Sunday, September 21, 2008
While the creation of the machine and the fine tuning of the production line were considered by most a positive development during the Industrial Revolution, others saw this as a movement away from craftsmanship and personalization. After the rise of the Victorian Era in design, where individuals could go as far as to order a new home from a catalogue, intellectuals like John Ruskin wanted to return to simpler ways of creating great art and design. Ruskin was an English writer and art critic who held a high regard for the Middle Ages and the older Gothic style (Raizman, 107). He held to the theory that the boom of industrialization lead to a growth in materialism and eventually resulted in poverty, inequality, and misery. Ruskin believed that one should take extreme pride in their work and although it does take longer to finish, the work is more valuable because of the imperfections and the interaction with the human hand. He believed machine created objects were too uniform and drone-like, lacking in individuality. John Ruskin hated Paxton’s Crystal Palace because it embodied everything he disliked about the Industrial Revolution. Although he was a critic he had no specified style or set of rules for designers other than the work be a “unique creation reflecting the skill, pride, and effort of the craftsman” (Raizman, 108). We have discussed many times whether the Industrial Revolution had a harmful or helpful effect of the population. Now consider whether machines ruined the art itself. Do you think a move toward the old way of doing things and the appreciation of skill and workmanship of the craftsman was necessary after the standardization of design? After all, design follows a path of lows to highs. Do you think it was time to come back down to the roots of craftsmanship again?
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.