Artifacts have culturally rooted significance that are currently challenged by the collective global commodity culture. Recently, initiatives have been taken by countries to revive such cultural coded artifact as part of the local commodity culture. Um Khamas, is a local doll in the Arabian Gulf region that is digitally designed by means of the most recent design technology with a cultural edge. Originally an animated cartoon character, this artifact is locally franchised along with global artefacts such as Barbie and Bratz dolls.
Visual cultural codes reflected in Um Khamas’s traditional attire, mannerisms of speech and body language have been largely popular with the younger generation in the Gulf region. When such acceptance of hybrid products exists designers should acknowledge the importance of cultural divergence in artifact designs. When consumer products mirror regional and local lifestyles of social groups they tend to preserve local history and heritage, withstanding the ongoing larger global village perspective. This research seeks to disclose the role of visual and cultural codes in consumer artifacts in the Gulf region stressing on how Preserving ones cultural identity in artifacts encourages originality in a field where mass culture rules.
|Keywords:||Cultural Codes, Visual Culture, Artifacts, Local Identity|
PhD Researcher, School of Art and Design, Dammam University, KSA, Loughborough
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