One of the most significant contributions to design history in recent years Financial TimesObjects of Desire looks at the appearance of consumer goods in the 200 years since the introduction of mechanized production, whether in Josiah Wedgewood s use of neo classicism for his industrially manufactured pottery or the development of appropriate forms for wirelesses The argument is illustrated with examples ranging from penknives to computers and from sewing machines to railway carriages In opening up new ways of appraising the man made world around us, Objects of Desire is required reading for anyone who has any involvement with design and a revealing document about our society 272 black and white illustrations...
|Title||:||Objects of Desire: Design and Society Since 1750|
|Publisher||:||Thames Reprint edition June 17, 1992|
|Number of Pages||:||256 pages|
|File Size||:||975 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Objects of Desire: Design and Society Since 1750 Reviews
This is more for the reader who wants to read an economic and cultural treatise on the development of design and how it has affected culture.
An excellent refute to the assertion that Form Follows Function., containing example after example of consumer objects that were designed to convey specific messages rather than blindly reflecting only the function of the object. One of my "must read" recommendations.
I rediscovered this book after college since I was probably too young to truly appreciate it the first time around. I use it now as the textbook for my Culture of Design seminar because it is one of the rare design history books that can ground design in its social context with real depth or clarity. (And boy, have I looked!)
What is design? Is it what we make it to be, how we want it to be, or is it just designed and accepted by society? Adrian Forty writes the book in an unusual way by setting up each chapter as its own entity, yet the concepts in all the chapters somehow relate. The author enjoys jumping from topic to topic at high speed which makes the read interesting with the overwhelming examples there are in products- in one chapter it went from pocketknives to watches to childhood furniture to textiles to soap to architecture within a span of a couple pages. Ridiculous as it may be, it somehow kept my attention. Filled with pictures of antique and modern design, Forty proves that design has progressed though time according to the needs or perceived needs of society. It makes you see things more as designs than products, and inspires you to wonder why something was designed the way it was. This book was assigned to be read in one of my college classes, and I decided to keep it instead of selling it back after the semester ended.
While there is a fair amount of interesting historical information in the book, it is spoiled by a very heavy dose of academic Marxism and class resentment, as well as an amazing lack of basic historical knowledge (or perhaps, a denial of anything which contradicts theory -- such as assertions that dress and purchase distinctions based on gender and social class were minimal until the development of capitalism). The sections on the development of radios as consumer items are about the only parts of the book not infused with political theory.