This article first critically examines the early literature on the role of industrial design in the Third World and subsequently sets out to explain the dynamics behind the development of industrial design in a group of Third World countries categorized as Newly Industrialized Countries (NICs). For the development of industrial design activity in NICs, the vital ingredient appears to be competition. This is also conditioned by the market orientation of economic/industrial activity, which itself is largely determined by the governmental development strategies in the context of a globally organized world economy. The article concludes with a new theoretical model for the development patterns of industrial design in NICs.

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