Author: M. VAN HELVERT
Within the design discipline, calls for sustainability and social responsibility have become some of the most common rallying cries of the past decade, generating countless new products, materials and technologies—all designed to change the course of our future. Adjectives like “sustainable,” “green” and “eco” describe this new wave of socially committed design. But though today’s conditions are urgent and particular, the ideologies behind these new products are often not totally new, but rather a part of design history. Contemporary sustainable design is just the newest chapter of a story that stretches back throughout the previous centuries. The Responsible Objectpresents a selected history of socially committed design strategies within the Western design tradition of roughly the last 150 years, from William Morris to Victor Papanek, and from VKhUTEMAS to FabLab. It includes about 20 interstitial mini-posters with slogans from the text, printed on different colored papers.
A Comparative History
Author: Mark Walker
Does science work best in a democracy? Were 'Soviet' or 'Nazi' science fundamentally different from science in the USA? These questions have been passionately debated in the recent past. Particular developments in science took place under particular political regimes, but they may or may not have been directly determined by them. Science and Ideology brings together a number of comparative case studies to examine the relationship between science and the dominant ideology of a state. Cybernetics in the USA is compared to France and the Soviet Union. Postwar Allied science policy in occupied Germany is juxtaposed to that in Japan. The essays are narrowly focussed, yet cover a wide range of countries and ideologies. The collection provides a unique comparative history of scientific policies and practices in the 20th century.
Author: Jonathan M. Woodham
Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks
Presents an overview of twentieth-century design in the western industrialized world and the Far East, focusing on topics such as modernism, consumerism, and social responsibility
Design and Theories of Things
Author: Leslie Atzmon,Prasad Boradkar
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Encountering Things brings together leading design scholars to explore the relationship between thing theory and design, exploring production processes and offering an engaging, theoretical perspective about the social and cultural lives of objects. Focusing on the themes of process and product, the contributors investigate the productive interplay between the activity of design and the objects that design uses and produces. Chapters span the design disciplines and essays examine the processes by which objects, things, and artifacts are made; the lives of design objects; and things in their cultural contexts. Theoretical discussion is encouraged by in-depth case studies of things themselves. Each chapter includes an informational sidebar per essay and a useful glossary of key terms.
A History of Design Criticism
Author: Alice Twemlow
Publisher: MIT Press
Product design criticism operates at the very brink of the landfill site, salvaging some products with praise but consigning others to its depths through condemnation or indifference. When a designed product's usefulness is past, the public happily discards it to make room for the next new thing. Criticism rarely deals with how a product might be used, or not used, over time; it is more likely to play the enabler, encouraging our addiction to consumption. With Sifting the Trash, Alice Twemlow offers an especially timely reexamination of the history of product design criticism through the metaphors and actualities of the product as imminent junk and the consumer as junkie. Twemlow explores five key moments over the past sixty years of product design criticism. From the mid-1950s through the 1960s, for example, critics including Reyner Banham, Deborah Allen, and Richard Hamilton wrote about the ways people actually used design, and invented a new kind of criticism. At the 1970 International Design Conference in Aspen, environmental activists protested the design establishment's lack of political engagement. In the 1980s, left-leaning cultural critics introduced ideology to British design criticism. In the 1990s, dueling London exhibits offered alternative views of contemporary design. And in the early 2000s, professional critics were challenged by energetic design bloggers. Through the years, Twemlow shows, critics either sifted the trash and assigned value or attempted to detect, diagnose, and treat the sickness of a consumer society.
Author: Megan Prelinger
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Category: Technology & Engineering
A visual history of the electronic age captures the collision of technology and art—and our collective visions of the future. A hidden history of the twentieth century’s brilliant innovations—as seen through art and images of electronics that fed the dreams of millions. A rich historical account of electronic technology in the twentieth century, Inside the Machine journeys from the very origins of electronics, vacuum tubes, through the invention of cathode-ray tubes and transistors to the bold frontier of digital computing in the 1960s. But, as cultural historian Megan Prelinger explores here, the history of electronics in the twentieth century is not only a history of scientific discoveries carried out in laboratories across America. It is also a story shaped by a generation of artists, designers, and creative thinkers who gave imaginative form to the most elusive matter of all: electrons and their revolutionary powers. As inventors learned to channel the flow of electrons, starting revolutions in automation, bionics, and cybernetics, generations of commercial artists moved through the traditions of Futurism, Bauhaus, modernism, and conceptual art, finding ways to link art and technology as never before. A visual tour of this dynamic era, Inside the Machine traces advances and practical revolutions in automation, bionics, computer language, and even cybernetics. Nestled alongside are surprising glimpses into the inner workings of corporations that shaped the modern world: AT&T, General Electric, Lockheed Martin. While electronics may have indelibly changed our age, Inside the Machine reveals a little-known explosion of creativity in the history of electronics and the minds behind it.
