Lost in Translation: An Exploration of Professional Values in Cross-cultural Design Practice

Liu, Lian
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University of Guelph

Globalization has drawn Canadian design firms to projects in many parts of the world and cross-cultural design projects are now a significant part of landscape architecture practice. However, currently there are few studies that discuss the issues and challenges associated with these projects. Through exploring the relationship between professional values and the design process, this research intended to identify issues and provide resolutions associated with cross-cultural design projects. A literature review and interviews of experienced design professionals show that professional values affect the design process. In a cross-cultural design project, different value systems from multiple cultures interact and influence each other, creating issues and challenges, but also inspiring new design ideas. The research suggests that understanding values and the professional value system could help landscape architects identify issues and improve both the processes and the products of cross-cultural design projects.

cross-cultural, value system, landscape architecture, professional value, project management