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Title: A reflective approach to the attitudes of Hong Kong design firms towards environmentally-friendly design using Fry's organizational identity and image
Authors: Ng, Pui-yee Purrie
Degree: Ph.D.
Issue Date: 2003
Abstract: Various theories of environmentally-friendly design and sustainability have been developed in the past few decades. However, controversies have arisen because of the great differences in their ideologies and implications. Among the radical theorists, Fry has aimed at establishing a new design foundation by joining ecological and economic imperatives together as 'industrial culture'. "Without reflective thinking, there is no improvement against unsustainability." His core concept has centred upon 'Caring'. It can be expressed through design as it represents the 'materialized ethic', which needs active communication through organizational identity and image. The problem statement of the thesis is to verify and explain whether Fry's thinking can be applied to Hong Kong situation. In order to put the thesis into focus, Hong Kong design firms are used as case study. Furthermore, among different design services, hotel design has been chosen because of the conspicuous consumption patterns of hotel industry. The contribution of the thesis is to explore the extent to which Fry's thinking can be adapted to a more effective and wider-ranging implementation in Hong Kong is significant to this study. Two approaches are used in the thesis. Firstly, it starts out with the exploratory and explanatory approach of how to apply Fry's thinking into local practice. Secondly, it continues with the descriptive approach of getting data and explanatory approach of how to apply Fry's thinking into local practice. Secondly, it continues with the descriptive approach of getting data from the current conditions and probing new directions for improvement in the present -and the future. These questions are answered using both secondary sources (through literature review) and primary sources (using questionnaires, interviews and existing comparative case studies). The triangulation of data (using the double paradigm of quantitative and qualitative analysis) is used in the thesis for internal validity and reliability.
This study attempts to bridge the environmentally-friendly design gap, in both theoretical and practical aspects, by using several key research problems: (1) How can Fry's thinking be verified, expanded and developed, and how can it be localized to the Hong Kong context? (2) How can organizational identity and image improve the effectiveness of environmentally-friendly design? (3) What experiences and involvement (in terms of values, management and images) do Hong Kong design firms have in environmentally-friendly design? (4) What new directions are appropriate for environmentally-friendly hotel design in Hong Kong? After analysis and interpretation of survey findings, a new theory of an integrated design identity and image will emerge as a possible means to improve and transform current Hong Kong hotel design. The research findings indicate that: 1.Evidence is found that supports the incorporation of Fry's thinking to the current Hong Kong situation. Environmentally-friendly design in Hong Kong is seen to be what Fry calls the 'initial' stage, then proceeds to the 'transitional' stage towards 'Sustainments' (see Fig. 6.4). 2.Key results and causal relationships are found (see Fig. 6.2 and 6.3): 2.1 Effective communication is the key to the transformation of organisational identity into image. A series of inter-relationships are drawn: the stronger the identity values, the more identity measures will be implemented; the stronger the identity values and measures implemented, the more impactful will be the organizational image. The more actively the organization image communicates to the society, the more effective will be the environmentally-friendly design. 2.2 Degrees of acceptance and change to environmentally-friendly design will take time; effectiveness and successful results will be influential but have a cumulative effect over time. 3.Most of the design firms involved in the research study agreed that environmentally-friendly design was important, and they expressed dissatisfaction with existing hotel design practices. However, findings indicated that most of them had low involvement so far. The internal validity and reliability of the study is shown in the fact that the interviewees from the focus group and design firms expressed their difficulties in promoting and practising environmentally-friendly design in the existing Hong Kong situation. This leaves much room for improvement. Thus, much lip-service is given in Hong Kong to environmentally-friendly design, but the practice lags far behind, (see details in Ch. 4 and 5). 4.Most of the design firms agreed that both systematic and dynamic changes was required to promote environmentally-friendly design in the present and future situation in Hong Kong. The research findings support the thesis that the three key research elements- values, organizational identity and images- are expressed through corporate and product identity to improve the effectiveness of environmentally-friendly design in Hong Kong. New directions, proposed strategies and methods in design and hotel design are suggested, (see details in Ch. 6 - Discussion and Implications).
Subjects: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Design services -- China -- Hong Kong
Industrial design -- Environmental aspects
Pages: xii, 235 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
Appears in Collections:Thesis

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