Design for the Real World: Human Ecology and Social Change by Victor Papanek

By Victor Papanek

Design for the genuine international has, for the reason that its first visual appeal twenty-five years in the past, develop into a vintage. Translated into twenty-three languages, it truly is one of many world's most generally learn books on layout. during this version, Victor Papanek examines the makes an attempt through designers to wrestle the tawdry, the hazardous, the frivolous, the dead product, once more offering a blueprint for brilliant, in charge layout during this international that's poor in assets and energy.

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Sample text

But how about working with the workers? 'Hard hats' are given their name because of the protective headgear they wear. But these hats are unsafe, not sufficiently tested for absorption of kinetic energy. I should like to quote from the pamphlet of the 'safety' helmet made by Jackson Products of Warren, Michigan: CAUTION: This helmet provides limited protection. It reduces the effect of the force of a falling object striking the top of the shell. Contact of this helmet shell with energised electrical conductors (live wires) or equipment, should be avoided.

And now, just sup- pose the radio doesn't sell. In a year we'll have to lay them all off. They'll be stuck for their monthly payments on homes and cars. Stores and service stations w ill go bankrupt when the money stops rolling in; homes will go into sacrifice sales. Their kids, unless daddy finds a new job, will have to change schools. There will be a lot of heartaches all around, and that's not even thinking of my stockholders. And all this because you have made a design mistake. That's where your responsibility really lies, and I bet that they never taught you this at school!

But this is still a narrow and parochial view. The designer's responsibility must go far beyond these considerations. His social and moral judgement must be brought into play long before he begins to design, since he has to make a judgement, an a priori judgement at that, as to whether the products he is asked to design or redesign merit his attention at all. In other words, will his design be on the side of the social good or not. Food, shelter, and clothing: that is the way we have always described mankind's basic needs; with increasing sophistication we have added: tools and machines.

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