Fads, trends and styles are easily understood. They discourage intellectual depth. They work to make designs easily understood and quickly categorised without requiring thought on the part of the individual user. They provide a pattern, normally easily recognised, which is the "mark of quality," and users can feel confident that a piece is "good" if it displays that pattern. They are often accused of pandering to the lowest common denominator in society, and of trivialising design.
They are extremely profitable. Their life is short. They are replaced at regular intervals by new versions of the same pattern. They provide planned obsolescence, and high turnover. They provide steady income streams. The provide ready methods for the measure of current wealth and status in a group.
They are fickle. They can destroy designers who object to them. They pose problems for large, permanent projects with massive investment, as they will often go out of style before the project is completed.
They are widely critiqued and satired, but they are significant tools in the commercial success of many design offices.
Document Name: tc.assoc.fad.htm
Copyright (c) 1997 -- Mike Fletcher
Reproduction for other than personal use prohibited without express written permission from the author.