Detours by Design

Dissertation, Royal College of Art


This is the transcript for Detours by Design, a podcast on the globalization of design written for my dissertation at the Royal College of Art. It explores design from a non-Western, non-Caucasian perspespective. Interviewing designers from around the world and researchers who are experts on this topic, I attempt to dissect the culture, economics, and politics that drive design globally.

  • Research
  • Podcast Production


4 Months



  • Charles Hayes, IDEO
  • Professor Ashley Hall
  • Dr. Yunah Lee
  • Professor Mugendi M’Rithaa
  • Bosco

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Podcast (episode 2 only)

The dissertation is broken down into four episodes of the podcast:

1 Pasts Presents Futures

The first episode gives an overview of the topic of globalization of design. Includes interviews with Professors Ashley Hall and Dr. Yunah Lee, both of whom have studied the topic extensively. It sets the stage for the rest of the episodes, which go in depth into different countries and individual perspectives.

2 From Copycat to Mighty Tiger

Episode 2 analyzses design in China. In an interview with Charles Hayes, partner of IDEO Shanghai, against a historical backdrop of the country's economic development over the past 20 years, we explore how the design industry has developed first as a copycat of western counterparts to become a beast of its own.

3 From Africa to Afrika

Episode 3 goes to Africa to explore the growth of design as an industry. In an interview wtih Professor Mugendi M’Rithaa, we explore the growth of design in different industries and different parts of the continent, especially as technology brings on new opportunities.

4 From Our America to Theirs

This episode returns to the West, but through the vantage point of minorities in America. In an interview with Bosco, an emerging musical talent as well as owner of her own marketing agency, we discover how subcultures provide alternative perspectives to design in an already established industry.