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Download Design for Need. The Social Contribution of Design by Julian Bicknell, Liz McQuiston PDF

By Julian Bicknell, Liz McQuiston

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It should be possible to formulate satisfactory products from existing raw m a t e r i a l s so as to be independent of the large suppliers of ceramic products. But ironically the industry still r e l i e s on i m p o r t s . For example a c e r a m i c plant has been set up in an undeveloped part of Canada to manufacture ceramic tableware from a basic body imported with twenty-four p e r cent moisture content from Stoke on Trent. The plant however, is no m o r e than thirty miles from a deposit of red-burning secondary clay, which could make a very satisfactory and extremely attractive ceramic body, preferable by most people's standards to the imported m a t e r i a l .

Although there is a great deal to be learned from the design experience of industrialised nations, a willingness to search for a kind of libertarian and controllable innovation must be generated basically from within the dependent society, at all levels of its organisation. It is here that the potential role of design education becomes apparent. For the need for design in developing countries consists basically of incorporating design education effectively into the struggle for cultural and economic independence a t e r m used h e r e not in a narrow chauvinistic sense, but meaning a fairer kind of The Need for Design Education in Developing Countries 41 interdependence between r i c h e r and poorer nations.

A different kind of technology, a technology with a human face which, instead of making human hands and brains redundant helps them to become far m o r e productive than they have ever been before. ' (p 168/154) The argument that a change in technology is required if we a r e to do away with need and poverty is compelling, and in a way it is very m a t e r i a l i s t i c . History tells us that the steam engine, the Bessemer converter, the typewriter, the radio and the motor c a r all greatly changed social s t r u c t u r e s and, of course, t h e r e can be no doubt that technological changes influence, and even radically change, the life and work of large groups of people.

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