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Critical Design Issues in the Contemporary World - Essay Example

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Research has demarcated means to market products not merely as solutions to actual problems but as panaceas to human desire. Consumers are “convinced” through sizable marketing efforts to acquire certain products to enhance their lifestyles. In this scenario the designer must produce objects that seem aesthetically either appealing or appalling to grab the consumer’s attention. (Dorst and Dijkhuis 1995) Functionality in design is fast receding. In comparison various designers from the past balanced both form and functionality. Architecture, film making, literature, performing arts all reflected an intertwined state of balance between form and functionality that was often hard to decipher. Form has been encouraged in recent years in preference to functionality. A designer ought to be truly independent of commercial influences to exploit their true creative potential. The dominance of the commercial influence on design has rendered design incapable of displaying more subtle tones of thought and reflection. Most products today are designed with a consideration to use and throw away as desired. This in turn encourages the commercial design of products that are more or less disposable. It is debateable is consumer’s demands push such behaviour or if business tendencies to spur consumption spur such tendencies. However what is apparent is that design has been tainted largely with commercial influences that have modified its original precepts. Another competing influence on design strategies is economics. Economical design strategies have shot to the fore front following the eighties and the nineties when advances in manufacturing strategies meant that designs could be optimised further to save material and machine costs. (Simon 1996) Large scale manufacturing operations encourage designers to optimise both the use of material as well as to optimise the manufacturing techniques in use. Such a strategy ensures that the produced design is providing desired functionality at low costs to the manufacturer. This aids the business operation to maximise profitability by reducing base costs while keeping profit margins higher. Economic considerations have clearly impacted the length and breadth of the design industry whether the automobile industry is considered or whether fashion design is considered. The base contention is nearly always the same to cut base costs through the optimised use of materials and processes. Often designers produce designs that are then optimised by engineers or other manufacturing experts to remove what could be considered essential design features such as curves, tricky surfaces and the like. This ensures that the design is simplified for manufacturing. (Faste 2001) Similarly clothing designs are modified too such as using different pigments for achieving dimmer or otherwise different colours etc. Overall, economics serve as a major influence on design methods and the affected design domain includes all forms and manners of designs. Large influences on design in the contemporary world stems from globalisation of cultures, societies, ideas and ultimately design influences. The fusion of various cultural influences has produced individuals that are well aware of local values and traditions just as they are well aware of design influences in another part of the world. For example, Japanese designs were known the world over for their subtle and precise character. The ...Show more
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Summary

Critical Design Issues in the Contemporary World The term design loosely refers to configurations that may be utilised to create objects. Designers control how various things that we interact with look, feel and behave. Designs and designers are both deeply influenced by myriad factors that may be recurring or may be unique to age and circumstances…
Critical Design Issues in the Contemporary World
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