Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Victorian Era

The Victorian Era
Quantity VS Quality

The Victorian Era allowed many middle class people to afford many goods previously enjoyed only by the rich. However, the ornate rugs, draperies, and richly decorated objects that were once all handmade and of the highest quality were now being produced in quantity. The craftsmanship suffered and the cost went down but the quality of life for many people went up. Today nearly everything in mass produced because it is efficient and cost effective. Many of the small items that are produced can be made for very little cost but in turn have very little value or use. If you wanted you could have five hundred Frisbees, plastic whistles, or visors with your company logo imprinted on it, no problem. But how many of those would actually be used for more than a day? With it being so easy to produce goods and put them onto the market think how much goes to waste. Do you think we are moving forward with mass production or are we just becoming more efficient at producing junk?

10 comments:

estee said...

I think its pretty obvious that that the world has moved forward through mass production. Without it we wouldn't have all the things most of us enjoy in our homes on a daily basis. I am very interested in antique pieces in my home while I also count on things that are less expensive even though I am aware they may not last a lifetime, but thats okay. This makes the experience of buying something "handmade" even more special. Again, we obviously wouldn't have half the jobs we hold today if it weren't for mass production. On the other hand....mass production has also caused over population in the last hundred years or so, and has been one of the main culprits in our pollution problem. So as most things in life, its a catch 22. We rely on mass production because of the population demand now, but we also have to re-adjust our consumption of goods in attempt to save our environment from all the pollution we have caused by all the energy used in mass production. Who knows??

jessica said...

Mass production in a way is a double edged sword. In one way it helped more people be able to have some of the same luxuries as the rich and it helped to bridge the gap between the two classes. It also made this more efficient and created more jobs. But on the other had it's spun out of control in today's world. People have no appreciation for the things they have because it's always about getting more and the newest and latest thing. Having access to so many goods all the time makes people unaware of how things are made and the effort that’s behind making goods. For example: this summer I took on a summer project of making a set of corn hole boards. I could've spent about $40-60 and brought some but I didn't. In the progress I realized the work that goes into producing them. It may look simple but it's the time you have to invest in it that makes you think that there's a little more to it than meets the eye. After completing the project I was proud of myself for finish it and I appreciated it more because I know what it took to make it and the process of how it's put together.
But another example is in today's society and how much "stuff" we have. We are constantly trying to keep up with the new technology and gadgets that we replace things way before they need to be. Also today children have more toys than every before. Why? Because once they are bored with that toy they know they can always get a new one the next day. Which brings up the whole notion of why kids these days are considered "hyper active"... it's because so much is at their finger tips and they know if one thing doesn't amuse them they can go on to the next thing. This also could be linked to the problem of kids not using their imagination as much. If you had one toy and knew that’s all you had you would make it work and come up with different things to do with it ...but instead today kids just reach for the next toy. So I definitely think mass production was a great improvement but today we've gone over board with it.

Melanie Ormerod said...

I think its a little of both, yes we are moving forward in mass production, it seems like something new is coming out every day. But on the other hand were also becoming more efficient at producing junk. For example, have you ever been to the state fair? If you go to the building were all the people are selling stuff, 50% of it is pointless, and the average person would never use. But this doesn't mean thay don't actually purchase it. I myself am a packrat, I admitt it. I have a really bad problem buying things I think i need, or I convince myself I need just because I like it. But what happens is i never use it, it gets thrown in my room and lost in the mess. Eventually it will get thrown away or given to charity, but in the end it just winds up in a landfill some where. So i guess what I'm trying to say is thst it's not just the fact that we're becoming more efficient at producing junk, but we're also moving forward on marketing mass produced items so people think they need them.

laurelchristensen said...

With the innovation of mass production and the widespread use of this system today, we are inevitably accumulating a surplus of, for lack of better words, junk. When mass production was introduced to society, it's aim was to make the fine arts available to a wider array of people, namely the emerging middle class. This was good at the time, because it created jobs and changed everyone's way of life. People were enjoying new comforts that had previously been unknown to everyone but the socially and financially elite.
But then we started accumulating so much extra stuff and had nothing to do with it. Landfills were filling up, all the while we were emitting gases into the air and damaging our environment. (for example lead paint, CFC's, etc.) If we are going to continue to produce so many 'junk' items, we need to take it back to the three R's that we learned in elementary school. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. And we also need to embrace the new innovations in technology and materials that are less damaging to our environment.

Megan Funk said...

I believe that we are, despite some misuses, moving forward with mass production. Sure it is used to make countless frisbees and whistles but just think of all the other things it is used for. For example, clothing is a product of mass production. Could you imagine if every piece of clothing in your closet was hand made by people working in small shops, it would be insane, and most likely you wouldn’t have as many clothes as you do now. When you said that you couldn’t find anything to wear, you would probably be telling the truth. Also a product of mass production is interchangeable parts, like those for cars; paint, light bulbs, toys, and pretty much anything that you can find at Wal-mart. Without mass production everything would have to be specially made which would be almost impossible with the number of people there are today, and would also cause things to be much more expensive and selective as far as who could and could not have them.

Kasey said...

Mass production is absolutely necessary this day in age. It is not practical for items to be handcrafted because of the vast population. There are billions of people in this world who all have material needs. For this reason, I say absolutely we are moving forward and the more efficient we become at it, the better off our economy is. Though the quality may not be as high as something hand-crafted, that does not mean that it doesn't still retain a high standard of quality.
As far as the junk issue...we all have way too much junk I agree, however, I do not think mass production is to blame. Instead, I believe it is mass consumption. Just because someone made it, doesn't mean we have to buy it or (in the case of the ridiculous amounts of free t-shirts given away on campus)accept it from someone.

Audrey said...

Ofcourse it is unfortunate that we are not creating things with any longeveity. Yes because of the waste but also because we are not creating design that is considered special or unique. It seems that the only people who can afford the special (custom) pieces are the wealthy. It is not easy living in a disposible world. Almost everything I own seems to need replacing within a year or atleast I am more inclined to believe that.

NBUSHdesign said...

Unfortunately we are just getting better and producing things for this grossly consuming country! We are a consumerist society that uses more materials and products than most of the other countries in the world. I read an article recently that 33 Indian people could live off of the consumtion of one person living in the United States. That says something about our habits of consumption. Things such as family gardening, recycling, and condensing of trips out all need to be incorporated in the daily life of people in America as to cushion the effect of all of our wasteful consumptions.

Jenna said...

In a way, we are producing junk. Things are not made with the great care that used to be taken in the creation of things long ago. Not just in the cheap give-a-ways, but also in house construction. Everything is made to be more affordable (which is good for the consumer or home owner) and created at a fast rate. Because of this, the built environment and even the objects that we buy starts to lessen in value. It's "half-way done." To me, that is not good. The materials or objects don't last long, and because they are so cheap we take these small investments for granted, ultimately not taking necessary actions in keeping their integrity.

Lauren Fleming said...

One man's trash is another man's treasure. Mass production keeps everyone happy. Even though many people think the quality of the item is lost because of mass production...that causes all of the rare origial items to be more valuable. Also, it creates over-stocking which means...FREE STUFF!!!!

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