Cross-cultural collaboration for curriculum development of the first women-only industrial design program in Saudi Arabia

Carlos Montana-Hoyos, Elke Stracke, Karin Oerlemans, Lena Ahmed Darweesh

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This article presents a case study of cross-cultural collaboration. An Australian and a Saudi Arabian university collaboratively developed the curriculum for a bachelor of industrial design (ID) program at a women-only college of design in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). This article first describes the local context for which the curriculum was developed with a focus on how gender segregation shapes education and workplace in the KSA. Next, the literature review discusses cross-cultural aspects of design and contemporary ID education. We highlight the main results of a benchmarking exercise of current undergraduate ID curricula worldwide that we conducted before describing the planning process for the new curriculum at the local college. We then focus on the interpretation of the curriculum from an Australian to a Saudi Arabian context and discuss constraints and complexities in its development. The article also presents a reflection of the value of the cross-cultural collaborative process, our experience, and learning for both partners, and future collaboration and research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-22
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Design Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


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