Sunday, November 2, 2008

Art Deco and Industrial Design B



The message portrayed in the 1939 New York World’s Fair was one of efficiency, improvement and an overall optimism for the future quality of life. The vision of the Exposition was “Building the World of Tomorrow,” and featured developments in transportation and comfort of living. In the Futurama exhibit, “traffic flow in the modern metropolis was managed by multi lane highways and banked exit ramps, as well as by a radio-controlled system that monitored speed and distance between vehicles”(Raizman 221). This exhibit stressed the importance of highways as well as helped stimulate the purchase of new cars. In addition to improvements in transportation, the fair took advantage of the efficiency and logic of modern technology to “erase differences contradictions, conflicts and irritants” (Raizman 222). Overall, the products of the exhibition provided the economy with “tangible ‘proof’ of improvement and sufficient cause for optimism” – a key aspect in recovering from the Great Depression. The exhibition allowed people to see that the economy was running again, and things were in fact returning to normal.
Today, the economy is in rough shape once again. Jobs are being lost, companies are becoming bankrupt, and the average American is scared of spending whatever money they might have. We live in fear of the return of the Great Depression. The recent radical drop in the economy causes industry leaders to critique the current performance of our products. These revisions will yet again lead to improvements in daily life and means of survival. Parallel to the improvements in transportation of the late 1930’s, motor companies are developing new means of transportation and fuel use. We are researching more cost-efficient and eco-friendly ways of transportation, to ignite the new era of industrial technology. Just as the exposition of 1939 revolved around making life more enjoyable and leisurely than years past, researchers are finding new ways of giving back to society.
It is obvious that our current economic standing reflects the situation of the 1930’s. Can the arrival of 2009 jump start the reformation of the economy the way the World’s Fair of 1939 did? Or will we have to go through much worse conditions before serious restructuring can occur? What will it take for our society to pull together in a patriotic movement to dig ourselves out of this rut and return to the prosperous nation we have always been?

9 comments:

Lindsey Calvin said...

I think we will have to go through worse times than we are going through now but I dont think that we will necessarily have to go through what they did during the 1930's. I think now what will jumpstart our economy is the beginning of a new presidency. I feel that it will bring about the necessary to change to restore our country to peace and harmony.

Kelsey Giauque said...

I believe that this is a very relative question, there are those who may think American's are already living in a time of efficiency and high quality of life. But what I believe is that any improvement is "tangible" but will require action on individuals parts. I think it is interesting how we are so quick to put so much power into political leaders hands and put the fate or the survival of our country in their hands, while we, the people, are the ones who make up this country. It takes a lot of little change to make big change, it can't just take one BIG change to "bankrupt a company". I think it is selfish to blame one person for a country made up of millions of people who collectively make decisions. Also, I think we have learned from our past mistakes, what went wrong and what fixed problems in tight situations. I believe that a great depression is far from where we are headed, but of course the problem seriously needs to be addressed.

Chris Jones said...

I don't know much about politics and economy, but I think that if American's don't have money to buy things, how can the economy pull out of recession? When General Motors introduced stylizing and personalization to their cars, that motivated people to buy their products. We've already done that. In a country where most would say we have everything we ever wanted, what more is there to want/get? I don't think this country will reach depression-state. If it did, that would be horrible. But, I think the only thing we can do is spend money as needed and see where the economy settles then. But, with a new president taking office with new views on the economy, I think a lot will happen during 2009 with the economy and we can only hope that the economy will prosper.

nicoLe said...

By no means do I think that we are headed towards a depression. recession yes. Clearly. But with a new president will likely come a wirlwind of change. This issue is obviously bigger than ourselves as individuals but is something that we can work as a nation to solve. 2009 will hopefully bring new changes for the US, specifically economically as we continue to advance technologically.

Meaghan Boenig said...

I think it’s interesting that Katie asked these questions right before the Presidential Election because this event will definitely have an impact on where our economy is headed. I agree with Lindsay that the start of a new presidency will play a key role in jumpstarting the nation. But at the same time, Kelsey brings up a good point. Every person has the capability to bring about change and we must all work together in order to reach the same goals. While I don’t think that the nation is headed towards another great depression, I do believe that there have already been improvements made to help better our future. For example, as Katie mentioned, there is a strong focus on creating cost-efficient and eco-friendly cars. Many designers today have made an effort to create “green” designs. And I feel every year there has been more of a push for people to recycle and not waste materials. Take UK for instance. This year UK stopped printing bills and class schedule books and made everything viewable online. I think that our nation is slowly pulling itself out of its rut.

Elizabeth Chaffin said...

The economy and the state of our country, I believe, has not yet hit as low as point as that that was hit with the great depression. Even though slowly our country is coming out of a rut, so to speak, I don't think it can compare to the trials and hard-times that our predecessors faced. What we have faced in recent times are sky rocketing prices of everyday goods (necessities) and the loss of jobs and opportunities, thus creating hardships in the economy. In recent weeks, however, it seems as if the economy is headed in an upward climb; gas prices have decreased dramatically compared to the $4+ prices we experienced just a few months ago and jobs (even though just simple, non-skilled ones) are opening up. Along with this "change" and a fresh start for America coming with the new presidency, things have a great likelihood of improving and indeed pulling us out of this rut. As long as the problems are properly assessed and addressed it won't be that hard to (slowly) bounce back.

Moore13 said...

The Great thing with learning about our history as a nation it that we learn from our past mistakes, we live and we learn. Though our economy isn't where we would like it to be it isn't nearly as bad as it could be or as it has been. I have a really hard time thinking it could ever get that bad. Already we can see strives and movement forward in a positive direction, the issues are being addressed, prices are lowering so we spend more and inevitably reboot our economy. It's going to take time to get back on our feet but we most certainly on our way.

Kayla.E said...

The arrival of 2009 i think will bring more harm than good to our soceity. Unlike the the world's fair in 1939, i think that our country is going to have to go through alot worse times before things get better and those times are just around the corner.It will take a lot of help to get our country out of this rut we have got ourselves into. The changes are going to have to start at the core, being the government, then work its way out into the rest of the society, with problems that can become so intense and desperate we should take no short cuts and if we are serious about fixing/preventing something major from happening we need to do everything we can to make things right.

Shannon S said...

Although I do not think our climb of the economy will be quite as bad as that of the 1930s, we will all suffer a little before things are back to normal. Things always get worse before they get better. I am looking forward to the next four years, for I believe Obama will bring the change he has promised us. He will begin to rebuild our economy, however it will take a while and we must all be on his side and working with him in order for this difference to be made. According to Obama's first speach, it may not be this year, it may not even be this term before America is back on its feet.

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