seen as the result of a higher form of communal sentient thinking. While there are many different species that possess intricate societal structures on which their survival depends, none of them possess their own conscious culture.
For example, a group of gorillas will have an alpha male, the Silverback, leading as the dominant figure at the center of the troops attention. He will make all the decisions, mediating conflicts and determining the movements of the group. In short, he is responsible for the safety and well-being of the group.
He will be able to do all this on the basis of acquired knowledge; his instincts will have led him to situations he was able to learn from in the past, such as good feeding grounds, what regions to avoid due to territorial disputes, etc.
However, as far as we know, gorillas have no concept communal history, meaning they will not remember events as a group or develop an extended sense of taste that would translate to the concept of style as we humans have. As all erupting aggravations revolving around territorial behavior, such as food, mating rights, etc. are of primal nature, conflicts due to fundamentally different ideological outlooks on life do not appear between different groups of gorillas.

In a sense, culture has become as natural to human structure as breathing or life itself.
It just exists.

Culture is what is taught to us starting at birth, and consists only of external input until we mature enough to engage in personal inner dialogue. It consists of parts of a complete set of moral and ethical tools that teach rules, rituals, etiquette and attitudes. These form a consensus of generally accepted attributes - a code of conduct.
It cannot ever be fully unlearnt, yet it will be overwritten to an extent if the surrounding external input changes radically. In this case, however, any new external input will be subject to intense comparison against what has been learnt in its stead, keeping only the strong suits all the while discarding and belittling the weaker aspects.

It cannot be seen solely as a societal structure because it is the base of ideology, meaning that the consensus of knowledge that has been passed down for generations - be it of recorded or unrecorded nature - forms the general way we look at things within our group or society.
As an example, the ancient Greeks, from which the western world today claims intellectual heritage, had a great sense of personal agency, which means they saw themselves as being in control of their own lives and free to act as they chose. This belief, accompanied by a strong sense of individual identity, was the key foundation to the tradition of debate.

“A man was defined by his ability to debate equally as by his prowess as a warrior.”                                                                                                                    Nietzsche

The differences in personalities made effective rule-making possible, as even a commoner could challenge the king in debate and could sway any decision, as long as his logic on the subject was sound and superior to that of the king.
This, in turn, is the core of ideological democracy and philosophy - ideologies that the western world still sees as key ingredients of freedom which form the fundamental base of western culture.

Culture is a set of communal aspects that define us as humans, yet a single human can also be cultured if he shows enough of the qualities that are predetermined by society.
As designers, we try to interpret culture. We tend to start out at a point of what we know, as what is only tangible for us can really be the basis of any inception. We need culture as grounds for inspiration, and, at the same time, we create for culture as well. It is omnipresent in the process of development, as we can only assess the quality of the design via familiar reactions that we receive while talking about or sharing it.
An object can only be fully appreciated when it causes a stir in someone; it does not matter if the reaction is positive or negative - as long as there is a reaction.

As much as we need culture to feed off of, we also need it to interpret design. The visual quality, colors, and symbolism, all the aspects that make or break a project, are dependent on their cultural placement and understanding.
Culture provides us with the basic tools for interpretation with which we can form an understanding of what is around us. This is the preset under which humans connect metaphysical importance like opinion, feelings and memories to an object.
There are trained elephants, for example, that paint paintings with brushes on canvas. However, instead of expressing any personal agenda in these paintings, they seem only to interpret more or less what is around them and then put it on canvas. They do not seem step back and evaluate their own work, as they do not connect it to any value. Only humans are able to give the painting a value, because, for us, it is special in the sense that an elephant painted a painting.
We understand the process, but still add layers of culturally subjective interpretations of the intentions to the paintings without knowing if there were any intentions in the first place besides wanting a treat from the zoo keepers as a reward.

