3 Between Furniture and Apparatus. Towards the Social History of Electric and Electronic Devices in Post-war Poland
Polish historiography recognises two major directions in reference to industrial design. The first one is focussed on brilliant, but often singular items. The other, in turn, emphasises the negative effect of the centrally-controlled economy on design and production of consumer goods, which usually leads to conclusions about inadequate supply and low quality of the everyday use products. The article attempts to investigate the social life and various factors as conditions for formal changes to electric and electronic devices, with particular focus on radio sets. It is intended to come up with alternative narratives regarding industrial design of the People’s Republic of Poland to show its distinctiveness and unique character qualified by specific social, economic, political and technological contexts. Such an approach, focussed mainly on products implemented and functioning in everyday reality, is meant to depart from normative discourses and replace them with the analysis of the function and role of industrial design objects in the society.
Keywords: history of industrial design, radio set, electronic equipment, People’s Republic of Poland, technology