Utility Reassessed: The Role of Ethics in the Practice of Design

Utility Reassessed: The Role of Ethics in the Practice of Design

by Judy Attfield, Attfield
     
 

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Reassessing the concept of utility, this thought-provoking collection explores the philosophy behind utility, and offer a discussion of rational, or ethical, design theory. Rather than repeating arguments about the inadequacies of modern functional design, the book approaches the subject as a continuing history which has attempted to improve the human condition

Overview

Reassessing the concept of utility, this thought-provoking collection explores the philosophy behind utility, and offer a discussion of rational, or ethical, design theory. Rather than repeating arguments about the inadequacies of modern functional design, the book approaches the subject as a continuing history which has attempted to improve the human condition through a process of rational thought in the construction of the material world. Detailed historical studies of cars, textiles, clothing, ceramics, and furniture are presented alongside a generic definition of utility which puts forth a new ethical design theory.

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
For some decades Utility has been discredited along with other utopian design ideals as one of the lesser instances of the failure of Modernism, at best a poor attempt to make a virtue of the gray shabbiness of Britain during and after World War II. Specialists in art history, textiles, and other disciplines define the characteristics of the school, reassess its history, and ponder its ethics. Among their topics are the Council of Industrial Design and the Co-operative Wholesale Society, furniture and the myth of Utility 1943-48, freedom of design, and the politics of consumption. US distribution is by St. Martin's Press. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780719052774
Publisher:
Manchester University Press
Publication date:
08/28/1999
Series:
Studies in Design Series
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
6.88(w) x 9.74(h) x 0.95(d)

Meet the Author

Judy Attfield is Lecturer in Design History and Material Culture at Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton.

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