Interpreting art or design from one culture to another has similar effects. If we, for an example, examine an object from an Asian designer, it is western understanding contra eastern intention. We might be able to find the aesthetics pleasing and be able to interpret one or the other symbol correctly (if it is cliché enough), but all we are really doing is transferring our values on to the object and evaluating what applies. We look for ways to interpret what we experience visually with a set of values that are not fit for an interpretation, which more often leads to misunderstandings. The core intention behind the object might get distorted or even lost in translation.
Culture affects our interpretation, including our opinions on colors, symbols, shapes and functions, giving those elements a predetermined value. It is used as an indication index to determine if an object is interesting or not, aesthetically pleasing, etc and it is a preset for reaction.
As designers are dependent on this reaction for our process, it is important to analyze the target group over and over again during the development, as the reactions will differ from group to group and culture to culture. We learn to do this in design school, but the analysis usually sticks to stereotypes when it comes to foreign ways of life.
This fact influences our thought process heavily, as culture defines constants for everyday life that we try to cater to. For instance, take western culture. Western thought dictates that the best way to enjoy a dinner is seated at the table, preferably not alone but with family, in a surrounding where certain etiquette and manners apply.

The physical components of this depicted scene are: 
                    - Chairs with a predetermined height
                - a table with a predetermined size
                                           - Food that has been cooked and is served in dishes

The same scene for an instance in Japan entails a different set of components of which the physical parameters are changed. The table is considerably lower, there might or might not be seating objects that surround it and it is culturally fully acceptable to serve and eat ramen noodles in their plastic packaging in a family setting.

This demonstrates nicely what kind of gravity the context that culture provides has to design. When set in a context, an object can be understood easily. Take the context away and you are most likely to lose the concise intention of the designer.

For instance, Nendo, a group of Japanese designers with a very clean visual language, have a set of dispensers for salt, pepper and soy sauce (“Talking”) with a special opening to indicate what is inside. Note that “Talking” relies very heavily on a knowledge of the Japanese language. The openings are shaped according to the form the mouth makes when pronouncing the words for salt (“Shi-O”), pepper (“Ko-Sho”) and soy sauce (“Sho-Yu”).

For someone close to the culture this little inside joke will be understood, which gives the object cultural relevance. As outsiders looking in, we will always need someone, such as a cultural insider, to point out the otherwise obvious in order to understand the intention.

As objects are products of culture, people use them to define their role in a cultural setting.

The logical conclusion is that a good design should either:
- interpret a part of culture in a way that a foreign culture can see and evaluate the object almost in the same way as the one on which the design is based, changing the visual language of the object in a way that it would be more accessible to others and thus broadening the target group.
- have the designer make a conscious decision to create a visual statement that takes some time to read, but which in the end rewards the recipient with an “OH!” moment of understanding.


The necessity for sharing ideas and information has been around since the dawn of man, but by comparison only more recently made faster progress in terms of effectiveness. Communication in a documented form started with the creation of a unified set of symbols, today openly known as an alphabet, which opened the possibility to share thought not only locally, but rather over the distance of space and time.
Focusing on the “modern” forms of communication that are still around today, it is possible to understand exactly how ideas were spread in the past and how they are spread today, as spreading ideas in general and receiving feedback leads to possibilities – not only for design.

It used to be that people that met by chance and discovered that they shared common interests would stay in dialog via written letters sent via a postal service. Most of the aspects that define our - in this case western - modern way of thinking are based on ideas of thinkers and philosophers that stayed in a continuous discourse with others. As long as there was a common understanding between them, a sufficient perception or level of academic thinking, they would often use each other as sounding boards for their ideas in order to get to the core of a problem or thought – much in the same way that design profits from dialogue today.
The key to these discourses was that while the evaluation and coinciding response were formulated and sent by mail, the most time (in relationship to the topic) was spent waiting for a reply. This time spent waiting surely impacted the development of a thought structure, as without input the thinker had two possibilities:

1. He could refine his argument more and more by himself in order to have a adequate response for his counter-part, raising the quality of the discussion exponentially with every “turn”.
2. There was a constant state of over-thinking an aspect which easily result in stilted speech as well as   misunderstandings, as over-thinking something often leads to trouble while recreating the thought process, resulting in taking shortcuts.

