Design for the Northern Tourism: from a Resource to the Product

Lead Author Maria, Gostyaeva
Institution Contact Ural State University of Architecture and Art 23, K.Liebknecht str., Ekaterinburg, 620075, Russia 240/10, Lunacharskogo str., Ekaterinburg, 620026, Russia +7 912 607 3333
Theme Theme 5: New Markets for the Arctic, including Trade, Tourism and Transportation
Session Name 5.2 Arctic Tourism: The interplay between supply and demand, culture and environment
Datetime Thu, Sep 15, 2016 11:15 AM - 11:30 AM
Presentation Type Oral
Abstract text The paper presents the idea of ‘protecting by consuming’ by the means of tourism industry coupled with design expertise. Based upon research in indigenous communities of Western Siberia and Northern Urals, the team of researchers from the School of Arctic Design suggests using the growing sector of Arctic tourism as a test bed for developing a comprehensive – environmentally and culturally appropriate – lifestyle for short-term visitors of the region.
This task serves as a professional challenge: designers do have means and methods to approach the North ethically, i.e. to change the perception of the North from that of a severe and cruel area, a “land of prison camps” as well as a “global storehouse of raw materials”, to a mysterious and attractive “cold but hot country”, “Earth with skin and hair”, with supernatural treasures “under seven layers of permafrost” (Golovnev 1995). In fact, design professionals are uniquely placed to reveal and explore the potential of the material world to shape the forms of human existence: from conquering to respect.
The research opens a new transdisciplinary track in the Arctic studies by the comprehensive consideration of successful adaptation of Arctic indigenous people, i.e. their ways of dealing with severe natural conditions through life support systems embodied in man-made things. The potential of this kind of comprehensive approach coupled with design has not been explored before in addressing diverse environmental, social and cultural challenges related to the sustainable development of the Arctic Region. By applying indigenous vision of mobility to the tourism sector, it is aimed to come up with future-looking innovations, e.g. new tour itinerary infrastructure, mobile shelters and energy-efficient vehicles. Also, it will contribute to the development of the sector of Arctic tourism enabling experience- and value creation. The primary fieldwork method is participant observation, which relies not on words and conversations, but mainly on actions.
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