Research for Cultural DNA in Design

  • John S. Gero
Part of the KAIST Research Series book series (KAISTRS)


This position paper commences with a brief overview of where the cultural DNA may lie in the enterprise of designing. It puts forward the concept that cultural DNA is not a unitary concept and needs to be treated multi-dimensionally deriving from multiple sources. The paper outlines research that supports cultural DNA research in design.



The research reported in this paper has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, Grant Nos. CMMI-1400466, SBE-0915482 and CNS-0745390 and by the National Aeronautics and Space Agency, Grant No. UAH SUB2012-038.


  1. 1.
    Ding, L., & Gero, J. S. (2001). The emergence of the representation of style in design. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, 28(5), 707–731.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Gero, J. S., & Kannengiesser, U. (2012). Representational affordances in design, with examples from analogy making and optimization. Research in Engineering Design, 23, 235–249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Gero, J. S., & Thomas, R. (2012). Modeling change in design values and evaluations of teams as they interact, Report to NASA, Award No. UAH SUB2012-038.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Kelly, N. (2011). Constructive interpretation in design thinking. Ph.D. Thesis, The University of Sydney, Sydney.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Kelly, N., & Gero, J. S. (2014). Interpretation in design: Modelling how the situation changes during design activity. Research in Engineering Design, 25(2), 109–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Maier, J. R., & Fadel, G. M. (2009). Affordance based design: A relational theory for design. Research in Engineering Design, 20(1), 13–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Peng, W., & Gero, J. S. (2009). A design interaction tool that adapts, VDM Verlag.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Peng, W., & Gero, J. S. (2013) Situated concept formation from interactions: An implementable constructive memory model, In Advances in Cognitive System Conference (pp. 1–17), Atlanta, Georgia.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Piper, A. M., & Hollan, J. D. (2009). Tabletop displays for small group study: Affordances of paper and digital materials. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 1227–1236). ACM.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Schnier, T., & Gero, J. S. (1996). Learning genetic representations as alternative to hand-coded shape grammars. In J. S. Gero & F. Sudweeks (Eds.), Artificial Intelligence in Design’96 (pp. 39–57). Dordrecht: Kluwer.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Schon, D. A. (1973). Beyond the stable state: Public and private learning in a changing society, Norton.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Stiny, G., & Mitchell, W. J. (1978). The Palladian grammar. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, 5(1), 5–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Thomas, R., & Gero, J. S. (2015). Moving targets: How consumers change value systems through interaction with designed products and other consumers. In C. Weber, S. Husung, G. Cascini, M. Cantamessa, D. Marjanovic, & M. Bordegoni (Eds.), DS 80-11 Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 15). Human Behaviour in Design, Design Education, Design Society (Vol. 11, pp. 41–50).Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Yu, R., & Gero, J. S. (2016). An empirical basis for the use of design patterns by architects in parametric design. International Journal of Architectural Computing, 14(3), 289–302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar


  1. 15.
    Boyd, R., & Richerson, P. J. (1985). Culture and the evolutionary process. University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  2. 16.
    Buchen, L. (2009). Culture may be encoded in DNA, Wired. Retrieved May 3, 2009, from
  3. 17.
    Cavalli-Sforza, L. L., & Feldman, M. W. (1981). Cultural transmission and evolution: A quantitative approach. Princeton: Princeton University Press.zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  4. 18.
    Cheverud, J. M. (2003). Evolution in a genetically heritable social environment. In Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 4357–4359.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 19.
    Chiao, J., & Blizinsky, K. (2010). Culture-gene coevolution of individualism-collectivism and the serotonin transporter gene. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 277(1681), 529–537.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 20.
    Feher, O., Wang, H., Saar, S., Mitra, P. P., & Tchernichovski, O. (2009). De novo establishment of wild-type song culture in the zebra finch. Nature, 459(7246), 564–568.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 21.
    Henrich, J., & McElreath, R. (2007). Dual-inheritance theory: The evolution of human cultural capacities and cultural evolution. In Oxford handbook of evolutionary psychology (pp. 555–570). Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  8. 22.
    Lee, J.-H. (ed.). (2017). Morphological analysis of cultural DNA, Springer.Google Scholar
  9. 23.
    Marler, P., & Tamura, M. (1964). Culturally transmitted patterns of vocal behavior in sparrows. Science, 146, 1483–1486.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 24.
    Minkov, M., Blagoev, V., & Bond, H. (2015). Improving research in the emerging field of cross-cultural sociogenetics. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 46(3), 336–354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 25.
    Richerson, P. J., & Boyd, R. (2005). Not by genes alone: How culture transformed human evolution. Chicago: Univ Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  12. 26.
    Way, B., & Lieberman, M. D. (2010). Is there a genetic contribution to cultural differences? Collectivism, individualism, and genetic markers of social sensitivity. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 5, 203–211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Computer Science and ArchitectureUNCC and Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study, GMUFairfaxUSA

Personalised recommendations