The most celebrated examples of these kind of idea-sharing and forming (philosophical) discourses are surely the dialogues between Nietzsche, Schopenhauer and Wagner on a general ideology of life, as well as the discourse between Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels that ultimately built the foundation of Communism.

With technological advancement came newer forms of long-distance communication. In turn, first the telegraph and then the telephone were invented, broadening the possibilities of swift communication. The telegraph was the first modern way of communication that could cover long distances nearly instantaneous. However, it was basically just a glorified letter, as communication was only possible one way at a time, making it turn based, as well as sharing a number of other similarities to the concept of postal services.
The telephone was the first real method of effective two-way communication, where participants communicated between a greater distance from each other, making sharing information, as well as reacting to it, instantaneous.
The invention of the radio as well as television were two other significant advancements which brought the possibility of relaying information to a broad range of people simultaneously, being especially effective, for example, in propaganda, etc.
This development, seen from the perspective of communication, can be marked as one of the greatest technological achievements of modern times, as it was now possible to inform anyone, regardless of literacy or not. Although it is limited in its capacity for exchange (it’s a sender/receiver-only structure) and there is no real dialogue, radio and television filled the airwaves with contemporary relevant issues.  As it is a form of one way communication, the shared information could easily be controlled and distributed to the likings of the powers in question, strongly influencing if not even forming opinion for the masses.
In addition, both changed the way that we handle the topic of information fundamentally. Disregarding the quality of what is being shared, information became a sort of national pastime all over the world. We learn more through osmosis of information inactively - as it is now presented to us - than any earlier generation.

The most recent fundamental step in modern communication has been the commercialization of the internet. Connecting almost all cultures on the globe, the Net forms a cultural vector, streamlining the process in which we draw nearer to another culture by being able to learn about it in any way possible. Be it with pictures, movies, or even diving in the deep end and establishing contact with a stranger, the internet provides the possibility.

It converges all the conventional forms of communication. It involves being able to send letters, which are just received faster, as well as giving the ability for true two way communication in various forms via instant messaging and voice chat. It is possible to place an idea or a problem in an environment where it will be accepted and worked upon by people with the necessary know-how to help - even though they will be complete strangers and might not entirely understand the motivation behind the issue.
Unlike the radio or television, it is able to reach the masses which, on the internet, consist of individuals who all share equal opportunities to respond directly to the sender and take immediate action.
For example, Skype lets us talk to the world for free, and Facebook lets us tap into networks and resources that earlier generations for example did not have access to. It used to be about who you know that could help you along your way in the most effective manner, but now there is a  tendency revolving around what you know and how you advertise yourself. The most important aspect of the internet is that there are no borders to hold you back when searching for information or inspiration.
This signifies a major leap for cultural exchange. Going on a long trip to a significantly different culture was a major investment, financially as well as personally, until only less than a century ago. The journey had a purpose, as going on trips for recreation were rather seldom. There was no jet-set mentality; these voyages took time, giving the traveller the chance to immerse himself into a culture while staying at his destination for an extended amount of time and not just hopping back and forth on planes. Moreover, the voyage itself was so lengthy that there was a lot of time to process new influences. In the end, travel was a life-altering experience that, in comparison to today, only few were fortunate enough to have. Today, if we are equally invested as the traveller of the 19th century was, we only have to go online to find initial answers; the process has changed.

There are no borders anymore to hold back creative thought, if it was ever even possible. The difference is that it is now fully acceptable to contact and respond to complete strangers, as the internet acts as a sort of filtering shroud as much as it connects.
Many people are concerned when thinking about the internet, globalization and how all this new technology is shrinking the world. Scott Schuman (The Sartorialist, Blogger) sums up an adequate and beautiful response when questioning this fear:

“People say the world is shrinking and becoming more and more homogenized... Milan hasn´t changed, Paris hasn´t changed, New York hasn´t changed, so I don´t think it´s really homogenized anything but I do believe it´s given us a digital park bench.” Scott Schuman

What Schuman is suggesting is that it is becoming a lot easier and more convenient to look to others for inspiration or out of personal interest. The picture of someone sitting in a park and taking in the entire scene while people-watching and contemplating what they see all applies for the internet as well, only this time, it isn´t confined to the park; it can be multiple cities within seconds, thousands of different social backgrounds within a minute, or a beginning to cultural fascination within an hour. The whole world is open and at our fingertips.
Also, the image of a digital park bench fits along the lines of communicating with strangers, as people sitting on benches usually share the same motivation to be there - also fully applicable to the digital realm.

