Mass Market and Consumer Culture Products
How it works
Industrialization was the cause for Modernity in today’s Design because Industrisation gave way to Mass production in which goods could be produced more efficiently for Mass Market and goods could be afforded by the middle class in something known as Consumer Culture. These goods became objects of conspicuous consumption wherein one could display their class, social status or role in any given community. This rise in buying a practice and new opportunities led Designers to believe they had a greater role in society, to show culture, making life’s everyday activities easier as well as to benefit the wider environment, in turn requiring Designers to understand business practice and basic consumer behavior.
These subjects included how to target a consumer’s needs by acknowledging marketing skills. All this combined eventually led to the expansion of taste as consumers saw shopping as a pleasurable experience. With shopping now being pleasurable, new mechanisms were needed for businesses to attract consumers such as packaging which gave way to new opportunities for Designers. `
During the 17th -18th centuary the Industrial Revolution was a period of great change in European countries such as Britain. This Change created a society where goods were no longer crafted by hand by the masters, farm work was no longer done by hand and formed a community whereby Agriculture no longer relied on Human Labour anymore. What happened to bring about this change was a progression in mechanical engineering which allowed goods and services such as textiles, iron, steel, and agriculture to be mass-produced. This happened because a person named Thomas Newcomen invented the steam engine which turned boiling water or coal into steam and this pressure pushed a lid attached to a cylinder up until the lid could not go past the cylinder anymore which then caused the pump to tilt and hit a tension point on the other side which thus repeated the process. Creating a self-moving”sea-saw” This was used as an early mechanism to pump water. After Thomas Newcomen had set the foundations for this innovation, inventors James Watt and Matthew Boulton added a Condensor to replace the early funnel that was needed to pour water inside to drop the pressure inside the cylinder for it to move again. Although this worked, the mechanism now moved at an inconsistent rate and was not able to rotate. For this to rotate these two innovators added a crankshaft and wheel which made it turn constantly.
Industrialization happened because of capitalist theory founded by Western Philosopher Adam Smith. As Britain moved from Merchanitilsm into Cpatiislm.More emphasis was placed on Private Ownership, free market, supply and demand for profit and no government restriction. Proft was the main driver to deliver products in mass mainly or the pleasure of the designer and consumer in abundance. Western Imperialists sought out to conquest new territory to build factories and mines to deliver goods and services. There are six main causes of Industrialisation. The first Reason was to discover more natural resources such as woods for building and ship crafting, Water for living and business as well as precious metals used by alchemists, as money, to craft tools and used in early electricity. Population Growth was another huge reason as more people existed and therefore more goods were needed or wanted and therefor major industries needed to meet the needs of these people.
Another reason for Industrization was an increase in demand led to a demand for new transportation methods which included the steam train powered by iconically steam. Industrialization also came about through Urbanisation as people moved from rural areas into the city’s for greater job Pursuits. High Immigration cam about because some people had skills that could be used to help any given industry grow for e.g Business and Engineering. It was because Mass Production goods were sent overseas and thus more workers were needed for transportation and quality control. This also led to the rationalization of labour which helped divide certain tasks to produce a higher number of goods. Workers would often develop better processes or have great ideas to speed up a process. More inventions helped produce more goods which could be patented and one could become respected or famous. These new Inventions created a flourishing economy whereby More business Profits could be used to grow money, invest and buy more land and Buildings. These were some of the many Reasons why Industrization occurred.
Industrizaltion brought about quicker methods t produce more design output. This is commonly known today as mass production. Mass Production had a profound impact on design. There was also a change in society’s attitude, Designs were now catered for Women more than men. This is because people saw the woman as a consumer and more cultural industries wee established for e.g fashion, sporting goods, tourism, publication. design needed to reflect shopping as a leisure activity. Designers, as well as there design, now had to Give back choice to a consumer in an ever-changing world of politics and hate, help guide people use everyday appliances and activities, meet the emotional need of a consumer while also helping a consumer define their own identity through what they purchase. What one purchases is often a display of class or role in a community. Because of mass export Design now had to be multicultural and suitable for a global market. Designers could now make more profit because mass production enabled their Designs to reach a wide audience. Industrialization required less human labour which made Designs Cheaper and allowed a designer to explore new materials. These new materials and individual style led to an expansion of taste. The Designer had to attract new customers through marketing and sales and give an organization a good public image.
