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Popular Design and Cultural Identities - Emotional Exchange: Study Cases in Israel

Malka Ben-Peshat

This paper's premises are the interrelations between popular design and cultural identity acting through a strong emotional presence imbedded in popular design, toward satisfying the strong desire haunting the collective and the individual to psychologically and culturally identify through material and visual expressions. These premises are based on the seminal perspectives of a novel writer (Pamuk), a psychotherapist (Freud), a cultural critic- mythologue (Barthes) and notorious designers.

Based on these premises a twofold methodology is suggested for a better investigation of study cases: a semiotic analysis combined with examination of "relational existence" in other cultural expression such as, literature, popular songs, fine art, cinema, advertisements, cultural research, as well as conceptual design works. This methodology is implemented here on several study cases, all forming part of typical Israeli urban texture: the sun heated boilers on roofs, the lottery corporate identity, the cars stickers, the headlines on daily newspapers and the "oriental restaurant". The analysis is trying to show how these cases are associated with nostalgic and/or aggressive emotions through the impact of design characteristics and the filters of their "relational existence".
Also it addresses such questions as, who are responsible for that impact. What kind of agenda and whose interests this emotional presence and impact serves?