For designers this means that there is a major shift in the way we are able to perceive design. The concept of design nationalism, for example Dutch, German or Italian design, is disappearing slowly as these categories of visual communication have more or less come to a constant standstill. The internet provides the means for immediate, border-less feedback on blogs for conceptual propositions in their early stages, and the availability of an audience has grown tenfold when the platform is chosen carefully, making momentary quasi-stardom based on ideas alone completely within reach.
As we are bombarded by an increase of visual information on a daily basis, we are starting to learn to filter it automatically based on factors such as presentation. In turn, we, the designers, can learn a multitude of lessons by osmosis, the most obvious being the importance of a good presentation.
Also, this competitive mentality raises the bar for acceptable design immensely, for a concept can be virtually torn apart before it even reaches maturity.

This new freedom changes the way we tackle our workload. The first stop when researching anything has become the internet. There are databases filled with descriptions of materials, from technical nature to tactile experience. Wikipedia, the fastest growing encyclopedia in the world has become the first go-to knowledge base ever since the internet started taking precedence over other conventional communication. The opportunities to learn from have come to a point where not only do we have to decide how far and deep to look (i.e. quantity of information) but also spend a lot of time researching where to look in order to get as close as possible to the truth of the desired information (i.e. quality of information).
This fact, for many, poses a problem, as it creates difficulties in the way we process the difference between right and wrong information in recent times. We feel informed about everything, but the truth is that in most cases we only know, if at all, the very superficial aspects to a matter. The increased access to knowledge becomes an illusion if used scarcely or incorrectly:

“Against the backdrop of the evolution of media and its powerful gathering of news
material and data, all of the world’s happenings are trimmed like a lawn by a mower,
with fragments of information flying about from place to place through the media
as grass flies through the air. These broken pieces of information adhere to our tofu-
like brain like spices sprinkled so thickly that they obscure the entire surface. For a
moment, this makes us think we’re quite knowledgeable, but information tacked on
the surface of the brain doesn’t amount to much when you add it all together.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                   Kenya Hara

Obtaining information still requires quality research as the connections as well as backgrounds are only seldom subject to learning by “osmosis”. Digging skills, especially in the case of internet research, become a premium. The researcher must invest himself and dedicate not only time to the subject itself, but also to the quality of the information on hand, as he in most cases will be subjected to an overflow of information sources.
As designers we tend to reinvent the wheel far too often in our processes, as we will usually believe in an outcome and then, in turn, be shocked or surprised when something entirely different happens. I believe what Hara says is absolutely true, and we as designers need to try to free ourselves of the illusion that we know anything in detail, because at best we will have only learned how to use our curiosity as a driving force at the beginning of the creation process and only this state of mind can set in with experience.
The internet as a medium will, when used correctly, give a toe-hold answer to any question; however, as designers, the only thing we really need to know is how to embrace our curiosity which comes with inspiration. If we only always follow what we seem to know, we will not find nor push our own boundaries, thus never unfolding true originality.
This is also true when concerning the information on cultures and ideologies. We may have streamlined how to get access to different trains of thought on paper, but in the end there is no substitute for cultural immersion or even meaningful face-to-face conversation. As the latter may be bridged by video chat which at least enables the users to interpret facial expression as well as partial body language, deep understanding of a different culture can only happen when immersed in it for an extended amount of time.
If fully immersed, it becomes easier to decode the stereotypes piece by piece, as well as to understand the fact that the own culture has just as many stereotypes that it lives up to.