Designers became more corporate and ould oversee marketing developments. Press and Cooper argued the effects of mass production as “The rise of the ‘affluent worker’ in the 1950s that created a market for mass-produced durables such as televisions, domestic appliances, and cars”. Industrialization brought about new inventions which influenced the style of Designers because changes were being made in Architecture, and because of better communications such as the Telephone (Poulin, 2012). A major Advancement Mass Production brought about in Design Specifically in the textile industry was with weaving. Through industrialization and mechanics, the spinning jenny was developed to wind bobbins with a wheal but this ineffective because it required human labour to wind and still weave. The Power Loom invented in the 1870s by Edmund Cartwright. This machine was powered by steam and a crank just like the steam engine. This allowed designers to be more decorative and had more time to develop new ideas because blank cloth was weaved within hours instead of weeks and could be printed on.
Mass Production resulted in a lot of buying power from consumers which created a consumption culture. Press and Cooper (2012:14,203) both define The term consumer culture as something that “refers to how consumption has become a central focus of our social life and cultural values” it is also the extended stress of consumption and materialism as part of today’s culture and modern identity. Mass production made goods more affordable for the middle class and not only aristocrats. The availability of goods in an enormous amount of styles and designs allowed people to express themselves through what they buy and show their wealth and fashion. People were thus driven to be in style or be pioneers in fashion through what they either designed or consumed and purchased. This could be the origin of the idiom “keeping up with the Joneses” and other popular reality shows such as “Keeping up with the Kardashians”.Each idiom expresses the importance of consuming and being in style.
Keeping in style is not enough in today’s Consumer Culture. Another concept originated in Mass Production was the idea od Consumption Culture. Consumption Culture occurs when wealthy individuals acquire very expensive goods that are not affordable or attainable by members of lower classes so that this person can be seen in society as someone worthy to be praised, liked or listen to. They accumulate a reputation of respect like this which in fact can become a driver of profit for them. Examples of Consumption cultured products in today’s times would be a Birkin handbag, handbags painted over by famous artists, Real Estate, Harry Winston Jewelry, Michelin star food, Lamborghini, and Bugatti Vehicles.
Despite the Progression of Conspicipus Consumption and Mass Production, consumers had an increased desire to consistently spend won’t go away for they buy to express who they are, we as Designers have a role that cannot be changed and is fixed. A designer’s role is to constantly make known a Design contribution to society at large for example the fact that stockings were originally designed by men and are now worn by women. Encoding is the connotation and denotation a Designer self attributes to his or her Design in the final execution and media marketing with it and Decoding is the way the general public view, us, adapt or change the way a product is used or don’t use at all. Designers in their Modern Roles should be able to accept that their Designs can be used differently. Designers should always realize that because of Mass Production the Design Process although intuitive is not solely independent of the designer.
The public or consumer is equally important in the Design Process. All human beings are creative otherwise the Industrial Revolution would not have happened. Designers without a consumer don’t have a subject to design for and therefore would have no reason to exist. Designers today should learn business skills to adapt their design skills to represent the brand and mass market. Marketing Analysis can help improve a design or adapt a design process or business module. Design involves prosumers. The IEB says Designers should be ethical in the sense that they Improve human and environmental conditions and include all possible stakeholders such as people who are disabled and be inclusive for business processes to be easier on a day to day basis.
This Educational and insightful essay has taught me How the Industrial Revolution came about through scientific developments driven by capitalism, self-expression and the typical values of selfish or unselfish Human behavior. Industrialization made mass production possible in which goods could be produced in large quantities because of steam-powered self-moving Machines. As the everyday Designer had more time to develop the design process he or she was influenced by the way people bought things to express themselves or display their self-image. Design ideas were also influenced by major societal shifts in regards to gender and new ways of building. This expansion of taste led to a second rise of the Eilt commonly known as the Conspicuous Consumers who used buying expensive goods as a form of Reputation, Respect and eventually business. All this information allows Designers to critically analyze their role in today’s society.
Designers must understand the context in which they operate because they need to provide a good design solution. Without being aware of one’s surroundings you cannot possibly be aware of real-world problems and examine the thinking patterns of many consumers. The History behind Designs Modernity is vital because it shows how society has stretched and changed for example we understand how we have advanced in the past and can continue to do so in the future. Stuyding Design history increases cross-cultural awareness. This means Young Designers have a greater responsibility as they have to design for a better future and a better present as well as correcting past mistakes. Designers are businessmen and philosophers. Designers must meet the needs of consumer culture. Designs must adapt or be adapted. For a large group of Designers studying the history of design after this project would be fascinating but the extent to which it is taught should be smaller because social media and globalization have made teenagers specifically generation z very aware of world events. Social media has made the world fit in one’s hand. This can be a great tool for change or a proponent to drive someone off the edge. Design history should always be taught to secure sanity and prevent past mistakes.