Writing Design: Words and Objects

Writing Design: Words and Objects


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Writing Design: Words and Objects by Grace Lees-Maffei

How do we learn about the objects that surround us? As well as gathering sensory information by viewing and using objects, we also learn about objects through the written and spoken word - from shop labels to friends' recommendations and from magazines to patents. But, even as design commentators have become increasingly preoccupied with issues of mediation, the intersection of design and language remains under-explored.Writing Design provides a unique examination of what is at stake when we convert the material properties of designed goods into verbal or textual description. Issues discussed include the role of text in informing design consumption, designing with and through language, and the challenges and opportunities raised by design without language. Bringing together a wide range of scholars and practitioners, Writing Design reveals the difficulties, ethics and politics of writing about design.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781847889553
Publisher: Berg Publishers
Publication date: 01/17/2012
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.70(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Grace Lees-Maffei is Reader in Design History in the School of Creative Arts at the University of Hertfordshire and is co-editor of The Design History Reader (Berg, 2010).

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vii

Contributors xi

Acknowledgements xv

Introduction: Writing Design Grace Lees-Maffei 1

Part 1 Righting Design-on the Reforming Role of Design Criticism

Introduction Grace Lees-Maffei 19

1 Writing about Stuff: The Peril and Promise of Design History and Criticism Jeffrey L. Meikle 23

2 Design Criticism and Social Responsibility: The Flemish Design Critic K.-N.Elno (1920-1993) Fredie Flore 33

3 The Metamorphosis of a Norwegian Design Magazine: nyebonytt, 1968-1971 Kjetil Fallan 47

4 Writing Contemporary Design into History Stephen Hayward 63

Part 2 Mediations-Between Design and Consumption

Introduction Grace Lees-Maffei 77

5 Thinking in Metaphor: Figurative Conceptualizing in John Evelyns Diary and John Ruskin's Stones of Venice Anne Hultzsch 81

6 Regulating the Body in Army Manuals and Trade Guides: The Design of the First World War Khaki Service Dress Jane Tynan 93

7 'Vita Glass and the Discourse of Modern Culture John Stanislav Sadar 103

8 Lewis Mumford's Lever House: Writing a 'House of Glass' Ann Sobiech Munson 119

Part 3 Designing Vim and Through Language

Introduction Grace Lees-Maffei 133

9 Judging a Book by its Cover: Or Does Modernist Form Follow Function? Polly Cantlon Alice Lo 135

10 Reading Details: Caruso St John and the Poetic Intent of Construction Documents Mhairi McVicar 149

11 Applying Oral Sources: Design Historian, Practitioner and Participant Chae Ho Lee 163

12 Fluid Typography: Construction, Metamorphosis and Revelation Barbara Brownie 175

Part 4 Showing as Telling-On Design Beyond Text

Introduction Grace Lees-Maffei 189

13 Showing Architecture through Exhibitions: A Taxonomical Analysis of the First Venice Architecture Biennale (1980) Lea-Catherine Szacka 191

14 Design as a Language without "Words: A G Fronzoni Gabriele Oropallo 205

15 On the Legal Protection of Design: Things and Words about Them Stina Teilmann-Lock 219

16 Text-led and Object-led Research Paradigms: Doing without Words Michael Biggs Daniela Buckler 231

Select Bibliography 243

Index 253

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