Paul Roelen

Socio-Cultural Sensitivity

This course has been a broad introduction into the field of socio cultural aspects within the field of design. I have been introduced in to the role of ethics, sustainability, history and interculturality. On each of those 4 topics I have dedicated 2 weeks. In those 2 weeks I have worked on an assignment each time. The first week was repeatedly a more theoretical one and a practical exploration of the topic was dealt with it in the second week.

The first assignment was in the topic of History. We all had to hand in an object and we didn’t know for what reason, my own object can be found in the download section. Later we had to make an exhibition with all the objects that  were collected. The exhibition had to contain a ‘red line’ or main theme. Inspired by Marcel Duchamp’s readymades, we took all the products out of their normal context and function and put them into a different context with a different function.

History of arts important in the understanding of the exhibition. Because with an eye on mass-culture we decided to paint all the products in a bright industrial colour red. These products were placed  in a kitchen environment. The place in the kitchen together with the newly assigned names should reveal the function of it.

Additional information and the names of the products are included in the download section.

The second assignment was covering the topic of sustainability. We had to make a sustainable Ajax fan chair using an old recycled bucket seat from the Amsterdam Arena. A requirement was that the chair should have emotional value to a fan.

We made the chair as seen underneath. For the whole story take a look at the ‘Story behind the chair’ download.

The third assignment was about interculturality. We had to conduct an interview about a habit or special object with a person that had another culture than the Dutch/western culture. In our video Maxim tells about the Russian Santa Claus, Ded Moroz and his companion Snegurochka, the Snow Maiden. The video can be found below.

In the last assignment we covered ethics. We had to think of a intervention in people’s normal life’s. Therefore we have thought of a printed arrow with the text ‘Go your own way’. We observed people and the reactions were quite diverse. From no or almost no reaction to ‘Go your own way? Hahaha that is something an arrow should say.’

Some people followed the arrows and others resisted themselves intentionally.


Exhibition own object

Folder of the exhibition

Story behind the chair



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