From the Back Cover
Design plays an integral part in our lives, surrounding us at home and in the office. The products of designwhether in the form of household products, packaging, fashion, software, industrial equipment, or promotional images in the mass mediacan be seen both as objects of beauty and as the result of creative human endeavors.
This insightful, wide-ranging book surveys applied arts and industrial design from the eighteenth century to the present day, exploring the dynamic relationship between design and manufacturing, and the technological, social, and commercial context in which this relationship developed. The effects of a vastly enlarged audience for the products of modern design and the complex dynamic of mass consumption, are also discussed. Part of this dynamic reveals that products serve as symbols for desires that have little to do with need or function.
Wide-ranging examples of product and graphic design are shownand their significance within the history of design explainedincluding vessels and other objects made from glass, ceramics, plastic, or metal, as well as tableware, furniture, textiles, lighting, housings for electric appliances, machines and equipment, cars, tools, books, posters, magazines, illustrations, advertisements, and digital information. The book also explores the impact of a wealth of new manmade industrial materials on the course of modern designfrom steel to titanium, plywood to plastic, cotton to nylon, wire to transistors, and .from microprocessors to nanotubes. The research, development, and applications of these technologies are shown as depending upon far-reaching lines of communication, stretching across geographical and linguistic boundaries. In this way, David Raizman reveals the history of modern design as a "global" history.
About the Author
David Raizman is a professor in the Department of Visual Studies at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA.