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Designed Environments, Objects, And Communication Systems (Essay Sample)


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Designed environments, objects, and communication systems are the primary subjects of analysis in this course, but usually we apply theory and strategies for interpreting to them in order to understand their history from an outsider's perspective. We "read" them as we might a text, looking for explanation. This approach is rooted in material culture studies. But what if the designed environments, objects, and communication systems told their own stories through their own voices and their own perspectives? What if the inanimate became animate as a means of offering a new perspective on how it might be understood? This assignment asks you to do three things. First, select a type of space, object, or graphic or visual element that has evolved since its state of development in the mid-nineteenth century (1850). The type of subject you choose should be the product of the industrial age... In other words, it should be manufactured or it should be the product of industrially-produced materials rather than existing as a one-of-a-kind element or effort. Examples given by the teacher *which should not be used for the assignment* might include the hotel room, the bicycle, or the pop-up-book. Secondly, gather information about the history of the subject you have chosen. Look for visual as well as factual information. Go beyond what is provided in the most obvious digital sources such as Wikipedia. Arrange your information chronologically. Study the points of change and research what else was going on at that those times to look for influences and correlations. Finally, structure your report of this information in the form of a story that is told from the point of view of your subject. That means that the hotel room, bicycle, or pop-up-book talks about why its design had the qualities that define(d) it and it talks about the influences that shaped its history. It also talks about how it shaped its user or the influences it had on the social conditions that frame its history. I want you to think about the history of design as a two-way street, and the goal of this assignment is to encourage you to think about how designs influence us! This assignment should be presented as a 1250-1500 word essay. You should have the equivalent of one page of images, to which you refer within the text. You may also integrate the images within the text if you prefer that format. Be sure to also include citations for images and the ideas you're presenting at the end of the document. The objectives of the assignment are: To gather and organize information about a topic of design that has evolved over time, to highlight stages of development; To make connections between changes in designed elements and the broader forces of culture, society, technology, etc.; To develop an unconventional narrative to present the factual information to engage readers in a compelling way.


Designed Environments, Objects, and Communication Systems
Institutional Affiliation
Most often than not, we don't appreciate the presence of billboards and posters we see during the course of our daily activities. The evolution of photography and printing technology spans many decades. Printing has seen the world mature and realize different kinds of civilizations, right from the dark ages. The human civilizations span from the age of sending smoke signals and messengers, all through the era of using animal blood and clay and now onto Three-Dimensional Printing. The printing machine that was initially developed as the means to transfer text onto paper in ink form has been modified to a bio-printer that can generate a fully serviceable human skin. This paper therefore discusses the invention of the printing press and its technological evolution, and how it became a stepping-stone to an integrated future for the human race.
Technology, transportation, and industrialization experienced colossal changes in the 18th Century. These changes were accredited to the agricultural revolution that took place in Great Britain. Owing to the Industrial Revolution, there was the birth of machinery and a skyrocketing of the economy with the introduction of banking. Industrial Revolution transpired in two phases: the first phase, where the use of steam and coal was predominant in developing the transport and textile industry which resulted in the stratification of the society into classes. The second phase was characterized by the move from rural to urban areas that pressed on the economic stability. Therefore, transportation and communication improved greatly and prompted diversification. With time, other countries borrowed from the technological advances in Britain to develop a skill set for an industrialized world.
The existence of machines quickly replaced and /or supplemented workers in their employment positions. The situation stimulated new relationships to be fostered. Having explored the new tools, art forms were discovered. A case example is the printing press.
The Evolution of the Printing Technology
Printing has been useful for humans in reproducing texts in templates. With various software innovations, the modern printer has acquired the ability to do much more than print on paper or in one dimension. With limitless human ambitions spanning ages from around the 15th century, the printing machine has the capability to use stencils on screens, print in laser and apply images on metals CITATION Ger18 \l 1033 (Schlemminger, 2018). However, it hasn't always been like this.
In 618-1279, The Tang and Song dynasty realized that they could enforce writings on a block of wood and onto a paper to propagate literacy and information, enthused by how stamps made from bronze made imprints on clay. The kind of wood used here were the pear and date trees. The text of interest was etched on sophisticated paper, which was then pasted facing down on the block of wood where the text was to be printed. The characters on the paper were scored on the wood in careful sequence. When the surface of the wood was roofed with a paper sheet, it was inked with a gentle brush in order to produce the characters. This is how books on agriculture and medicine as well as receipts came to actualization. However, its application for commercial purposes was realized later.
Bi Sheng designed a movable printer in 1040s. This was considered to be more superior, efficient and effective in terms of the standards which were in use then. A clay type was made for each of the characters and then case-hardened by sheltering them. Then wax was put in an iron case with an open end and then melted to level by heating the case. The melted was sprayed on the clay characters, then the typefaces primed. This technology was very recyclable and when not sought it was stripped CITATION Pre17 \l 1033 (PrePressure, 2017). Regrettably, a lot of ideograms that were handy in written Chinese could not be inscribed using this technology.
The Gutenberg printing press followed. A distinguished innovation in the printing industry, Gutenberg exploited the movable type’s inability to be operated by hand. The upper social class preferred books that were inked by hand to the mass made books because they supposedly denoted splendor and extravagance CITATION Pre17 \l 1033 (PrePressure, 2017). Initially associated with the low-social class, printing was later embraced and incorporated into the education system chiefly because it worked in all of the languages. This greatly impacted the Information Age of the renaissance period in human history.
Gutenberg printing machine was able to make illustrations in text and helped in gathering responsiveness in artistic designs publication. It made it easy to print on iron plates. The rise in demand of tinted prints led to the invention of different printers. The Mezzotint and Aquatint printers in 1768 used the application of acids of different levels to the etched works. During this period, ink was continually enriched to intensify its worth CITATION Ger18 \l 1033 (Schlemminger, 2018). It was a noble innovation.
In 1796, Alois Senefelder accidentally learned that text and printed work were transferrable onto surfaces through a concept known as lithography. Lithography utilized water and grease as the main raw materials for printing (Greasy marks are prepared from ink). The famous Honore Daunier caricature is a creation of this idea.
In the 1820s, tints came into being with the addition of pigments of color through color printing or chromolithography. However, most printers were designed in monochrome (black and white) then and this led to the invention of graphic art. The technique of applying primary colors in text was done through hand-coloring. The first book to use this innovation was known as Psalms, devoted for Fust and Schaeffer partnership. Secondary colors would be used later.
Steam engines later revolutionized the printing technology because rotary cylinders could be used to design images in place of plates. This was a creation of Friedrich Koenig from Germany in 1810. Many Newspapers were printed through the use of rotary cylinders because it could print on either side of the page with over 1000 prints per hour. These cylinders were fed with rolled paper in individual sheets facilitating millions of feed incessantly.
In 1870, a technology was invented that, instead of having ink surged right on paper, it was sprayed from a metal plate to a rubber mat and subsequently to paper. This machine precision ensured that ink was sprayed uniformly on paper, and the cost of production was reduced. Printing for commercial needs, such as the design of envelopes and business cards grew in the 19th century. This opened routes to wider job printing in the 21st Century. Other machines and technologies like the assorted printer, composing machine, mimeograph machine, commercial silk screen printer, phototypesetter and the rotary web-fed printer were invented.
In 1958, Chester Carlson developed Xerography which applied printing devoid of the use of orthodox ink. Xerox Corporation manufactured this for commercial photocopying. A color toner was developed in early 1960 which made it possible for colored photocopying. Xerox added photoreceptors in their printers for Laser p...
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