These videos are pretty fantastic. They make me nostalgic for an era gone by. The way these designs are presented not only remind us that life did not need to be complicated but still offered opportunity for innovation, but that vision always looked towards the future, or what the future was imagined as.
It's interesting to see the birth of modern design in videos like these but it is also a double-edged sword in that it was also the birth of a hyper-consumerist culture which has led us to the problems we still face today. Arguably, design has become overly saturated by natural progression, it is proportional to the growing interest in profits and competition but also by more innocent motives, like basic improvements to objects that no longer fulfill an effective use.
Adaptations will, no doubt, always be necessary, however, it is the excess in design strategies and convoluted ideas that have unfortunately bastardized an integral part of human efficiency to the point where thoughtful design solutions are too easily overlooked. As a result, the design process, from idea to physical object, is no longer respected as it once was.
What I gather from my own research interests and design documentaries like these, is it seemed there were more risks being taken, more elaborate or philosophical concepts being explored in architecture, automobile design and everyday living inside the home. New materials, textiles and technologies were adopted to assist in the betterment of modern living, but we are learning today that these “new” innovations (ie plastics) are the major contributors to issues impacting contemporary life and health; our future, negatively. Perhaps it’s the Modernist in me, but I don’t necessarily think that all the stuff, things, junk, clutter, objects, etc need to be redesigned per se, but more importantly the materials used for manufacturing need to be improved to lessen the environmental impact of a grossly over-populated and still growing society.
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Krista Jahnke lives and works in Vancouver, BC and likes to ask