Design Adrian Forty Objects of Desire

ISBN 13: 9780394507927

Objects of Desire

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9780394507927: Objects of Desire

Traces and analyzes the history of product design since 1750, beginning with the design and marketing innovations of Josiah Wedgwood, and examines how product design came into existence, how it influences our choices, and what is says about society

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From Publishers Weekly:

A social history of industrial and consumer design, this provocative study opens up new ways of looking at thousands of objects in our daily environment. Forty, a British architectural historian, notes that design changes have played a key role in gaining acceptance for products and creating wealth. Eighteenth century manufacturers drew heavily on archaic models to overcome consumer resistance to new technology, whereas contemporary makers of high-tech gadgets design utopian images promising a better future. The Victorian home, a sentimental "palace of illusions," was stuffed with theatrical furniture and intricate harmonies that smothered all associations with the unscrupulous world of commerce and work. Notions of cleanliness and hygiene have figured prominently in design, from Le Corbusier's polished exteriors to the streamlining of railway compartment upholstery to remodeling of bathroom fixtures and vacuum cleaners. Forty shows that much more than artistic taste goes into design considerations. Hundreds of illustrations are interwoven with the text.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

Intriguing for its illustrations of oddities in the history of industrial design (e.g., the Squirrel sewing machine, 1858), Forty's analysis is basically soft-sell Marxist ideology, written for general readers. The author's research is based primarily upon secondary sources, with comments added to demonstrate his thesis: "To make sense of design, we must recognize that its disguising, concealing, and tranforming powers have been essential to the progress of modern industrial societies." Chapters are thematic: "Hygiene and Cleanliness," for example, treats refrigerators, bathrooms, railway coach cars, school chairs, and vacuum cleaners. Recommended, with reservations, for large collections. Mary Hamel-Schwulst, Art Dept., Goucher Coll., Towson, Md.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Forty, Adrian
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Forty, Adrian
Published by Pantheon (1986)
ISBN 10: 0394507924 ISBN 13: 9780394507927
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