Author: John Heskett
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
John Heskett was a pioneering British design historian, with a particular interest in design and economics. Design and the Creation of Value' publishes for the first time his groundbreaking seminar on design and economic value. In remarkably clear and accessible prose Heskett explores the how the key traditions of economic thought conceive of how value is created. Critically teasing out the role of design in this process, Heskett shows how design's role in innovating and creating value creating value for organisations and products can be given a firm grounding in economic theory. Featuring examples of businesses which have successfully responded to the value of design in their practice, as well as others who have failed because of their inability to understand value-creation, Heskett looks in detail at the relationship between producers, markets, products and consumers, using these instances to offer a both a strong critique of the limitations conventional economic thought and new model of the economic importance of design thinking in value creation.
History, Theory, and Practices
Author: Matt Malpass
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Critical Design is becoming an increasingly influential discipline, affecting policy and practice in a range of fields. Matt Malpass's book is the first to introduce critical design as a field, providing a history of the discipline, outlining its key influences, theories and approaches, and explaining how critical design can work in practice through a range of contemporary examples. Critical Design moves away from traditional approaches that limit design's role to the production of profitable objects, focusing instead on a practice that is interrogative, discursive and experimental. Using a wide range of examples from contemporary practice, and drawing on interviews with key practitioners, Matt Malpass provides an introduction to critical design practice and a manifesto for how a radical and unorthodox practice might provide design answers in an age of austerity and ecological crisis.
Author: Benzion Netanyahu
Publisher: New York Review of Books
The Spanish Inquisition remains a fearful symbol of state terror. Its principal target was theconversos, descendants of Spanish Jews who had been forced to convert to Christianity some three generations earlier. Since thousands of them confessed to charges of practicing Judaism in secret, historians have long understood the Inquisition as an attempt to suppress the Jews of Spain. In this magisterial reexamination of the origins of the Inquisition, Netanyahu argues for a different view: that the conversos were in fact almost all genuine Christians who were persecuted for political ends. The Inquisition's attacks not only on the conversos' religious beliefs but also on their "impure blood" gave birth to an anti-Semitism based on race that would have terrible consequences for centuries to come. This book has become essential reading and an indispensable reference book for both the interested layman and the scholar of history and religion.
Author: Keith M. Murphy
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Category: Social Science
Swedish designers are noted for producing distinctive and elegant forms; their furniture and household goods have an especially loyal following around the world. Design in Sweden has more than just an aesthetic component, however. Since at least the late nineteenth century, Swedish politicians and social planners have viewed design as a means for advocating and enacting social change and pushing for a more egalitarian social organization. In this book, Keith M. Murphy examines the special relationship between politics and design in Sweden, revealing in particular the cultural meanings this relationship holds for Swedish society. Over the course of fourteen months of research in Stockholm and at other sites, Murphy conducted in-depth interviews with various players involved in the Swedish design industry—designers, design instructors, government officials, artists, and curators—and observed several different design collectives in action. He found that, for Swedes, design is never socially or politically neutral. Even for common objects like furniture and other household goods, design can be labeled “responsible,” “democratic,” or “ethical”— descriptors that all neatly resonate with the traditional moral tones of Swedish social democracy. Murphy also considers the example of Ikea and its power to politicize perceptions of the everyday world. More broadly, Swedish Design serves as a model for an anthropological approach to the study of design practice, one that accounts for the various ways in which order is purposefully and meaningfully imposed by designers on the domains of human life, and the consequences those impositions have on the social worlds in which they are embedded.
Designing in a Complex World
Author: John Thackara
Publisher: MIT Press
Category: Business & Economics
We're filling up the world with technology and devices, but we've lost sight of an important question: What is this stuff for? What value does it add to our lives? So asks author John Thackara in his new book, In the Bubble: Designing for a Complex World. These are tough questions for the pushers of technology to answer. Our economic system is centered on technology, so it would be no small matter if "tech" ceased to be an end-in-itself in our daily lives. Technology is not going to go away, but the time to discuss the end it will serve is before we deploy it, not after. We need to ask what purpose will be served by the broadband communications, smart materials, wearable computing, and connected appliances that we're unleashing upon the world. We need to ask what impact all this stuff will have on our daily lives. Who will look after it, and how?In the Bubble is about a world based less on stuff and more on people. Thackara describes a transformation that is taking place now -- not in a remote science fiction future; it's not about, as he puts it, "the schlock of the new" but about radical innovation already emerging in daily life. We are regaining respect for what people can do that technology can't. In the Bubble describes services designed to help people carry out daily activities in new ways. Many of these services involve technology -- ranging from body implants to wide-bodied jets. But objects and systems play a supporting role in a people-centered world. The design focus is on services, not things. And new principles -- above all, lightness -- inform the way these services are designed and used. At the heart of In the Bubble is a belief, informed by a wealth of real-world examples, that ethics and responsibility can inform design decisions without impeding social and technical innovation.
