Note from reading:

Free workmanship of risk and the regulated workmanship of certainty. Workmanship of risk is practiced in factories and the certainty is in individual studios. David Pye arguing that the diversity or variation that occurred as a result of free workmanship was inherently pleasing.

People have different ideas on what is workmanship/craftsmanship.

  • Affair of hobbies in garden sheds.
  • The source of a valuable ingredient of civilisation.
  • Has a deep spiritual value of a somewhat mystical kind.

The workmanship of risk: The quality of the result is not predetermined, but depends on the judgment, dexterity and care. The quality of the result is continually at risk during the process of making.
The workmanship of certainty: Can be found in quantity production and found in its pure state in full automation. The quality of result is predetermined, there is a standard protocol of making.

Writing with pen (risk) v.s Modern printing(certainty)
For the workmanship of certainty, it originally involves more judgement and dexterity for setting up. But al the judgement and dexterity has been concentrated and stored before e the actual printing starts. When the real making is happening, the product comes out in an absolutely predetermined form with no possibility of variation.
Typewriting represents the in between form, with limited risk. You can mess up the form and typing but all the letters will stay consistent.

Speed in production is the main purpose of the workmanship of certainty but sometimes it can also be for accuracy.

In production, the res is real. But there is much more in workmanship than not spoiling the job, just as there is more in music than playing the right notes.

In order to reach the certainty, you might first need to overcome the risk. For example, how machine for production needs to be built up and that could be the part for risk.

Certain products, people will want to remain its individuality in their possessions and don’t want them to be standardised. The workmanship of risk will not die out but the danger is that from want of theory and thence lack a standards, its possibilities will be neglected and inferior forms of it will be taken for granted and accepted.

The workmanship of risk has no exclusive prerogative of quality. What is has exclusively is an immensely various range of qualities, without which at tis command the art of design becomes arid and impoverished.

For the good workmanship in its aesthetic aspect:

  1. Highly regulated workmanship: an evident intention achieved with evident success.
  2. The characteristic aspect of nature, order permeated by individuality, was the aesthetic broth in which the human sensibility grew.
  3. Good workmanship, produces and exploits the quality I have called diversity. It makes an extension of aesthetic experience beyond the domain controlled by design, down to the smallest scale of formal elements which the eye can distinguish at the shortest range. Even when the production has a standard quality, the certainty, a good maker can still bring in diversity through understand the material.

The workmanship risk in its highly regulated forms can produce a range of specific aesthetic qualities. For the risk and certainty, is it talking more about the quality? Does that mean the aesthetic is another part of consideration?

The quality in design which is called clinical is more or less the quality of no diversity.

Four things are going wrong:

  1. The workmanship of certainty has not yet found out how to produce diversity and export it.
  2. Where highly regulated components are fitted and assembled by the workmanship of risk, is only in part of industrialised, some workmanship is extraordinarily bad.
  3. High quality work by the workmanship of risk is dying out because of the cost of what they do. But what they do has unique aesthetic qualities.
  4. Free workmanship is also dying out and there is no substitute.

The workmanship of certainty can do nearly everything well except produce diversity. Even when pursuing high quality, it is still possible to achieve diversity through the using of material, make us of the inherent qualities of natural materials. Synthetic or processed materials would be made with an equally rich internet diversification, this is how we can make usage of modern technology yet still preserve the diversity. It is also important for the people and society to show that diversity in creation matters.

For bad workmanship in assembling and finishing off, it is not the workman are bad but is the system and how they are educated as workman is wrong. People stop respecting or valuing workman with speciality, one of the reason is because lots of things are remanufactured now.

Workmanship of risk can be applied to two different purposes:

  1. Preparatory: Creates things that make the certainty possible.
  2. Productive: Creates products for sale.

Even productive part is not always necessary, it brings in diversity into our world, its justification is aesthetic not economic. The crafts ought to be a complement to industry.

Now the crafts, even when they do produce the very best quality, are in direct competition with producers of ordinary quality.
When people thinks less for the free workmanship and quality, is it because the changing of the society? Are we more used to mass production and think of we would prefer function than aesthetic? In order to save the workmanship, is it also important to change the culture?

For workman who dedicated to produce high quality works, most of the time they have to compromise to do it at side time in order to have other way for income to support themselves. Workmen do it for the love of it rather than for money, for quality not quantity.

That matters in workmanship i not long experience, but to have one’s heart in the job and to insist on the extreme of professionalism.

There should be an alliance between craftsmen and the designers, to pursuing the good quality and good making. Workmanship and design are extension of each other.

Free workmanship is one of the main sources of diversity. Perhaps in nowadays, the way to keep the workmanship going is to pursuing the high quality of work, to make their work irreplaceable and being valued.



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