Thursday, May 5, 2011
design culture trough war
When we refer to history, we know the war is significant to develop the design culture. The invention during the war is boosted rapidly during that time. The warfare is also become a field to test the technology in short time. The entire budget is flooded to the warfare. All the material and supply also go the war. Thus the designer and inventor can explore the new technology at that time. The design is not based on the economical factor. The key player of that time is also the main power of the world war which is Germany and U.S. war reflected a trend toward industrialism and the application of mass production methods to weapons and to the technology of warfare in general.
War, either we like it or not, influence the design and innovation greatly. Some of iconic design during that time is also bring a huge impact. One of the best example of great design that very innovative at that time is VOLKSWAGEN BETTLE. Its developed by Germany under the fuehrer-Hitler himself to provide affordable car to strengthen his political support among German people. The history of the Beetle really goes back to pre 2nd world war Germany when Ferdinand Porsche had a vision of a mass produced vehicle that was affordable to the average German, an idea that was shared with the young Adolf Hitler who himself could not drive, but was a car fanatic.
In 1933, Adolf Hitler gave the order to Ferdinand Porsche to develop a Volkswagen (literally, "people's car" in German, Nazi sponsored consumer goods such as the Volksempfänger ("people's radio"). Hitler required a basic vehicle capable of transporting two adults and three children at 100 km/h (62 mph). The "People's Car" would be available to citizens of the Third Reich through a savings scheme, or Sparkarte (savings booklet), at 990 Reichsmark, about the price of a small motorcycle.
Hitler was apparently influenced by the achievements of Henry Ford and his production lines - reading Ford's biography while in prison during 1923. Porsche had previously worked on some other small cars that used many elements later to be included in the Beetle. Hitler became chancellor in February 1933 and declared at the Berlin auto show his intentions to get Germany motoring. Then a year later at the 1934 show he stated that his government would support the development of a 'peoples car'
After the successful of the Volkswagen Bettle on the road as effectives and affordable car, the car gone through redesign process to meet the other purpose by the Nazi. Beside to gain popularity and political agenda, It’s have been upgrade to become war tools to join the warfare.
As the War gathered pace, the KdF-Wagen (VW bettle) was put on hold and production changed to military vehicles. Its become a effiecient transport in war. Its also build its reputation in this events. The 'Kubelwagen' that used KdF-Wagen Chasis, used the tried and tested and very successful chassis and air-cooled engine developed for the peoples car. In 1942 the Kubelwagen was joined by the Schwimmwagen - a four wheel drive vehicle capable of driving on land and in water.
After the war ended, the Volkswagen Company continues to produce and evolve focusing towards consumer car. Even though they almost close their business, because of practicality and design of the Volkswagen car performance during war is reliable, the company survives and gradually boomed the market. The Volkswagen Type 1, widely known as the Volkswagen Beetle, is an economy car produced by the German auto maker Volkswagen (VW) from 1938 until 2003. With over 21 million manufactured in an air-cooled, rear-engined, rear-wheel drive configuration, the Beetle is the longest-running and most-manufactured automobile of a single design platform anywhere in the world. Thus, this is prove how the genuine innovation during the war can become very iconic product and one of the bestselling car ever. Because of the great impact and strong image of the car, the car have been reproduced multiple times and even until now days.
Contemporary ContextStrong public reaction convinced the company to develop a production version which was launched as the New Beetle in 1998, based on the Golf IV's larger platform. New Beetles are manufactured at Volkswagen Group's Puebla, Mexico assembly plant where the last line of factory-built air-cooled Beetles were removed from production. Thus, the successful Bettle have been remake by the Volkswagen company as a tribute to the iconic and strong design image produced by the car. And guess what, its continue being redesign and for the 2011, gen3 new design of VW bettle have been release recently debut in Shanghai Autoshow 2011. A product that traces its origins to the war times, the original Beetle sold 21.5 million examples worldwide in a production run that lasted almost 60 years now still evolving
The latest new Gen3 is agreed without hesitation still have a strong presence of iconic VW Bettle legacy. Its maintain the basic design form of bettle but modernize the form with latest technology for current environment.
The latest feature added is the responsibility of the designer to ensure the value of Bettle still strong. Thus, the remake is not only stylization of consumerism trough philosophy of ‘Progressive Obsolesces’ ,its offer the exclusive feels of design appreciation.
The successful of Volkswagen Bettle and its remarkable legacy that still accepted by the consumer rely on its design criteria and reliability. All the design principle ignite from the environment on late 1934 when the first model have been design is very strong and still be preserved to the latest model. The experience of its designer at that time influences by the environment during the war. This is how the design development evolved at that time. The Remake of the Bettle is still being done to fulfill the consumer demand on the value of the car.
This type of remake is acceptable because it choose the very strong and iconic product and the evidence of this remake is appropriate is from the successful of new bettle in the market. It’s a way for a designer to appreciate this legendary masterpiece of design that can be considered as a living history on the road. Current designer at least have a benchmark of great innovation and study how the idea of the design process comes from. That is the much appropriate reason for the remake process.