Author: Elie Wiesel
Publisher: Hill and Wang
Category: Biography & Autobiography
A New Translation From The French By Marion Wiesel Night is Elie Wiesel's masterpiece, a candid, horrific, and deeply poignant autobiographical account of his survival as a teenager in the Nazi death camps. This new translation by Marion Wiesel, Elie's wife and frequent translator, presents this seminal memoir in the language and spirit truest to the author's original intent. And in a substantive new preface, Elie reflects on the enduring importance of Night and his lifelong, passionate dedication to ensuring that the world never forgets man's capacity for inhumanity to man. Night offers much more than a litany of the daily terrors, everyday perversions, and rampant sadism at Auschwitz and Buchenwald; it also eloquently addresses many of the philosophical as well as personal questions implicit in any serious consideration of what the Holocaust was, what it meant, and what its legacy is and will be.
A Brief History of Humankind
Author: Yuval Noah Harari
Publisher: Harper Collins
New York Times Bestseller A Summer Reading Pick for President Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution—a #1 international bestseller—that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.” One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us? Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book that begins about 70,000 years ago with the appearance of modern cognition. From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas. Dr. Harari also compels us to look ahead, because over the last few decades humans have begun to bend laws of natural selection that have governed life for the past four billion years. We are acquiring the ability to design not only the world around us, but also ourselves. Where is this leading us, and what do we want to become? Featuring 27 photographs, 6 maps, and 25 illustrations/diagrams, this provocative and insightful work is sure to spark debate and is essential reading for aficionados of Jared Diamond, James Gleick, Matt Ridley, Robert Wright, and Sharon Moalem.
Author: C. J. Chivers
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Traces the history of the AK-47 assault rifle, from its inception to its use by more than fifty national armies around the world, to its role in modern-day Afghanistan, discussing how the deadly weapon has helped alter world history.
A Global Design Manual
Author: Ruben Pater
Publisher: Bis Publishers
Politics of Print is a collection of visual examples from around the world. Using ideas from anthropology and sociology.
Author: Slavoj Žižek
From the tragedy of 9/11 to the farce of the financial meltdown.
Author: David Golumbia
Publisher: Harvard University Press
In The Cultural Logic of Computation, David Golumbia, who worked as a software designer for more than ten years, argues that computers are cultural "all the way down" - that there is no part of the apparent technological transformation that is not shaped by historical and cultural processes, or that escapes existing cultural politics. The Cultural Logic of Computation provides a needed corrective to the uncritical enthusiasm for computers common today in many parts of our culture.
Author: Maggie Nelson
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
“This is criticism at its best.”—Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times Writing in the tradition of Susan Sontag and Elaine Scarry, Maggie Nelson has emerged as one of our foremost cultural critics with this landmark work about representations of cruelty and violence in art. From Sylvia Plath’s poetry to Francis Bacon’s paintings, from the Saw franchise to Yoko Ono’s performance art, Nelson’s nuanced exploration across the artistic landscape ultimately offers a model of how one might balance strong ethical convictions with an equally strong appreciation for work that tests the limits of taste, taboo, and permissibility.
Author: Slavoj Žižek
In this provocative and original work, Slavoj _i_ek takes a look at the question of human agency in a postmodern world. From the sinking of the Titanic to Hitchcock’s Rear Window, from the operas of Wagner to science fiction, from Alien to the Jewish Joke, the author’s acute analyses explore the ideological fantasies of wholeness and exclusion which make up human society. _i_ek takes issue with analysts of the postmodern condition from Habermas to Sloterdijk, showing that the idea of a ‘post-ideological’ world ignores the fact that ‘even if we do not take things seriously, we are still doing them’. Rejecting postmodernism’s unified world of surfaces, he traces a line of thought from Hegel to Althusser and Lacan, in which the human subject is split, divided by a deep antagonism which determines social reality and through which ideology operates. Linking key psychoanalytical and philosophical concepts to social phenomena such as totalitarianism and racism, the book explores the political significance of these fantasies of control. In so doing, The Sublime Object of Ideology represents a powerful contribution to a psychoanalytical theory of ideology, as well as offering persuasive interpretations of a number of contemporary cultural formations.