Sunday, November 11, 2007

Design and mass appeal/ new materials

After World War II the manufacturing industry started to explode due to the new forms of marketing and the public was tuning in and listening to what the companies had to offer. The working class was added to the target audience of the marketing strategies due to the increase in production in the manufactories the working class was earning higher wages. One of the new strategies to increase production after the Model T from Ford came out was the term obsolescence. To companies this meant they would offer options to the consumer instead of just one standard style and that there were always new editions coming out in the market constantly. This idea was endorsed also by the growing ads about “Keeping up with the Jones” and with the new development of new materials. These new materials included different types of plastics that enabled the companies to come out with different colors and textures as well as Formica, a vinyl-like flooring tile, as well as laminated plywood that was used on furniture as a surface covering. This lead to companies simply applying new finishes instead of creating or revising a product and market it as the new “must have” of the season. These manufactories were producing at such alarming rates one might wonder how they had the time to design these new products. This was seen more in the car industry as bands fought to be the first to produce a new design that the public would love. This “mass design” was a very risky business so many companies limited “the role of the design to superficial elements of product housing rather than integrating design with engineering, ergonomics, or other research-based considerations.” This was all due to the large scale of competition brought on by the increasing manufactories and trying to produce the latest and greatest. So due to this high competion do you think obsolescence hurt or helped good quality design as a whole?

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.