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Professional versus Amateur

4th April 1952, Page 28
4th April 1952
Page 28
Page 28, 4th April 1952 — Professional versus Amateur
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

THIS is an age of specialization. For every trade and industry there is an appropriate advisory board or council of, specialists,, the sole purpose of which is to collect and evaluate :the vast amount of literature, experience and fact amassed by every industry.

In this work, the Technical Press takes a lively interest, for these bodies supplement, in. greater detail, the function of the Specialist Press. The lines of .thought and .action adopted by such Organizations are carefully examined and are frequently the sUbject of praise and criticism in the Press.

-. One undertaking in which this journal has taken the greatest interest, is the Council of Industrial Design, for it is felt that its avowed aim of raising the standard of industrial &sign is a worthy one and deserving of the greatest support. In our own • industry, there is scope for improvement, and only • by constant development can it expect to retain its outstanding position in world trade.

Recently, a paper on desian in transport was -presented' by the industrial officer-of transport of the Council, a report of which was published in • "The CommercialMotor " dated Mareh 28. The • paper dealt with the. many aspects Of transport design, although emphasizing the importance of' .aood vehicle appearance rather than of . Ceived ancillary inatters, such as signs, shelters' and buildings. Some well-deserved criticism was expressed on the general level of interior &Cot' adopted -on modern luxury coaches...

In one respect it was felt that the paper failed. to achieve its aim. Subsequent discussion indicated -that there was both a widespread misunderstanding of the meaning of good design--.-a definition which the speaker had sought to give—and a. degree of suspicion of the work carried on by.the' Council. Neither, of thesemisapprehensions was corrected by the speaker. • • On this occasion, an :oppcirttinity was presented to explain clearly the benefits of good design and to show how an approach' should be made to the problem of improvina design., Instead, the impression was given that .only: in the case of large organizations, such. as London Transport, was there any possibility of a desire for improvement .succeeding: This is. far from the truth. • It sho'uld be' the especial. interest of the.Councit, with its educational intentions, to produce for the smaller bodybuilders and operators, some sort of 'guide to good practice in this direction. It is no good pointing td modern furniture design. and saying."That is how it shouldbe done."' This would Only engender the unfortunate impression that the Council is a body Of experts viewing the efforts of other designers rather as the professional regards the amateur..

The small manufacturer ,Would, welcome advice and assistance, if it were felt that they were being offered kindly and inno spirit of superiority. To help the Small -units of the .commercial-vehicle industry to achieve a, higher level Of success, the Council of -Industrial. Design 'Should unbend a.

little. Only by corning down to the small body-. builder and observing at -first hand his problems and difficulties, will the Council encourage improvement. A more intimate approach would result in an all-round advancement in design, which could be shown, quite clearly; to save time.. money and labour, whilstraking a vehicle's value as a sales-prospect.


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