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Where Stuff Comes From: How Toasters, Toilets, Cars, Computers and Many Other Things Come To Be As They Are Hardcover – March 14, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
-Donald A. Norman, author of "The Design of Everyday Things
"With great originality, Molotch has created a sociology of objects, seen as the product of the joint work of many people, especially designers. With this in hand, he brings new perspectives to old debates about consumerism and creativity."
-Howard S. Becker, author of "Art Worlds
"This is an engaging and enjoyable book about the design of everyday things. Harvey Molotch tells us what design is, who designers are, where design happens, and how society, culture, geography, the marketplace, and just about everything else imaginable all contribute to making things look and work the way they do."
-Henry Petroski, author of "The Pencil and "The Evolution of Useful Things
"Human beings like stuff. We like to make, steal, hoard, and especially use things. How these goods come to be, how they are designed, manufactured, distributed, and especially used to make meaning is the central concern of industrial society. "Where Stuff Comes From is a superb introduction to exactly how this process works...or doesn't. It's MUST reading for anyone interested in the power of the manufactured world."
-James B. Twitchell, author of "Living It Up: Why We Love
"Superb, a witty and verbally pyrotechnical book. "Where Stuff Comes From is deeply subversive and revolutionizes our thinking aboutconsumerism."
-Jules Lubbock, author of "The Tyranny of Taste
Top Customer Reviews
I found this book fascinating. Some items of `stuff' - such as toys and lamps change relatively quickly in response to fashion. Some other items - such as pencils and toilets - do not. The influences on change seem to vary, depending on the item.
Take, for example, the chair.
Chairs are not universally used around the world; many people squat, sit cross-legged or sit flat on the ground. But where chairs are used, we actively train our children how to use them `properly'. And as a consequence, for many of us: `Chairs have become part of the methodology of respect and rectitude.' The design of chairs has changed, and while there is some contrast between the utilitarian and the artistic, the distinction is often blurred.
It's interesting to consider some of the cultural and other factors that influence design, as well as the functionality that mirrors contemporary life. There are plenty of examples including the garlic press; the Palm Pilot; and the Chrysler PT Cruiser. And there are items that could be different: the computer keyboard (which evolved from the typewriter) for example, or the conventional western toilet which could be modified to accommodate squatting but isn't. Why things are the way they are and what factors influence this makes for very interesting reading. The linkages between items are interesting to consider: the toaster (to give one example) did not develop in isolation.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The first 160 odd pages or so have a printing error making it very difficult to read.Published 6 months ago by Jason
It was great, arrived on time in the condition described and was a lot cheaper then my university bookstore. Thank you!Published on September 25, 2011 by Crimson Cougar 12