McDonaldization

As always my Monday morning sleepiness was quickly forgotten by an interesting talk from Terry Irwin. She introduced us to the theory of ‘McDonaldization’ and I have to say I was pretty shocked at some of the statistics. McDonaldization (or McDonaldisation) is a term used by sociologist George Ritzer in his book The McDonaldization of Society.

He describes it as the process by which a society takes on the characteristics of a fast-food restaurant. McDonaldization is a reconceptualization of rationalization, or moving from traditional to rational modes of thought, and scientific management.

I could not find one website in particular so if you would like to learn more I suggest a google search!

I found it rather sad to hear the idea that people, in particular Americans, do not like to be surprised anymore. This is one of the reasons McDonalds is so successful, it is highly predictable. What are the deep implications of taking away the element of surprise?

A statement that got me thinking this morning was Terry suggesting that it is a designers responsibility to educate others about design. Also the notion that change can be provoked but not predicted is very interesting.

Terry showed us this website:

Words are hard to find to talk about this site. It is reality that we are trying to control when we conceive, how we conceive and what we conceive. It is truly scary.

How can we help save the world from this terrible feat? Terry suggests ‘be spontaneous’ and ‘eat at home’ :)