The Language of Things: Understanding the World of Desirable Objects

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Overview

A brilliant exposé of the interaction between art, design, and commerce.In ?The Language of Things, ?the director of London's Design Museum charts our relationship with all things designed. With scintillating wit and an eye for the pleasures and dangers of rampant consumerism, Deyan Sudjic takes us from luxury car commercials to glossy advertisements for seasonal variations of the Prada purse to the hype surrounding the latest version of the iPhone, exploring how we are manipulated and seduced by our possessions....

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The Language of Things: Understanding the World of Desirable Objects

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Overview

A brilliant exposé of the interaction between art, design, and commerce.In ?The Language of Things, ?the director of London's Design Museum charts our relationship with all things designed. With scintillating wit and an eye for the pleasures and dangers of rampant consumerism, Deyan Sudjic takes us from luxury car commercials to glossy advertisements for seasonal variations of the Prada purse to the hype surrounding the latest version of the iPhone, exploring how we are manipulated and seduced by our possessions. Who would've thought that it's the subtle visual similarity between the Volkswagen Golf GTI and the barrel of an automatic pistol that makes people want to get behind the wheel? And why is it that digital cameras in cell phones "click" even though they don't have a shutter? Sudjic's illuminating argument will resound with anyone who has ever been affected by how things look—lured, in other words, by the powerful siren call of design.

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Editorial Reviews

Donald Norman

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.

Michael Bierut

[Sudjic] views the world of objects that surrounds us with both unabashed passion and supreme skepticism.... We could ask for no better guide.

Henry Petrosky

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.

Bill Moggridge

[Sudjic] writes beautifully, communicating an expert knowledge of design in words so well crafted that you look forward to every sentence.

Richard Sennett

An evocative, sometimes disturbing, always intelligent book about the poetry of material things.

John Dunningan

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.

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 London's 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 Depression"and 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, Sudjic's 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 today's economy. 71 b&w illus, 5 color illus. (June)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393070811
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/1/2009
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 943,777
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Deyan Sudjic is director of the Design Museum, London. He is the author of 100-Mile City and The Edifice Complex and the coauthor of The Architecture Pack.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2013

    Efdfdtdgd

    I hate it lol

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