The relationship of product design to the marketplace

As you write, consider:

  • The relationship of product design to the marketplace
  • The role of the designer in shaping taste, forming demand and catering to and actually consciously encouraging types of spending, buying, and decision making.

1. Imagine you are one of Thomas Chippendaleʼs customers in the eighteenth century. Who or what might influence your decisions about taste and fashion?  Who or what influences your decisions about what is or is not fashionable today?

2. Thomas Chippendale and Josiah Wedgwood believed that offering the customer more choices of merchandise increased the likelihood that he or she would buy.  What did these two men specialize in designing and what kinds of choices did you read about that they offered to their customers? What customer base were they both trying to make?

3. Who was Anna Marie Garthwaite? What kind of designer? Where did she sell her designs? Why was silk brocade and important fabric and how did  Enlightenment  thought affect who wore expensively patterned and woven silk?

4. Give three examples of Jefferson’s own designs. Discuss how he was an ‘Enlightenment’ scholar and intellectual.

5. What is ‘taste’? Who defines it? Where does it come from? Who decides in your life what is ‘cool’ and fashionable? How are you influenced by trends or brands?

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