Thursday, October 7, 2010

Wiki Entry- Assignment 1

Mass production and design
Catherine Myles
Interior and environmental design

Mass production is the process in which products are created using production lines to produce large quantities.
“Adam smith had made this point [that hand made products were not “economically viable”] in the late eighteenth century ... in the industry of pin manufacture... one man working alone might be able to make twenty pins a day, Ten men working together dividing the work into separate tasks, could make a staggering 48,000 pins a day” (Whiteread, R)
William Morris was against the production of products of a mass scale. He believed that products should be produced from localized materials, creating quality handmade items. He wanted to create products that lasted the test of time.
Henry Ford led the way in mass production in the 1890’s, creating the model T car.
“The model T was one of the first platform-based products ever produced in quantity and one of the most efficiently designed” (Alizon, F. 2009.)
Henry Ford was the ‘fuel’ that started mass production on large scale taking production methods and practice from the meat packing industries and developing them into skills to be translated into the “automotive industry”. He is the “father of mass production” (Alizon, F. 2009).

Statue of Adam Smith, Scottish economist, author of The Wealth of Nations.

Detroit, 1908, Henry Fords Model T was launched. The Model T was successful for its high performance and for being surprisingly inexpensive. The Model T became the U.K’s first affordable car, which was very popular in its time. Detroit’s wealth grew due to the success of the motor industry, all thanks to Henry Ford and the Ford factory. This industrial era was soon known as “fordism”
Production lines are what make mass production work. Instead of having individuals working as a team with no structure, production lines were created, where each individual worked on few specific tasks. The process is then repeated so that on each stage of the production the product becomes more and more complete. Thus creating quality products as each worker will be a fantastic ‘cog’ in the production line. Obviously, the more the worker produces, the more skilled he becomes.
When Henry Ford opened his factory, he needed trained, specialized workers. Ford needed them to be focused on their job within the production line. He expected these workers to learn quickly. “Anyone who was not able to perform his tasks within this period was fired.” (Quispel, C) Each man was had to do his job perfectly, in an orderly way so that the production line could run smoothly. The employment was very strict and had to be controlled.
I found it quite interesting though that in 1916, Ford commissioned social workers/ psychologists to assess that his workers “had the right morals, did not drink and had a stable family life.” (Quispel, C) It’s interesting because he obviously needed to find out if his workers had any factors outside the factory that would affect the cars they produced. If their minds weren’t completely focused on their role in the production line, accidents could occur in the development of their task. This would create the start of a weakened pattern starting to form in his cars through the production lines, potentially creating risk to the consumers. William Morris would find this attitude abhorrent.
Henry Ford and the Model T

Mass production and furniture design go hand in hand. For example the work of American husband and wife designers, Charles and Ray Eames who use, cheap laminated plywood, being bent and shaped into frames for chairs and things revolutionized our lives today, by creating cheap products. Stores like Ikea have made it easy for everyone to have well designed stylish furniture in your home no matter what your budget. It is this consumer led attitude which causes the most problems in our society today.

Furniture, electrical goods... are so cheap to buy these days. If your microwave breaks you are more likely to go out and buy a new one, than have it repaired. Advertisement draws us in and make us want to go out and spend our money. This then puts pressure on the factories and companies to develop with newer products and to produce these on a mass scale, using as cheap resources as possible to gain maximum profit.
“Generally speaking, electronic products tend to have limited lives.” (Boradkar, P)
This throwaway society creates huge pressures on landfill sites and the environment. The constant throwing away and buying of products is a giant cycle which is all caused by the mass production, of products.
“We cannot conceive how to serve the consumer unless we make for hum something that as far as we can provide will last forever. It does not please us to have a buyer’s car wear out or become obsolete. We want the man who buys one of our products never to have to buy another. We never make an improvement that renders any previous model obsolete.”- Henry Ford (Boradkar, P)
This is a refreshing quote from Henry Ford; one might expect his philosophy to encourage the regular replacement of goods as they wear out.
Planned obsolescence is when a product has a ‘sell by date’. Basically it isn’t made to last very long, the parts and materials used to create the product are cheaply sourced and are likely to fall apart. It’s this Planned obsolescence that drives our throwaway society today. It’s how companies make money.
New products are always being developed, for example the Apple Ipod. A new version of the Ipod is launched practically every couple of months creating a surge of trendy teenagers and adults running out and buying a new one. Seduced by aesthetics, new gadgets and ‘hooks’, people get excited and succeed in fuelling throwaway society. Birthdays, Christmas’s are driven by materialism. We all want the latest and greatest fads, thinking it will make us more attractive, better people.

Today most of our products we find in the supermarket and stores, come from abroad, bananas from Ecuador, Toys and trainers from China. It’s hard to find a product on the shelves that hasn’t clocked up the air miles. Mass production in places like China, South America and India have created an almost ‘slave labour’ force, many workers are young children. Mass production has become like a modern day slave trade, all so that we can have products which are slightly cheaper. I am not against modern day mass production but I am against the age of the workforce and the conditions they work in.

Boradkar, P. (2010) Designing things, Chapter 7 ‘planned obsolescence: unsustainable consumption
Parry, Moss. (1989) William Morris and the Arts and Crafts Movement, London: Studio Editions.
Fabrice, Alizon. (2009)Design Studies 30, Henry Ford and the Model T
Quispel, Chris. (Unknown), Built environment VOL 31 NO3, Detroit, city of cars, city of music
Whiteread, Rachel, history of mass production,
Images sourced from google images.


