how do you define high standard of living ? --designer's POV

Now this sounds like economics. (But really economics is importannt for designing anyway)

Just wondering how would you define a high standard of living?
I don’t see high house prices, high food prices and rentals as
high standard of living if the pay pack doesn’t keep up with it.
It sounds out of topic, but what I am trying to say is
as a designer, could we cut prices down. How well could we do it.
And should we really be doing luxurious items to keep up our pay?

When you have considerably more than the ‘poorest’ people you are aware of. When you generally talk of wants instead of needs…or you think a want is a need.

a bit off topic but I came across a paper which related design movements to economic ontology’s which was very interesting. ref: Kurtgozu, A (2003). From function to emotion: a critical essay on the history of design arguments. The design journal, vol 6, iss 2, pp49-59

In the classic sense we in the indutruilsed world are all living like kings and queens, it was once caculated for the romans to live like we do would require that they each have 130 slaves or more. Designed products are by their nature luxury products, utilatirain products evolve from need with little thought to appearance, but are highly evolved in form/function.

I think your confusing standard of living with quality of life.

Standard of living is measured with everything from indoor plumbing to speed of acess to the internet.

it’s pretty arrogant to think designers get to decide what their company is going to manufacture or not. Or even what people should be allowed to buy or not.

everything we take for granted today as typical standards for living were once lavish, ostentatious luxuries.

This is timely since I had a blow-out argument with a Libertarian “Anarcho-Capitalist” (believes in Capitalism with no government, every man for himself.) He saw Capital as the only dimension of a society that mattered and that there was no such thing as basic human rights.

As a designer, I argued that there are other important dimensions of life not measured in capital, such as happiness. In a capital society, you’re a slave to capital… Is that a happy situation? Money makes a lot of people miserable!

I define a high standard of living as one where I can live the life I want to live, ethically. Freedom is a part of it, but so are Resources and Morals. And I think happiness is the ultimate measure.

I think that is pretty much it right there. Having everything you need to make the things you want happen might be another way I would define it. Having a bit of a moderate libertarian streak myself, that is what I aim for.

I agree with this in principle. But how do you measure happiness? It’s as subjective as what someone’s favorite color is, no?

Really nice and tricky question Cheerygirl.
Well, in my opinion, a person who´s achieved a “hight standard of living” is a person who really knows what is important for his life.
I live in Brazil, so I know lots of really happy people who don´t have many or any money.
I also know a few rich people, who are not happy, because they always want more and more money.
I consider myself a person who have a “hight standard of living”. I have a house, a nice family, three dogs and a cat, a guitar, a vespa scooter and I really love what I do.
In fact, I think I am happier than Bill Gates.

I hate to harp on semantics but, here goes.

one person’s primary mode of transportation is a bicycle - a lower standard of living, but this person is immensly happy = a high quality of life.

Another person drives a Bently - a higher standard of living, but is also miserable = low quality of life.

quantitative vs. qualitative, ok? done harping.

And I agree, autonomy is key, but also being authentic, for example my car is sufficient to meet my needs so I’m happy with it, I’m not going to be miserable because I cant have the luxury brand Bently.

Well not to mention you’re also happy because you won the Copa America… we’ll beat your ass next time :smiley: hehe.

Heheheh! :smiley: Keep dreaming! :smiley:

Resouces=capital freedom=capital one can be happy with very little and one can be moral with little capital, with zero capital it is dog eat dog.

That’s the tournament where guys run around and pretend to be hurt all the time…right?

Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded–here and there, now and then–are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as “bad luck.” …note, that “bad luck” can be re written as capital, in all its forms, time, cash, resouces, and mobility.

Back in the dawn of the WWW the hot button saying was “knowlage is power” the truth is that with out the ablity to act on the knowlage its almost worthless.

Yes that one!!! :smiley: It is the american tournament of the most popular sport on earth. Copa America is the oldest soccer cup and actually the most important after the World Cup.

I was telling my Brazilian brother that they must be happy because they are catching up with 8 victories. Still behind Argentina and Uruguay with 14 times each. :wink:

Sorry to be off topic, but this is somehow related to standard of living and happiness :slight_smile:

Thanks for the interesting replies !

good point on standard of living and quality of life.
I will try to make this clearer.
We cannot solely dictate both. But we could do something
to improve both areas.

To design something that is low in cost and yet able to deliver a high
quality of satisfaction is a way of improving the standard of living.

If a product can serve a humane purpose, satisfy people in terms of either
needs or wants at a price that they can afford;and without
eroding their overall health and well being and thus make people happy;
you have a better quality of life. If a product
is done out of materialism and exploitation, you cannot possibly
be making people happy unless the people you are serving a
bunch of very mean and unscrupulous people who wants to make
money out of indecency.
Hope I have make good sense here. (I still think my explanation is
somewhat off, but I don’t have the time to correct them.)

Agree that happiness cannot be bought with any amount of money.
Its about relationships with people in the form of love among
your family and friends; with your loved ones at home or your
other half if you have one.

I often notice that those people who treat people well usually have a good and healthyfamily lives. The logic is simple: if you cheat, bully and nasty to others, the chances of you doing the similar at home is very real. Broken relationships often stems out of hypocrisy, over sensitivity, impatience and loosing faith in life.

I also think that a good designer is one who understands life. He/she who fails to understand what life is and what happiness is,cannot possibly instill happiness in their products/work.

So in many ways designer do make a difference. In fact everyone has a part when it comes to making life a better place — in quality of life and improving the standard of living.

Basically he/she who cannot give, cannot share;
hence cannot understand and receive what is a better life.

LOL the part in bold is the standard model for profit, you max the percvied value to the customer and ride the cost down to a state where your lower profit per unit is set to garner the largest share of your market…jeeze econ 101 anybody?

LOL the part in bold is the standard model for profit, you max the percvied value to the customer and ride the cost down to a state where your lower profit per unit is set to garner the largest share of your market…jeeze econ 101 anybody?[/quote]

are you ok with life ?

are you ok with life ?[/quote] Happy as a clam, just find common sense rare at times.

well i thnk its a matter of opinion and a change of mind.
I’m not angry at all, just feel that its all very sad.
Common sense would say that its not polite to laugh at people like that too.
best wishes anyway.