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Poll
Question: do you consider steampunk to have any practical elements or is it simply fantasy and style?
It's functional at it's core, the style is just a finishing touch. - 9 (42.9%)
it can have it's practical applications still in todays world. - 10 (47.6%)
it has practical uses but they are outdated and there are easier and better ways now. - 1 (4.8%)
it's fantasy that sometimes people shoe horn a practical use into. - 1 (4.8%)
It's pure fantasy sometimes just made to look impressive. - 0 (0%)
Total Voters: 20

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Author Topic: Practical or Fantasy  (Read 876 times)
rovingjack
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« on: April 11, 2015, 08:37:45 pm »

somewhere else in the internet somebody was talking about whether something they liked was practical or just a sort of fantasy. One of the responders, who believed their interest was entirely practical, used steampunk as an example of nothing but costumes and makebelieve with no practical applications possible.

I've disagree and made my point there. The short version being simply that there certainly is a good deal of costumes and fantasy fun to be had in it, and there is nothing wrong with that, but it is not a requirement nor a mar on the practicality of steampunk and it's application to the greater world we live in.

But I find myself curious about how people here view it.
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Atterton
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« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2015, 08:42:25 pm »

I think we actually need to define steampunk first, to answer that question. Is there any subculture that can be said to have a practical purpose?
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frances
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« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2015, 11:44:57 pm »

Practical purpose - keeps me sane.
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Hurricane Annie
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« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2015, 12:09:36 am »

To wade into the debate:

Everything has a design, whether it be of  nature , man or greater power. Practical items and applications are no exception. Man made design and stylings will follow the social trend / zeitgeist of its moment. Steampunk has  inveigled itself into the aether of current fashion and style.

 Industrial  and retrofit are a strong element of steampunk, therefore  will adapt favourably  to  practical design . Vintage and nostalgia  are the foundation of the steampunk ethos; these influences on aesthetics never go out of fashion.

Whether it be clothing,  home appliances & decor, vehicles,  architecture , art, furniture, die casting, plastic molding, food & entertainment - Steampunk will  have an influence for practical application in this era
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Maets
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« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2015, 03:50:15 am »

I prefer the more practical the better.   Most thinks I make do something.
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Rory B Esq BSc
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« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2015, 09:12:29 am »

At it's best it's an elegant marriage of form and function as advocated by William Morris.

Even if it was entirely 'fantasy' it would have a practical use in allowing people to act out their fantasies and have fun, meet new friends and so on. So as I see it the two are not mutually exclusive, the most 'outlandish steampunk outfit can still be worn and items what are 'purely decorative' fulfill their intended purpose of making something more aesthetically pleasing.

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Smaggers
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« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2015, 08:05:36 pm »

Making things aesthetically pleasing is a practical purpose.  Ask any product designer.
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Miranda.T
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« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2015, 11:22:22 pm »

Although the fantasy element is undeniable, I feel that having learned so much in terms of 'maker' techniques from the outstanding works showcased in these fora that there is definitely a compelling case to be made for its practicality.

Yours,
Miranda.
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2015, 12:42:43 am »

For 5 years, my job was to make functional items which were also whimsical.  So I voted accordingly.
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Herbert West
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« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2015, 11:30:31 am »

Like a Rube Goldburg device, Steampunks ability to do practical jobs in overly complex, impractical ways is part of its charm.
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Maets
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« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2015, 12:21:53 pm »

Like a Rube Goldburg device, Steampunks ability to do practical jobs in overly complex, impractical ways is part of its charm.

Nicely put.
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Prof Marvel
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« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2015, 10:24:51 pm »

Greetings My Dear Netizens -
It is my theory, which belongs to me, and which therefore is mine, that if one were to design any object, tool
Or other product purely based upon functionality and practicality, such a design would be a souless box or cube, boring and devoid of any human spirit. By adding style, whether it be steamy, modernisch, danish modern, medieval,or whatever, we embrace the humanity of the thing. Without style, , it would be Life In Hell (by matt groenig ) .
Yhs
Prof marvel
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VampirateMace
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« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2015, 06:24:23 am »

Well, it depends on who is making what, doesn't it? My ray-gun doesn't work, but my handmade journals sure do. . . Now please excuse me while I wonder why I haven't made any journals to list in my shop.
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Rory B Esq BSc
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« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2015, 03:42:15 pm »

If you align the third cog from the left to a full moon at 8.37 Greenwich mean time the 7th cog uo and to the right (16th tooth) will point you home ... (honest)!
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Patron Zero
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« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2015, 09:48:24 pm »

Regardless of what sort of device I'm roughing, say a firearm design or other non-weaponry device, I do try and approach such as if actually assembling a 'working' item.

Mechanical items are much simpler as just a matter of the gears and linkages properly set and moving, when such involves aether-powered devices is when things get 'complicated'.

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Sludge Van Diesel
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« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2015, 09:13:53 pm »

To be honest, I've seen things that could apply to each one of the options from functional to purely decorative & all points in between.
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