All entries for March 2009

March 08, 2009

Operational Management Lesson 4 Exercise

Operational Management Lesson 4 Exercise

Blog-Question: For a product or service of your own choice, complete a QFD matrix that relates customer requirements to design characteristics. Justify your entry.

The Art Deco Building

The term Art Deco was coined from the Exposition des Arts Decoratifs held in Paris in 1925. The Art Deco buildings were the buildings of the future when first designed: geometric in shape, sleek and dramatic in form. They represent a brand new expression within the architecture and arts.With their cubic forms and zigzag designs, art deco buildings embraced the machine age. During the roaring twenties and the early thirties, jazzy Art Deco architecture was the rage. Not surprisingly, these buildings were the response to the demands of its age. Like any style, it evolved from many sources.  Art Deco architects often lavished their buildings with symbolic images.

                                                            CHR

                                                            Chrysler Building - New York 1928

Modernism was not just another style - It presented a new way of thinking about architecture. In OM terms the designing process was simplyfied and an art deco building were in general cheaper to build and more functional than the architecture that was predominant before 1920-ies. In some cases use of exclusive materials and ornamentation however made these buildings very expensive.

Time-to-Market factor was perfect in terms of a large number of new ideas coming in with the industrial age, and people wanting to forget and put behind the horrors of the Great War.

Customers wanted something new with functionality and elegance in expression. The stress was on effectiveness in form and glamour in ornamentation (just look at the sunburst motive on the top of the Chrysler Building).  Motives like sunburst, were were the sign of the adoption of the new wave in the society and expression of the modern new Art. Art Deco buildings were modern in a sense that they started to use materials like aluminum, stainless steel, marble and expensive woods. In some cases this was also the expression of showing everybody that one is being able to afford to construct in these expensive materials.

                                  buthouse

                                                Art Deco building - Des Moines, Iowa

The Quality-Function-Deployment (QFD)-matrix (Slack et al. 2006) shows correlation between demanded quality and quality characteristics that a product/service or in this case a building should have. QFD matrix ensures that the design of a product/process is aligned with the customers' demands, as well as to detect how its features affect the product/service's design and which benefits it has for the customers.

1. Demanded Qualities (What's) from customers contracting buildings of this type would be:

  • Functionality
  • Affordability
  • Symmetry
  • Glamour
  • Effective design
  • Ornamentation
  • Symbolism

2. Regarding the functional importance (How's)  to customers one may point out the following aspects:

  • Luxury expression
  • Elegance
  • Use of Industrial materials
  • Modernist
  • Streamlined
  • Geometric
  • Pompous
  • Opulent
  • Futuristic

The relationship between WHAT'S and HOW'S is always interesting to study. However, in Art, more than in most other disciplines one may say that usual business or even logical rules may not apply in every sense. Art Deco building shows however that functionality may indeed be expressed in a luxurious way which in itself is contradictory, and that symbolism may both be pompous and futuristic at the same time.

                             qfd matrix

Conclusion:

The relationship between demanded Quality and characteristics of an Art Deco building show strong correlation between functionality, design and customer preference for something new and unseen until its time in art and architecture. The designing concept was the expression of the new age and modernisms that was in opposition to the old values and traumas of the First World War. The Art Deco buildings' design huge success was copied in several waves later in the 50-ies and 80-ies.

artdeco_ct.jpg

Art Deco Appartments showing the strong influence of the functional architectural design. Here in Cape Town, South Africa


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