University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

A difficult road: designing a postcolonial car for Africa

Hazell, Paul (2016) A difficult road: designing a postcolonial car for Africa. In: The Routledge Companion to Design Studies. Routledge Handbooks Online . Routledge (Taylor & Francis), Abingdon, pp. 230-241. ISBN 9781138780507 (print) 9781315562087 (ebook) 9781317203292 (Adobe)

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In developed western markets the car has many characteristics beyond its utilitarian function. These relate to the values projected by a manufacturer’s branding, reputation, and heritage. However, for many markets in the world a car’s desirability remains dominated by its utility and reliability—both of these traits, one would think, are on the list of desirable attributes for a western car buyer also—but they are by no means the primary influence on purchase. Yet it is often vehicles designed for a western market, with very different value complexes centered on aspiration, fashion, and “life style”, which ultimately become the means of transport in the continent of Africa. Their suitability (or otherwise) in terms of utility, engineering, and economics reveals much about western-centric notions of design. Car owners in Europe may be unaware that their family hatchback or saloon may find its way to Africa in ten to fifteen years’ time, soldiering on in conditions for which it was never designed.

Item Type: Book Section
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Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: a difficult road, The Africar, The Uri, The Mobius, The Ox, center-periphery, post-colonial, car, Africa
Subjects: T Technology > T Technology (General)
T Technology > TL Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics
Divisions: College of Arts, Humanities and Education > School of Arts
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Paul Hazell
Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2020 09:45
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2020 17:14

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