Twentieth Century Design
Q1. What was the industrial revolution? When did it occur? How did industrialisation lead to the creation of the design profession? How was the industrial manufacturing of making products new and what role did the designer play in creating new products?
The Industrial revolution starting in Britain around 1750, was an increase in production brought about by the use of machines and characterised by the use of new energy sources. Wages were high and energy was cheap, these prices led directly to the industrial revolution by giving firms strong incentives to invent technologies that substituted capital and coal for labour. Industrialisation meant that for the first time things were being produced by machines and therefore needed a design to base it on, this led to the development of the design profession. The designers role was to distinguish their product from others, design was the ultimate difference in competitiveness (Thomas, H (1968). “Because of the increased division of labour in the course of industrialization, the first draft of a project and its actual production no longer lay in the hands of the same person, thus industrialisation created the basic requirement for the profession of the designer” (Thomas, H (1968). P11).
Q2. Explain what series and mass production means. What other factors over time have contributed to the high turnover and international sales of manufactured products?
Mass production means; to produce large quantities of products by means of mechanical process. Series means; a number of objects of a similar kind coming one after another. Pieces of furniture, for example, were not created as individual pieces but as a series of mass production. (Oxford Dictionary of English (2010)
Because of industrialisation it was more economical to create the same product in large amounts, this made products cheaper for the consumer thus making it more accessible to more people around the world, therefore leading to high international sales. New distribution methods and increased advertising provided for high demand and high turnover. “The termination of many customs barrios also lead to increasing international sales as again it was easier to access and distribute products” (Thomas, H (1968). P12).
Q3. Using your own words, explain the meaning of the term “form follows function” and its significance. The supporters of Modernist design and functionalism assumed two things about form follows function. What were they? What do you understand by the meaning of each of these? Explain in your own words.
The principle is the shape of an object should be primarily based upon its intended function or purpose, function should dictate form. Form follows function is significant because the primary goal of any product is the function, without function there is no use for the design, while form is secondary and will depend on the function.
“The supporters of Modernist design and functionalism assumed, first, the form of an object had only to suit its function, and must not include any superfluous ornamentation and second, that the industrial condition of production demanded a standardized, simple, geometric language of form” (Thomas, H (1968). P13)
My understanding is that modernist designers were focused on set patterns and principles for design, simple and functional and of course easy to produce. By taking away and unnecessary decoration the design keeps its main focus on the purpose and main function of the design. Secondly to demand a standardised, simple language of form allows quick, orderly and cost effective production of simple forms while maintaining high standards to keep up with competition and demand.
Q4.The work of the designer has 5 major focal points - list these and explain what each one means for the designers/marketers/promoters and their practices. If you are studying design, explain these points in relation to your design discipline....
Bibliography: (Thomas, H (1968) introduction to design: a concise history)
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(The Graphic design. Glaser, M “We are all African”
Image source (10.03.2014) http://www.oberholtzer-creative.com/visualculture/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/miltonglaserposter.jpg)
(Photograph. Pei, G (2011). Red Shoes.Image source (10.03.2014) http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v74/dmpsychopath/Beyond%20Victoriana/red-shoe-homage-wizard-of-oz-shoes-by-asian-designers.jpg
(Photograph Rams,d (1965). SK4 Record Player
Retrieved from (10.03.2014)http://webexpedition18.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/braun06.jpg)
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