General Abstract: Human society has been in a state of constant flux since the specialization of labor and the agricultural revolution. Ever since, individuals have been responsible for defining their own role in society. They’ve had to refine skills that their culture values and use them to trade for other goods and services that they require for survival. Scientists, tradesmen, authors, politicians, and thinkers have all found their role. During the Industrial Revolution, this dynamic started to separate into both white collar (designer/thinker) and blue collar (fabricator) skill sets. Our current civilization marks yet another change there is considerable argument as to whether traditional blue collar skills have become obsolete or if they are just changing. In addition, many individuals are now struggling to identify what skills they have that our society values monetarily. In this multi-semester project we will explore the evolution of culturally valued skill sets throughout history and today, use what we discover to theorize on the practical and moral implications of our current politico-economic situation, and then fabricate a meta-fabricative assembly line to demonstrate our findings for the Spring Art Fair. Even more importantly though – we’ll talk about the potential impact of this trend on your future!
Product: Students will create an assembly line that manufactures parts for an audience. The product of the assembly line is a collection of items that need to be assembled by the end users. For example, one group makes a machine that repeatedly drills holes in a piece. Another group builds a printing/stamping press that marks the product. A potential products is a puzzle. Each assembly-line apparatus assembled a piece of the puzzle which is later assembled by the audience. The puzzle itself would be a statement on the value of fabrication.
Disciplines: Humanities, Engineering