The Medium is the Message

“We have now become aware of the possibility of arranging the entire human environment as a work of art, as a teaching machine designed to maximize perception and to make everyday learning a process of discovery. Application of this knowledge would be the equivalent of a thermostat controlling room temperature. It would seem only reasonable to extend such controls to all the sensory thresholds of our being. We have no reason to be grateful to those who juggle these thresholds in the name of haphazard innovation.” pg. 69

With this quote McLuhan brings to light the idea that everything in our day to day environment is designed by someone. The designers of the world have the opportunity to teach us something, or put an idea into our heads, and most do this, just not to the success that is possible. Everything we look at influences in some way whether we know it or not, just like every piece of art is meant to raise some emotion. Designers, artists, and engineers need to use this to inspire innovation in people, perhaps to a unified goal, rather than having a vague meaning. All objects should be made with a precise, well thought out meaning behind them, and attention to every aspect of the object, so the people are not influenced by a haphazard experience.

McLuhan clearly understands that everything around us should be treated as a work of art from conception to consumption. In todays world this thought is becoming more and more present, with companies like Apple taking up the ideology of design and function working hand in hand to provide an experience rather than simple getting a job done.


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