Design Discourse: History, Theory, Criticism

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Although design infuses every object in the material world and gives form to immaterial processes as well, it is only recently that design itself has become the focus of intellectual debate. In Design Discourse, Victor Margolin gathers together a body of new writing in the emerging field of design studies. The contributors argue in different ways for a rethinking of design in light of its cultural significance and its powerful position in today's society.

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Editorial Reviews

An anthology of essays, most of which first appeared in the journal Design issues: history, theory, criticism, between 1984 and 1986. Introduced, annotated, and summarized by Margolin, they address modernist conceptions of design, how we give meaning to design, and design history. The focus is on design as a fundamental human activity that manifests social values and policies and yields as much to insightful inquiry as art and literature. No index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226505145
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1989
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 291
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Introduction by Victor Margolin SECTION I: AFTER THE MODERNISTS
Maurizio Vitta
The Meaning of Design
Andrea Branzi
We Are the Primitives
Maurizio Morgantini
Man Confronted by the Third Technological Generation
Fran├žois Burkhardt
Tendencies of German Design Theories in the Past Fifteen Years
Gert Selle
There is No Kitsch, There is Only Design!
Marco Diani
The Social Design of Office Automation
Abraham A. Moles
The Comprehensive Guarantee: A New Consumer Value SECTION II: THE INTERPRETATION OF DESIGN
Richard Buchanan
Declaration by Design: Rhetoric, Argument, and Demonstration in Design Practice
Dieter Rams
Omit the Unimportant
Richard Porch
The Digital Watch: Tribal Bracelet of the Consumer Society
Abraham A. Moles
The Legibility of the World: A Project of Graphic Design
Robin Kinross
The Rhetoric of Neutrality
Ellen Lupton
Reading Isotype
Frances C. Butler
Eating the Image: The Graphic Designer and the Starving Audience
Jack H. Williamson
The Grid: History, Use, and Meaning
Hanno H.J. Ehses
Representing Macbeth: A Case Study in Visual Rhetoric
Clive Ashwin
Clive Dilnot
The State of Design History, Part I: Mapping the Field
Clive Dilnot
The State of Design History, Part II: Problems and Possibilities
Cheryl Buckley
Made in Patriarchy: Toward a Feminist Analysis of Women and Design Postwar Design Literature: A Preliminary Mapping by Victor Margolin List of Contributors

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