Friday, September 3, 2010


Dissertation, its coming. I haven't a scoobie what I'm going to write about. panic! I am looking forward to writing my piece but i just cant seem to think, what I'm supposed to be writing it about... obviously relating to interior and environmental design. Should i chose something obvious?! A topic I'm really interested in, but which doesn't really relate to my degree.

I suppose you could say, its a combination of nerves, fear and drive to do well, that's making me question so early what to write about. If i take 2nd year's tasks into consideration and review my work over the past two years at art college I'm sure ill find something inspiring and exciting to get hooked on.

I have a passion for nature, evolution etc. I am a true activist- wannabe! for example Taiji Japan + Faeroe Islands dolphin drives. The harpooning of whales in a conservation zone in the Antarctic... None of which really relates to my degree. Can i make it relate? Could it relate? Mmmmm...

I could play on the environment and speak about wind turbines and compare the power between turbines in towns to those in the highlands... (to me... this is too obvious)

I need something simple and broad, unusual, inspiring, different. Otherwise i fear ill just get lost, get lost in the vast black hole of dissertation hell. ha, ha.

Hopefully when i am back at Duncan Of Jordanstone i will get help and be guided into the right dissertation path.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cai Guo Qiang

When visiting the the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nice, France, I discovered the work of Cai Guo Qiang. He was born in 1957 in Quanzhou (a Fijian Provence in China, He emigrated to Japan for 10 years before eventually settling in New York.

Using gun-powder a lot in his work he has developed these beautiful elegant looking exhibits. Taken from something traditionally made to kill/ destroy, he creates beautiful lines and shapes.

(Unfortunately under glass) I was able to see a lot of his personal style and technique. Without focusing too much on the history behind his work and himself i want to show how his work inspires me as an art student. After seeing this exhibition personally and then doing a little research when i was home i can how really understand why he uses these unusual techniques.
*this videos were playing in the exhibition to explain the process behind the work*

This is like the work i saw in Nice, Explosions precisely used to create patterns and symbolic meaning. As the film says, "its the power from within, not what you see". He truly is an inspiration, not only in exhibition design but in his methods of taking something ugly and making it beautiful.


He also has famous exhibitions in the Guggenheim Museum. Here is a short video explaining some of his work.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Holiday Inspiration.

The girls in spain wash their knickers in the rain and the boys in france do the hula hula dance!

Firstly i'd like to say... France rocks my socks.

Wont ramble on about how amazing my holiday/ trip was! I think a summery of pictures will illustrate my time in Nice, Monaco, Ville Franche, Antibes.

(These are my 'arty farty' pictures from looking at nature, culture, galleries & art)

(these pictures are just a very small selection... i spent most of my time looking into bushes & trees, trying to find lots of different abstract inspiration to help me in my 3rd year. I love the green palm leaves... for example, i can see something very sculptural and almost architectural in that. The next stage of my process is to make and design a sketchbook/ scrapbook. I want to have "designs on file", sketches and different bits and bobs ive collected and created. Please comment if you have any feedback for me!)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Viva La Français!

Bonjour ma chérie!!
Just thought id update my blog over the summer holidays!
Im off to Nice, France for two weeks! Lots of stunning architecture, culture and sights to see! Cant wait!
Hopefully be taking trips to Cannes, St Tropez, Monaco & many many more destinations! I think this holiday can give me inspiration for my disertation and also projects for my up-coming third year in my course. A little tan will also be very helpfull in the relaxation process before the start of the semester in September!
Hopefully go and see some exhibitions and museums while im out there!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Interior design Scotland

After a few too many drinks on Saturday night, come Sunday morning i glanced down at the newspaper. It contained as it normally does a home section which i usually have a quick look through! In this weeks edition there was a little magazine which is sponsored by the 'British institute of interior design'. It was actually very good and shows lots of interior's companies all over Scotland. What i found interesting was where these companies have worked and what they have accomplished. Honestly when i started this degree i thought... 'there aren't any jobs in that field but id rather do something i love than something i can just get a job in!' but after recent lectures and reading into interior/ architectural firms throughout the UK i have realised that yes, there aren't many jobs but the jobs out there are looking for something special. I need to stand out. Show my work. Read and research.

While looking through this little 40'ish page booklet i found nicely designed homes and hotels. Companies such as Malcolm Duffin in Fife, who have worked throughout Europe and America!

It was also very inspirational to see a snippet in titled, "the expert view, Iris Dunbar, Knowing interiors inside and out". Iris has been the president of the British institute of interior design... She has had 40 years of experience in the feild and now provides professional courses at the interior design school in north London! She also studied at Duncan of Jordanstone! Its good to see that people who have done my course in the past have moved on to achieve great things. I'm sure there are many more people to look up to but to see in a magazine a woman who has been in my position move onto teach and be so successful, its really promising!

If anything it has made me want to do better! and achieve greater! Whatever i decide to do after my degree is mine to achieve! I cant wait!

Carbonmade, Some first year projects.

This is a quick website i created which includes project presentation boards for our S.H.E.D project. It also shows my CAD class presentation, which shows my design for a new public seating which can be used in a mannor of ways.

Have a look! i achieved an A3 for my S.H.E.D project, which was inspired by drMM architects sliding house...

Portfolio website-

Sliding house-