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“Design by Choice” by Banham

Banham, Reyner. Design by choice, New York: Academy Editions, 1963.Print

Summary: In Design by choice, the author argues that mechanical and electronic gadgets were invented and developed by Americans to transform the cultural aspects of American society. The new inventions were designed to bring happiness not only to the people living in urban areas but also to those in rural areas. The discovery of mechanical and electronic gadgets was meant to fulfill the American dream of making the earth a paradise come true. Here, the new gadgets, also known as the gizmo were used to achieve the goal of a mechanized America, which enabled the people to run their lives on the established infrastructure. The infrastructure allowed the people to mechanize their households by accommodating the gizmos, which were automated devices that could be used to perform various tasks without the intervention of the human being.

Responses: “….industrial productivity was perhaps the only means of converting the disorderly wilderness into a humane garden” (Banham 108). The author infers the effects of technology on the cultural aspects of the lives of the Americans who were adopting the gizmos to mechanize their lives and change the people’s culture towards a reliance on automated gadgets.

I agree with the author’s argument because the Americans were developing a culture of automation because the people were increasingly accepting the use of new gadgets that were rapidly changing their lifestyles. The author of the book presents multiple views of technology by arguing that technology was becoming both a curse and a blessing for those who were integrating it into their lives. Despite the high cost of acquiring the automated devices, the Americans, like their European counterparts were regarding technology to be a blessing in facilitating the day to day transactions of their lives.

“…..perhaps the most characteristic-is a small self-contained unit of high performance in relation to its size and cost, whose function is to transform some undifferentiated set of circumstances to a condition nearer human desire” (Banham 110). The author is arguing that technology could be used to differentiate the lives of people by improving their living standards which is certainly the desire of every individual in the society.

I agree with the statement. Despite the adverse effects experienced from the use of technology, a lot of unexpected blessings have also been experienced from the use of the same technology.

“Instead, such countries find themselves being bullied into sinking aid funds in massive infrastructure of a kind the US got along without several generations” (Banham 1963, 112). The author depicts the recipients of aid funds to be making the wrong investment choices, which were driven by the desire to achieve the level of infrastructure development achieved by America over a long period. The author painted an image of deception in the part of those who give aid to the poorer countries, which was contrary to the goal of assisting the less fortunate and develop to acquire better infrastructure.

I disagree with the author. The recipients of aid funds were not deceived to accept the money but to use it for infrastructure development and as a means to improve their lives. Financial aid was necessary because the recipients lack the capacity to finance to the development of infrastructure necessary to support the gizmos that had been developed by the Americans to improve their standard of living.

Works Cited

Banham, Reyner. Design by choice, New York: Academy Editions, 1963.Print

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ApeGrade. (2022, April 10). “Design by Choice” by Banham. Retrieved from https://apegrade.com/design-by-choice-by-banham/

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ApeGrade. (2022, April 10). “Design by Choice” by Banham. https://apegrade.com/design-by-choice-by-banham/

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"“Design by Choice” by Banham." ApeGrade, 10 Apr. 2022, apegrade.com/design-by-choice-by-banham/.

1. ApeGrade. "“Design by Choice” by Banham." April 10, 2022. https://apegrade.com/design-by-choice-by-banham/.


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ApeGrade. "“Design by Choice” by Banham." April 10, 2022. https://apegrade.com/design-by-choice-by-banham/.

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ApeGrade. 2022. "“Design by Choice” by Banham." April 10, 2022. https://apegrade.com/design-by-choice-by-banham/.

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ApeGrade. (2022) '“Design by Choice” by Banham'. 10 April.

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