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Critical Analysis of Needs

Human beings have constructed the complex realm of reality, knowledge and value as we discussed in the last post. Innate to every human being is memory, body, emotions, senses, creativity, imagination and needs. All of it facilitated within the ideas of time and space. Senses help in perception and in experiencing reality.

For the sake of the project, people are modelled as complex human beings who possess privilege, prejudice, power and needs rather than user or consumers of particular commodity or service. The human needs are categorised broadly into 2 categories, physiological and psychological.

The numerous human needs are met by 5 different sources and as listed below. (Note: Sizes of the circle doesn't denote its degree of importance). Different means of consumption satisfy different needs and the way we interact with these sources are also very different. For example, markets primarily work on exchange of money, relationships and nature does not work on the same.

However, existence of these sources that satisfy needs is one part of the story, the other part is access to it. Different people have different degrees of access to these means of consumption based on the privilege they have. Privilege comes from 2 sources: identity and institutions. There is a massive disparity in the privilege due to prejudice among people with power.

These privileges allow for a degree of access to the means of consumption and for the scope of this project, we will focus more on markets and elaborate more on its complexities.

- People interact with the market by making a purchase, exchange money for commodities and services. These sold by sellers and manufactured with labour, infrastructure and machinery and are made accessible through logistics. Raw materials are either mined or grown which form the base for manufacturing.

- 5 types of capital: human (labour), finance (money), physical (machinery and infrastructure), social (people) and natural (raw materials) are required to produce commodities and services.

- People do 3 major tasks: purchase, use and dispose. Design and marketing work closely to address all these tasks. Research takes insights on user needs and advertising sells the final output back to people.

The critical analysis helps us identify and differentiate between social processes and individual choices. Society is a set of structures (static) and systems (dynamics) that keeps large number of people together through shared ideas and culture. Design plays a huge role in defining these structures and systems and we as designers should understand the power vested in us and make the world a more equal place.

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