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Design in its Golden Age - Essay Example

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It is almost taken for granted now that things surrounding us are not only things in themselves but trademarks presenting the style of a company. We try to surround ourselves with well-known names, which symbolize our social status. And this is the result of the work of designers, who are responsible for visual presentation and images of the product.
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Design in its Golden Age
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"Design in its Golden Age"

Download file to see previous pages These rises were paralleled by a growth in export figures over the same period and by 1957 the world trade in manufactured goods exceeded that in primary produce for the first time ever " (Sparke, 1987).
Such economical prosperity was mainly due to the rapid development of technology during and after the Second World War. Among the most significant achievements were creation of radar and work in aircraft production. For Sparke (1987) it was creation of the transistor, "which made possible the miniaturization of electronic equipment, including computers, which in turn were to play such a central role in the postwar period, both in the automation of production and in information retrieval".
Manufacturing and trade expanded rapidly and soon achieved the international level. The outcomes allowed the consumers to buy more and more and the producers made their best to satisfy purchasers. Press and Cooper (2003) in the chapter "Design and consumer culture" argue that in the first part of the twentieth century the economy was organized on a national basis. Today people, commodities, and money circulate around the world. "The things we take for granted today - driving a Toyota made in England, foreign holidays, the overseas students with whom we study, our Levis made in the Philippines, bunches of flowers sold on New York streets that are grown in Africa, e-mail exchanges with friends in other countries - reflect a level of globalization that was unheard of a generation ago" (Press and Cooper, 2003).
The number of choices grew and here the designers envisaged their major challenge: design became the means by which goods were distinguished. With the help of designers producers tried to make their product more desirable for the consumer.
One of the most enduring images of design for consumer luxury was the image of American car in 50's, which combined the huge sweeping forms of streamlined luxury with chrome detail and space age tail fins. General motors' Designer, Harley Earl, was aimed to channel consumer spending towards a new car every year. "By 1953, everyone in the United States who really needed a car had already bought one, so the automobile companies realized that if they were to keep up their sales figures they would have to change their styling more often. The great idea was to use design features that were so extreme that they would date quickly" (Powell, and Peel, 1988, p.66).
Press and Cooper (2003) provide their understanding of design. To them it "is a process by which a product is encoded with symbolic meaning both through product design and advertising design. This encoding aims to point towards a preferred reading of the product". As an example they give the Italian scooter, which encoded a preferred reading of it as a feminized form of transport. Press and Cooper (2003, p.15) quote sociologists Scott Lash and John Uny who explain, "we analyze, not so much knowledge - or information-intensivity in production, but design-intensivity and, with the decline of importance of the labour process, the growing importance of the design process".
The combination of words "total design" appeared, the expression "form follows function" was turned into "design follows sales". Designers designed anything and everything in a new postwar world ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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