Designers have to constantly remember who they are designing for.
While it might sound like a resounding DUH, people who are new to the practice might not be able to imagine how this plays out. The truth is, designers must be able to critically pinpoint unique cultural practicalities to ensure that their created spaces are indeed tailor-fit for the intended users. *nosebleed*
What I’m really trying to say is: there are many things people don’t notice about differences in cultures that make them very different to design for. Remember, we are all people and we all need much of the same thing (a place to sit, a place to eat). But that doesn’t mean design moves that work in the USA will be effective in the Philippines.
Allow me to state an example.
Right now, we need more Umbrella holders than Raincoat holders in Philippine spaces.
If you were to ask a doctor what his contribution to society is, his answer would probably be that his work heals the ailments of many. If you were to ask a businessman the same question, he might reply that his work allows the economy to thrive. A lawyer? His work allows justice to prevail and brings the Chief Justices to justice. How just.
What of the architect? It might seem difficult for most to answer this. Heck, even a number of architects probably don’t know what to say when faced with this question. After all, like other designers, the results of the architect’s labor are concrete and tangible, but the benefits to society are ironically not. I mean, some of those who know nothing of the design process would conclude that design is merely about making things pretty. Really, what does designing buildings and public spaces have to do with the development of a nation other than the obvious aesthetic implications?