From Publishers Weekly
Like geese force-fed grain until their livers explode, to make foie gras, we are a generation born to consume, says this witty commentary on rampant consumerism enabled by design innovation. Indeed, Sudjic (director of LondonÖs Design Museum and author of The Edifice Complex
) says, consumer snobbery and design obsession can border on high-functioning autism. Writing almost conversationally, he explores how consumer engineering expanded the design process, inspiring the world to consume [its] way out of the Great Depressionand becoming the present marketing ideal. Luxury, fashion and art, says Sudjic,are the highlights of modern design, with fashion as the most developed form of built-in obsolescence—and consumers are willing to pay dearly for the impermanence. Brimming throughout with primarily British examples, pricing and language, SudjicÖs appreciation of first-rate design shows through his vivid descriptions of universally classic functional or aesthetically pleasing archetypes. Especially appealing to marketers and design connoisseurs, this is easily digestible for the average consumers interested in knowingly purchasing quality design for the senses—if they can still afford it in todayÖs economy. 71 b&w illus, 5 color illus. (June)
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A deep, penetrating look at the ever-perilous battle among the competing forces of art, fashion, and practicality.... Difficult to read because I was laughing so much, I kept losing my place.
” (Donald Norman, author of Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things)
[Sudjic] views the world of objects that surrounds us with both unabashed passion and supreme skepticism.... We could ask for no better guide.
” (Michael Bierut, author of Seventy-nine Short Essays on Design)
A mind-broadening look at how designers of all kinds make our material world what it is.... Full of eye-opening examples of design at its most daring—and most successful.
” (Henry Petrosky, author of Small Things Considered: Why There Is No Perfect Design)
[Sudjic] writes beautifully, communicating an expert knowledge of design in words so well crafted that you look forward to every sentence.
” (Bill Moggridge, cofounder of IDEO and author of Designing Interactions)
An evocative, sometimes disturbing, always intelligent book about the poetry of material things.
” (Richard Sennett, author of The Culture of the New Capitalism)
The Language of Things reads like a good conversation with someone who has a deep understanding of his subject matter.... A provocative and effective way of looking at our world through the lens of objects.
” (John Dunningan, Dean of Architecture and Design, Rhode Island School of Design)