Blog Post 4

Mass Production vs. Industrial District

In the Rise and Fall of Mass Production, Henry Ford tells us the components of mass production are as follows:

A) Planned orderly and continuous progression of the commodity through the job;

B) The delivery of work instead of leaving it to the workman’s initiative to find it;

C) An analysis of operations into their constituents parts– Henry Ford P 159

Through the understanding the industrial district, we can see that mass production isn’t the only way industry can thrive. According to Professor Cenzatti the contrast between mass production and the industrial district as follows:

Mass Production Industrial District
Not flexible Flexible
Large firms Cluster of small medium firms
Invest in machinery Circulation of skills and ideas
Labor does not require skill Labor does require skill/craftsmanship

One example of a city with an economy focused on mass production would the manufacturing of automobiles in a city like Detroit, Michigan. This example shows us large corporations like Ford Motors who embody concepts such as Taylorism and low skill labor. They use a blueprint for a car and manufacture many as efficiently as possible. However, this industry was lost to competitors due to its lack of flexibility. The city is reflects this paradigm through concepts of “company towns” or suburbia, in which housing is strategically planned to correspond with these mass production jobs that require many employees.

An example of a city with an economy focused on industrial districts is Los Angeles. With industry such as entertainment postproduction or manufacturing one-of-kind custom cars, we can see that these small and medium firms require a creative class. This causes the built environment to revolve around fragmentation with no clear center. With many small hubs for “incubation” and apprenticeship Los Angeles is fragmented with various communities and planning styles.


Both types of industries can function and thrive simultaneously and independently depending on circumstances. While differing in many points, both contribute to the quality of life and values we hold living in America.



11 FORD – Mass Production.pdf

Lecture 2/7/17 and 2/9/2017 by Marco Cenzatti- Environmental Design 4B, UC Berkeley



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