Sunday, October 28, 2007

Art Deco & Industrial Design, II

Industrial design emerged as a response to the lack of diversity found in products like Ford’s Model T. Although the use of Fordism did much to revolutionize production, even leading to American industrialization as “the basis for prosperity and economic recovery” in other counties, as the 1920’s loomed on it became evident that Ford’s success, built on the idea of every product being the exact same, was not going to last. People had begun to opt for used Model T’s, because they were in fact the same as the new ones being produced. A solution to this problem was found by another car manufacturer, General Motors, who began to offer their vehicles in a variety of colors and to use the principle of “planned obsolescence” which hinged off the idea that new colors or styles would be preferred over older, out-dated ones. This idea, along with heavier advertising, brought about the position of the industrial designer. More than just designing a product the industrial designer was said to fill the middle ground “between advertising’s concerns for consumer appeal and planned obsolescence, humanistic concerns with progress through improved performance and social responsibility, a desire to work closely with the engineering in the organization of a product’s working parts, and individual creative expression.” Notable industrial designers include Bel Geddes, who was hired to redesign kitchen ranges to create more consumer demand and chose to tackle the issue of ease of cleaning; and Walter Dorwin Teague, who redesigned cameras for Kodak and was able to incorporate elements of design that also served functional purposes. This idea of designing products for usefulness is seen even more with the occurrence of WWII, when it became an issue of “shortages, restrictions, and the retooling of industries” to meet production needs of the war effort.

The industrial designer started out solving the problem of “how do we sell more of a product?” but developed into a person who deals with all facets of the product from the design down to the how it effects the of quality of life. What effect do you think the development of the profession of the industrial designer has had on the world today in terms of what is produced and, also, how do you think it relates or has shaped what is required of us as interior designers.

8 comments:

jessica said...

As described in the post industrial designers have changed society into the world we live in today. Today life is about efficiency, functionality, technology and multitasking. Today there are so many products out there that for the most part have the same function. To me it’s interesting to think that one day there was only one car company and one choice but today the choices are almost limitless and that is due to the industrial designer. These people boosted the whole realm of marketing and what it is today.
Marketing is one of the most important assets a business can have to communicate to the world what the company and the product you are selling is all about. But now marketing is about image and even selling ideas and ways of life in order to sell something. The field of marketing has tapped into a different approach as competition has gotten stiffer and started taking a step back and analyze why people do what they do and the reasons behind why people buy.
Marketing is all around us in any store you go into there are reasons for everything from how the store is laid out to the signage down to the colors. These elements are all incorporated to get you to buy. They will not stop at any detail that might get you to buy one more thing. And as interior designers we must stay in tune with this market because what the consumer buys eventually ends up in the space. So we as designers must stay up on the latest things and try to incorporate flexibility into our designs. This is a key issue now more than ever before because technology is moving at such a fast past. People now find reason to replace things not because it is broken but because it is the latest and greatest. One example I thought was interesting from my own personal experience is the design of the armoire. For years it's been the hiding stop for the television but many makers of these pieces of furniture have had to go back to the drawing boards to make some revisions because of new technology, the plasma or LDC display. They just don’t fit inside of the armoire. It really had never crossed my mind until my parents bought one for their bedroom and them like many had the typical armoire but had to replace it with another piece of furniture that could hold the plasma properly

Audrey said...

In designing which do we seek to answer first?: 'How do we make a product?' or does it begin with; How do we make a product look good?
This is a chicken or the egg first debate for many designers. All design is the same. It is a marriage of form and function. Perhaps primitive or early design sought merely to decorate crude utilitarian machines. Later design recognizes more the importance of functionality. Industrial design and interior design are in some respects the same. Design is design is design. Design is a problem and a solution. As far as the impact of industrial design; it has become such a part of my every day life that I find it almost impossible to categorize. I find it ugly, at times (overly functional). The most beautiful industrial designs (in my opinion) are apple products. It is apparent that industrial design has remained modern where as interior design has not.

NBUSHdesign said...

I really like the idea of this blog post. There has been a real dynamic change in the industrial designer over the recent past. Just like architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright and the Greene Brothers, along with many others, the industrial designer has come to create a ‘total design’ similar to structure building, interior design, and interior furnishings created by architects who believed in this idea of totality in design. The industrial designer studies the ergonomics of human nature and how it should be incorporated into the designs of their products. They also study the aesthetic pleasure and meaningful relationship of forms in an object. Most even go further into branding the product with visuals and logos. This is “total design”.
As interior designers, we are required to understand the thoughts and ideas behind the creation of these products and merge them with the client’s or user’s needs in the spaces that we design. To understand the significance of a item in a space, one must understand it’s origins as well as the link to why it is the best product of it’s type in the space. I think that interior designers and industrial designers should really listen to each other and create spaces that coalesce.

estee said...

