Design for the real lifespan: comparing two twentieth-century strategies for social and economic sustainability through life-cycle planning

Oropallo, Gabriele (2014) Design for the real lifespan: comparing two twentieth-century strategies for social and economic sustainability through life-cycle planning. In: Tradition, Transition, Trajectories: Major or minor influences? ICDHS 2014: 9th Conference of the International Committee for Design History and Design Studies, 8-11 July 2014, University of Aveiro, Portugal.

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Abstract / Description

This paper compares the treatment of duration in two episodes of twentieth-century history: the emergence of planned obsolescence in the wake of the 1929 financial crisis, and of appropriate technology during the post-WWII decolonization process. These experiences ultimately propose diverging approaches to manufacturing: the former is resource-intensive, and the latter labour-intensive. Yet, they share a common departure point, i.e. the belief in planning as the ideal way to administrate scarce resources. Both positions propose to set limits to technology and design in terms of output and product longevity. In this they both are preoccupied with keeping the life cycle of the products of design predictable, manageable, and as a result sustainable from the social and economic perspectives.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: durability, planned obsolescence, appropriate technology, economic transitions, labour
Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 330 Economics
300 Social sciences > 380 Commerce, communications & transportation
600 Technology > 620 Engineering & allied operations
600 Technology > 670 Manufacturing
600 Technology > 680 Manufacture for specific uses
700 The arts; fine & decorative arts > 720 Architecture
Department: The School of Art, Architecture and Design
Depositing User: Gabriele Oropallo
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2020 08:37
Last Modified: 09 Oct 2020 08:37
URI: http://repository.londonmet.ac.uk/id/eprint/6100

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