Even though projects like the new Google Art Project, which lets you wander museums the same way you can wander streets with StreetView online, create the feeling that at some point in the future we will not have to leave our home anymore to experience anything new, they will never be able to recreate the true and sincere feeling accompanied by a visit to the museum. Of course, they open the way for a number of great opportunities, such as being able to examine a piece of art without disturbance or zooming in to a level that even the normal eye could not accomplish without a lens; however, the feeling will always remain superficial.
In the end the internet only provides vectors: vantage points to opportunities that cross boundaries of cultural as well as geographical nature. If they are used responsibly and respectfully, it can result in a major advantage to the implied.
As designers, we have the chance of our own voice to literally tell the whole world of our ideas. The question is how we can rise above the rest of the voices in order to be heard.

A prominent example of how to use the new possibilities to create original content are the independent musicians of RIOT !N PARIS. Based out of Brooklyn, NY, they have built an international fan base only by the means of social networking and viral campaigns (their first music video, “The Attack of the 5ft. Hipster”). What makes them groundbreaking though is that they rely on the input of their fans in order to write their new songs, crowd-sourcing proposals in the form of appeals and contests on Facebook. The songs “An!mal House” and “P!nk Nike Hightops”  are example results of this process; RIOT !N PARIS possesses the musical know-how and provides it to the best idea. They form a musical interpretation of contemporary issues.
Another approach to this mentality is the fashion brand (service) Threadless: The brand, knowledgeable in all aspects of commercial clothing sales, offers illustrators or artists the chance to put their concepts up for vote. At the end of a cycle, the proposals with the most votes will be included in the new collection and the designer will be reimbursed accordingly: A synergy between two parties.
This is the core essence of what designing should be: A request/problem/aspect of life that needs a physical representation, or less abstract knowledge/information set into form. Just another form of communication and negotiation of request and offer of know-how.

Cross-cultural vs Intercultural design

Good design depends on the designers empathic abilities, as the designer must understand the needs and desires of the target group. Usually, we can rely on our cultural heritage to define a basic guiding structure, but this becomes increasingly difficult when we attempt to consider design issues in unfamiliar places.
Design is impacted by culture and, in our connected present, it is easier to gain access to information on foreign cultures. From this vantage point, it is easy to assume that a contemporary design piece does not only inherit aspects of the designers culture, but also traits of different cultures, adding to the cultural relevance (and thus how interesting it is) of the object.
With regards to this, it is very important to differentiate between two types of culturally connecting design processes:

adj. (Sociology) involving or bridging the differences between cultures

As the Collins English Dictionary suggests, cross-cultural revolves around the differences between two cultures.
Cross-cultural design is design that is impacted by other cultures. The designer is inspired or influenced by various cultural building blocks and researches them before interpreting them in an object. In many cases the aspects of the foreign culture are seen as categorical concepts by the designer: single elements that are easily detached from the rest of the culture and translated into the culture of the designers, often disregarding the context behind the cultural elements. In these cases, only cultural clichés and superficial aspects are examined instead of the complex intertwining concepts that form the culture.
This happens because the designer cannot take all cultural subtleties into full consideration since culture cannot be viewed and understood from the outside, but rather must be experienced through immersion - not merely researched.
Cross-cultural design is a designer's approach, estimation, or interpretation of a singular aspect of a foreign culture, not tailoring a solution to an acute problem but manipulating the problem in a way that a solution can be provided in a culture-spanning form of compromise.

The positive aspect of a generic solution is that it can be marketed much easier to a broader range of customers, but at the same time it fuels the fear of a globe-spanning unified non-culture (or melting pot) by finding one answer for all instead of bringing cultures together.
Cross-cultural design ensures usability and user experience across cultural boundaries, but at the price of losing or defaming cultural relevance, since it requires understanding of cultural differences and application of user-centered design methods which is too often not applied in the development phase.

adj. Of, relating to, involving, or representing different cultures: an intercultural marriage; intercultural exchange in the arts.

