The Design Art Cultural Niche
THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION AND the growth of technology have brought great changes in art. Along with technology came the development of movies, television, the print media, and the mass market. Popular Art developed with these new media, and Design Art developed with the mass market. Design Art tends to be art made by machines for the mass market. It is the art of the manufactured items that we buy. It is the fashion of our clothes, the houses we live in, the furniture we sit on, the dishes we eat off of, and the design of the television set on which we watch Popular Art. Sometimes designers only make the look of the product, other times they play the role of engineers or of advertisers. Design Art is the design of the products and machines that comprise much of the material culture of modern life.
The distribution system of Design Art is the mass market. The production of Design Art is institutionalized by the systems of manufacturing, machines, and factories. The Design Artist tends to be an anonymous team member working in a workshop setting, and tends to be educated in schools of art and design with popular and Fine Artists. The ideologies of design must evolve within the constraints of these institutions. The ideologies and institutions must be able to educate artists who can make art of this sort.
Design is relatively new. It is still forming its ideologies and institutions. As we will discuss, in many ways design is at the point equivalent