Industrial design has everything to do with life as we know it. Everything we use in our daily lives is connected back to the Model T. Industrial design is also very much connected with the interior designer because as we all know from experience, besides making spaces or products nifty to look at or experience, the most important aspect of our job is function. If its not functional, it doesn't matter how creative it is. So just as industrial designers, interior designers have to create products/ space that grabs more attention then their neighbor designer, however also be equally or more functional. Ideas have to constantly be reinvented or there will be no design.

Laurel said...

Industrial designers today offer us endless product options. Think of any item that you use on a daily basis. Your toothbrush, your coffee maker, silverware, your cell phone, your mp3 player, and other such advances in modern technology that we take for granted have all been designed not only to be uber-functional and complete an amazing array of tasks, but also to be pleasing to the eye and to ergonomically accommodate the human body.

A commercial that I find quite funny, but is the prime example of this customization of simple utilitarian objects, is actually for a Clear Blue pregnancy test. It shows the product (which has handle grips and a digital readout screen, all accented by dramatic lighting), and the voiceover calls it "the most sophisticated piece of technology you will ever pee on." (watch the commercial here).

With so many choices, it is sometimes hard to choose just one product. Marketing has become a cutthroat industry because of all the new products that are becoming available each and every day. If you go to Wal Mart, you will see almost an entire row dedicated to toothbrushes. They might have anywhere from 15-30 different styles of toothbrush; different colors, different bristle thicknesses, even electric toothbrushes and toothbrushes with timers! All of these products designed for one purpose: brushing your teeth.

With this constantly changing and vast selection of products for consumers to choose from, interior designers have to take into account these changing tastes and styles in order to create spaces that will withstand the test of time, and not simply become outdated and replaced. Because industrial designers are designing ergonomically and considering how their products affect the quality of life, they challenge interior designers to do the same within their spaces.

Jenna said...

Industrial designers have had a large impact on the world in terms of what is produced. Their attention to aesthetics as well as the usability of the product has improved marketability and production for many companies that provide us with the objects we use today. They also focus on brand development and how that object is engineered, things that Interior designers must also create and understand. In terms of what is produced, the design is crucial. It seems like industrial design could have helped to shape the interior design process. It is a professional service, just like ours, of creating and developing concepts, while ensuring that the object meets certain specifications. They use research, sketching, as well as model making. Programs like CAD take the concept to production. They also look at color, texture, ergonomics, and sound. We would also consider these elements in the design of a space. Just like we consider the function, value, and appearance of a space, they also consider this for the product or system they design. The design process of an industrial designer is very creative, yet very analytical… something that also rings true in the field of interior design. I don’t really think that people outside of the field of design understand how much of a thought process it really is. Even though industrial designers and interior designers do many of the same things, industrial kids have to produce their product in an industrial way obviously, in order to be considered legitimate. Throughout the years, they have helped other people in design related fields to understand that we should not only know the artisan methods of creating, but also the mechanics of what we do. As technology and use of psychology grows in our field, I feel that we will we be seeking the knowledge of product designers since knowledge of materials, their cost, as well as their markability, ensures that we understand the broad range of the design world. This brings more respect, as well as integrity to the interior designer. The exhibit space we are currently planning would be a perfect example where the interior and industrial designer could team up, each bringing extensive knowledge of certain aspects, to ultimately create a space that balances functionality and appearance.

Melanie Ormerod said...

As industrial design grew and new technologies and materials were discovered and invented new products started to follow. People of this time, just like people today, were (are) always wanting the next bigger and better thing. But the problem was that the next thing usually looked just like the last one. As a result people didn't buy as much as often. When consumers realized this they started building the newer things to actually look newer and different than the last model that was produced. In doing so, this not only increased productivity for the consumers it also increase the technology, because the outside look wasn't the only thing that was changing with each new model, the inside technological componants were also getting better. This view of always wanting the next bigger and better thing has continued to today and still effects us as interior designers. Even though we are not personally designing the look of the new product thats about to come out we still have to know it's out there and be able to change our designs around the new products and materials. Like I said before people are always wanting the next best thing so as designers we have to figure out how to make that possible with in the space and always be researching to find out about the latest thing whether it be a house hold appliance thats be completly re designed or some old product thats just made out of a new material or fiber. The world is always changing and we have to always be two steps ahead to stay cought up.

Lauren Fleming said...

What effect do you think the development of the profession of the industrial designer has had on the world today in terms of what is produced and, also, how do you think it relates or has shaped what is required of us as interior designers.

I think that the development of the industrial design profession has a lot of effect on the selling point of certain items. Functionality is important, but the first impression is from the aesthetic point of view. Every car runs, but the physical qualities of the exterior define the driver. That is why there are multiple models. A design to fit every personality and help differenciate between manufacturers.
Being interior designers we have to use the same method. We can design a funtional space, but it is in the small visual details that the room is truly complete and appealing. Our entire Chicago trip was based on the aesthetics and the time period of which the structure was built. If all of the buildings were tall and square then the trip would have been pointless because of a lack of originality.
Designers achieve functionality and add personality to everyday spaces, structures and luxuries.

This blog is intended for the interior design students in the college of design at the University of Kentucky. It was created with the intent to present students with information, providing them with a channel for contemplation and discussion.