Intercultural design can be understood as design that represents and involves more than one culture. As in intercultural relationships, both sides affect the outcome to the same extent.
It is similar to cross-cultural design in the way that the result is a compromise of aspects of both cultures; however, instead of manufacturing a solution that all cultures can sort of relate to in one way or another, intercultural design means communicating own cultural knowledge to a design partner of a foreign culture. Unlike cross-cultural design, in which certain cultural aspects are merely translated and streamlined, intercultural design builds on the communication - as well as miscommunication - between two cultures, bringing forth a product from the shared overlapping space between the two cultures.
The process is the same as the conventional design process, just elaborated. A problem is examined and elaborated upon by two trains of thought instead of one. The results of the initial research is compared, and the similarities as well as the differences are molded into an object with a unique signature sharing traits from both cultures.
This interaction makes the object a sort of intersection between the two cultures, resulting in an object that is not about culture; it has a shared heritage.

“The term cross-cultural design has become popular lately. Nobody designs in a vacuum, and we rarely design for people in the same life situation as ours. These days, it’s almost effortless to talk to and work with people all over the world. This is a fantastic development, and I think it’s really helped broaden people’s horizons. As a designer, though, it means we now have an extra set of responsibilities. The term “cross-cultural” implies that designers remain in their home culture and survey others from afar, designing from a distance. This isn’t enough.
I think it’s important to engage in intercultural design instead, in terms of how we think about problems and then act upon them. “Intercultural” implies more immersion and personal engagement.” Smitha Prasadh

As Prasadh hints, the key element to intercultural design is immersion, but as immersion into a new culture takes up large quantities of time, it has been nearly impossible to accomplish in the past. However, with the internet and modern communication growing faster than ever, we now have tools to skip certain gaps in the process. Instead of immersing ourselves, we could communicate our ideas and concepts with a foreigner and evaluate the reaction; or, better yet, with social networking platforms such as Facebook or Xing, we could find interested parties to work alongside with. For example:

Designer A has a concept that he shares with Designer B with the least possible                     
Designer B is inspired by and elaborates on the concept from his own cultural vantage

This method has been tested in the “Pingpong Intercultural Design Exchange”, a project hosted by rotweisskariert. The project paired up Japanese and Swiss new-generation designers who worked in graphics, fashion, textile or product design who designed objects in the aforementioned two step process.
The project gave way to various results of an intercultural exchange that did not rely on verbal communication, as the design works were developed on the basis of the cultural works and crafts alone.
Taking into account the beautiful results that the PINGPONG project yielded, there are still questions left to ponder, such as to think in which way the products would have profited from direct dialogue between the partners. Even if it is nonverbal, true two-way interaction would have yielded different results. A consequent back and forth between the two partners until the point where both are satisfied with the result could lead to an entirely different cultural message.

In the past, design has always been directly linked to the national culture of the designer, and for obvious reasons. The designer never needed to stray too far from home, as he had everything he ever required for his profession within the boundaries of the country. Producers were national - if not also local - and clients tended to be content with the products as they seldom were privileged with more exotic impulses. “Made in Germany”, “Made in Britain”, etc. became quality labels that the population would trust in, for they essentially trusted only that which they knew.
The craftsmanship and skills of a country will always stay deeply associated with the culture it springs from, yet this aspect does not necessarily apply  to the field of design anymore. With nationalities and cultures becoming intertwined and mixed at an accelerating rate, as well as the new media contributing to the border-less aspect of cultural understanding, design nationalism is becoming less and less influential. Intercultural communication, as well as networking skills, are no longer a commodity to be sought after; rather, they are becoming more and more core-essential skills that are necessary for any designer to understand in order to get their visions across correctly.
As design is becoming increasingly associated with being a contemporary art style, the designer is progressively faced with newer challenges of designing for a base of clients whose interests are much more diverse than they used to be in the past.

Intercultural design can face these challenges of this quickly changing world to a much greater effect and with much more ease than past ideas coming from design nationalism, as the concept of national identities on which the concept of design nationalism is built on no longer applies.