June 04, 2012

Extensive and intensive production

There are two dimensions to this productivity: extensive and intensive.

When we create a new item following an established pattern, then production is extensive (literally adding a new item to a set of identical items). Extensive production is, historically, of varying degrees of sophistication. When we take a material and work it into a product following a template, we can be said to be doing craftwork. Guilds and their standards are produced when craft products need to be reliably interchanged between locations. Industrial production takes this one step further by introducing controls over the input of raw materials and components, standardising every element of production. And then beyond the industrial, we find the controlled production of standardised consumer desires and qualitative judgements. All of these elements are present in higher education, often uneasily assembled.

Whereas extensive production aims towards repetition, intensive production is the production of difference.

Design is the co-mediation of art, craft, industry and commerce.

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