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- Le circuit de la culture et le designer nouvel intermédiaire culturel ou technicien? (The circuit of culture and the new cultural intermediary designer or technician?)
- Melles, Gavin
- For more than a decade a group of British sociologists at the Open University, concerned with highlighting the discourses and practices that underpin the production and consumption of objets, have proposed a theoretical model entitled the Circuit of Culture. In this model the processes of representation, identity, production and consumption and regulation are both points of reference and semiotic sources. The practices, representations and values, whether linguistic, material or visual, which are created during the objet’s passage through this cycle mutually reinforce each other through articulations which link together multiple elements in the circuit. In addition to articulations created by specific social and material circumstances, the intervention of «cultural intermediaries» helps favor the mobilisation of meanings and values which often privilege the Market and existing social distinctions. Following Bourdieu, it has become customary to label the designer, as well as marketing personal and other agents directly involved in the production and consumption of the symbolic values of objects, as intermediaries. The Circuit of Culture combined with an analysis focusing on this cultural mediation has already been applied successfully to the analysis of different technological objets, such as the Sony Walkman, Napster software, and the Mobile Phone. While recognising that the Circuit of Culture and cultural mediation allow us to illuminate the semiology of objects, one can ask if the cultural mediation for the designer is nothing more than the routine translation of Market values and existing social distinctions. Could it not be transformed into a more active mediation ? Do we excessively limit the capacity of the consumer to resist the values and practices inscribed in designed objets ?
- Publication type
- Journal article
- Research centre
- Swinburne University of Technology. Faculty of Design
- MEI: Médiation et Information, no. 30 (Apr 2010)
- Publication year
- University of Paris VIII
- French and English
- Publisher URL
- Copyright © 2010.