Pop, Consumerism, and the Design - Article Review Example

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Design has over the years received little awareness. However, the world has an eminently high consciousness towards the art. Design has become exceedingly newsworthy in the society today. At the same time, there is very little awareness of the implications and values that underlie design. The community is filled with design outcomes, these includes; buildings, types of machines and instruments used in the day to day activities, and almost everything around us was designed. Nigel Whiteley wrote an article titled pop, consumerism, and the design Sift in an attempt to ensure that design has a net beneficial outcome on the society. The author tries to explain how design can be more responsive to the needs of the community as opposed to merely responding to the society wants. In his book Design for Society, Whiteley analyzes the role and status. The book has been classified as an anti-consumerist-design book as opposed to an anti-design book. The book acts as an opener a particular design type by revealing ecologically and socially unsound values as well as disturbing implications which form the basis of a consumer design. The writer introduces some interesting facts about pop, consumerism, and design. This analysis will discuss some of the main points discussed by the author of this article.

The author of this article is a professor of Visual Arts in the Art Department at the School of Creative Arts at Lancaster University in the United Kingdom. MIT press publishes the article in a journal Design Issues. The journal seeks to examine design theory, its history, and its criticism. The journal also includes publications by other scholars and researchers on the topic Art and Design. The books vary from general opinions to critical articles.

The writer of the article puts Pop into perspective. The author argues that very little academic work has been published on Pop. This is so despite the fact that Pop played a great role in modernism. It is the prevailing view of many that pop never had any lasting influence on the society because it was short lived. However, according to the writer, the implications of Pop for design theory are considerable more particular in the postmodernism. The author argues that Pop was a reaction to modernism and thus an important cultural context. The industrial society mainly experienced pop during the industrial revolution in the mid-twentieth century. Pop had a great impact and expression of the community. The permissive values, as well as the appearance of Pop, was entirely different from want existed before in the society. At the same time, Pop had an expression in the society due to the magnitude of the reaction to the standard British social and cultural situation. The author of this article wrote it at a time when there was lack of an extensive research on Pop. Whiteley suggests that there are trees stages of Pop, i.e., early pop which was in the mid to late 1950s and early to mid-1950s in America. First Pop later developed into high Pop between the years of 1963-1966. Following Pop transformed and later because existent at the beginning of the 1970s. Therefore, the writer concluded that Pop has implications for design theory and a lasting significance also.

The author also discusses social idealism. He argues that social philosophy declined due to the influence by private affairs of individualism in an increasingly consumer-oriented society. The consumer-oriented behavior blossomed due to the effects of World War II. Britain created this post-war era behavior. The country experienced a baby boom in the years between 1955 -1964. This increase in the number of British young meant that the society had a higher number of youths as compared to other age brackets. This formed the basis of great Pop in Britain which was commonly referred to as Mecca of Pop. Fashion was the greatest visual expression of Pop. There was a split between the young and old had this was influenced by a youthful spirit of optimism. Conservatism in Britain led to promises to set people free. British citizens were more and more attracted to the American, general mass media which included the films and videos, magazines, etc. during this era material wealth increased immensely. This also led to an increasing social mobility. An individuals social status was determined by consumerism

The writer suggests that commodities were used to represent a particular group of people and thus communicate the identity of this group to the society. As a result, a design which was meant to differentiate the commodities in use by the different groups became a social language. The author argues that Pop is a symptom of a pluralistic society. Design solved the needs of this community. Design brought the difference in the consumer culture and was crucial in catering for the needs of the new groups way of life. The writer argues that material items were used to grab attention and announce the presence of an individual as well as is/her up-to-dateness.

The author defines Pop as a symptom of changes that occurred in the society. Pop-influenced a groups way of life by increasing the taste of the group towards something. It, therefore, encouraged the acceptance of design and a pluralistic society contrary to the ancient times. It also led to the development of a consumer-oriented society.

The writer of this article is keen on narrating on the historical understanding of the events which resulted in the rise of Pop in the society. The article is important in understanding consumerism and art and culture. The text broadens our understanding of culture and consumerism and how a capitalist society developed. The writer is successful in showing the interaction that exists between art and post-World War II innovations. The article creates a more practical explanation of the industrial revolution, the changes in human nature and above all the relationship between art and these changes. The arguments presented in the article show that changes in human nature could influence art.

Finally, Whiteleys article does not only inform the reader about the relationship between culture and consumerism, but also it improves the knowledge of the reader on the history of consumerism and the background of art. It also educates on art and consumerism development over the years. Lastly, from the article, the reader can learn that art can communicate through provoking emotion. This is a characteristic which lacks in research. However, it is also important to note that art does not have a direct and logical ability to inform the leader compared to research.


Work cited

Whiteley, Nigel. "Pop, consumerism, and the design shift." Design Issues (1985): 31-45.


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