1940s prefab buildings Prefabricated houses were nonexistent before the Industrial Revolution, and were nearly impossible to construct (Pile 2005). During the course of time machinery and assembly lines were developed to an extent to allow that the idea of prefabricated houses becomes a reality. Sears & Roebuck catalog was among the first to start featuring prefabricated houses in its issues, and each year they brought forth an enormous variety of styles and sizes of prefab houses for sale in 1908-1949 (Davies 2005).
1940s was the period when Americans were really concerned about affordable housing, and prefab, which was affordable and stylish at the same time (Pulos 1988). They could be ordered through catalogues and be ready for resettlement without leaving the homes. Innovation in this sense resulted in a boom among middle class households. Preassembled building components considerably reduced on-site labor and construction duration. Thus, in the late 1940s one solution to the problem was to build prefabricated houses consisting of a kit of parts which were built in a factory, and taken to the building site for rapid construction.
Darlaston’s largest engineering firm, Rubery Owen & Company Limited also accepted orders for cheap factory-built houses, and so the company’s Structural Department began to produce good quality houses for sale to local authorities and building companies (Parker 2009). Most of the ‘prefabs’ were small factory-built, single storey temporary bungalows with a life expectancy of just 10 years. Although around 156,000 of them were built by Rubery Owen & Company limited, there was still an acute housing shortage. They were very comfortable and several options for different sizes of families existed.
However, the solution was just temporary given the fact that the livelihood was very short. (Parker 2009) The houses were built around a rust-proof light steel frame with stanchions, trusses, and beams of a substantially rectangular form. To simplify and speed-up the building process, the design included simple forms of attachment for almost any suitable building material. The individual members of the steel structure were produced by bending, pressing or rolling, and the individual components were welded together at the factory. (Parker 2009) (Chandler, et al. 2010)
In its turn the new movement promoted the development of steel production. Above all, this practical solution gave space to certain design experiments with again, practical touch. Simplicity and efficacy were the characteristics of designing prefab houses, and they were consequently first of all associated with comfort and space (Arieff and Burkhart 2002). A real success was manufactured house, or the mobile house which could be used for road transportation. Built in kitchen, air-conditioning, clearly and simply separated rooms were predecessors of compound design (Davies 2005).
1940 product design Genichi Taguchi was one of the pioneers of product design in the 1940s who introduced a new philosophy and a methodology on improving quality and design. His concept allowed that quality was “…achieved economically through inspection and product screening” (Cheremisinoff 1990). Taguchi built both conceptual framework and specific methodology for implementing his prospects. Thus, he put the stress on designing in quality, which was rather cheap than manufacturing poor and redesigning for numerous times.
Loss function was a pivotal issue in his experiments and activities. Once again, we come over with cost effectiveness and certain elements of simplicity. When observing the experience of the United States we witness a rapidly growing field of design, and specifically in product design initially incepted by Shakers in the eighteen century; a religious community of English and French origin. They initially began developing craft-based objects to meet their own need (Burdek 2005) .
Moreoveer, Sigfried Giedion recognized the most creative inventors of interior design – furniture, and describes the 40s as an exceptionally productive phase of inventive intelligence on the part of engineers. (Giedion 1967) Chairs, beds, and cabinets that were convertible, space saving and easy to transport laid the groundwork for American tradition of functional and democratic product culture that lasted until the early 20th century, when society increasingly differentiated into two-class system. (Burdek 2005) Impact of industrialization on product design was enormous.
Industrial designers were identified as wizards of change, as they gave a product livelihood; they extended the life of a product with a unique design. (Pulos 1988) They sustained the product with innovation and attractiveness. In line with practical usage these last two features played a key role in advancing in product design and developing new paths for this promising discipline. 1940s was the period when the packaging was becoming as important as the product itself. Customers were buying products locked in nice and inviting packaging.
Designers were moving up on the ladder of management, being considered as one of the most actors in promotion and product development. However, late 40s experienced a decline in glamorization of mere design, when quality and design started to balance. (Moskowitz, Beckley and Resurreccion 2006) Speaking about product design entails also a discussion on trademarks; this was also the era when logos, trademarks and brand development joint the bigger game. Product development and design appeared under dependence of trademark development processes. Pulos 1988)
1950s_1960_1970_1980 (youth culture) Youth culture of 1950-1980 is associated with rebellious, revolutionary, democratic and hippie, as well as drug, rock and sexual revolution (Resnik 1990). This is the period when youth rose their voice and expressed their views in the most rebellious ways. (Halliwell 2007) Brake states that the young people had their own distinctive patterns. For his youth culture developed inverse values to the adult world of productive work and conformity to routine and responsibility.
The early 70s were highly distinguished in the rise of confronting entities, with liberated worldview and their own free style in fashion, lifestyle and manners. There was a real revolution headed by the youth which still inspires a great number of young people with its strong and burning culture. (Brake 1990) Youth culture was not only influential in the US, but also Great Britain, Canada and Europe. The middle class youth in the 50s was the generation which had more independence.
This class became integrated into a general culture which was dominated with drugs, alcohol and sex, which were the primary indicators of independence of adult supervision. Hence, low class youth was illustrated as delinquent and impulsive. (Brake 1990) The earlier studies of youth in the mentioned period made no attempt to view youth in the context of political and social system. Thus, young people were observed as economic consumers of fun, fashion, music and drugs. However, popular music being a central feature in the youth culture, didn’t really reflect the whole wealth of creative and successful youth.
Murdock and McCorn pointed out that for example, Presley was adored only by one fifth of interviewed people, the rest pointed out Pat Boone. The first was a rebel and anti authority, and the second encompassed an image of adult approved and self established artist. (Brake 1990) This comes to prove the somehow exaggerated statements on youth culture in the mid and late 1970s (Norton, et al. 2008). The same concerns also the available data on teenagers; they were described as looking glamour, attractive, having fun, all entering into a higher educational system. (Jamieson and Romer 2008)
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