We live in a world drowning in objects. But what do they tell us about ourselves?In The Language of Things, Deyan Sudjic charts our relationship - both innocent and knowing - with all things designed. From the opulent excesses of the catwalk, or the technical brilliance of a laptop computer, to the subtle refinement of a desk lamp, he shows how we can be manipulated and seduced by our possessions. Sudjic delivers an exhilarating insider’s history of design as he introduces us to the world's most original innovators and reveals the hidden meanings in their work. How did the design of a pistol influence a car? Why did a chair make a cafe the most fashionable place in Paris? What can we learn from a banknote, a police uniform or a typeface? And why can't any of us decide what size to wear our trousers? In an age when the word ‘designer’ has become synonymous with the cynical and manipulative, Sudjic examines the qualities behind successful design and explores the conflicting tensions between high art and mass production. Brilliant and courageous, The Language of Things defines the visual vocabulary of our time and gives us a powerful new way of seeing the world.
A report on the interaction between creativity and commerce explores humanity's susceptibility to the latest, hottest, and most expensive gadgets on sale today, revealing the ways in which designer products are made to evince luxury while exploring the gray area between design and art.
The director of the Design Museum defines the greatest artefact of all time: the city We live in a world that is now predominantly urban. So how do we define the city as it evolves in the twenty-first century? Drawing examples from across the globe, Deyan Sudjic decodes the underlying forces that shape our cities, such as resources and land, to the ideas that shape conscious elements of design, whether of buildings or of space. Erudite and entertaining, he considers the differences between capital cities and the rest to understand why it is that we often feel more comfortable in our identities as Londoners, Muscovites, or Mumbaikars than in our national identities.
With a trailblazing career that spans more than seventy-five years and continues to this day, with recent creations that include a Martini glass featured in Bombay Sapphire ads and vases for Klein-Reid, Eva Zeisel stands at the forefront of modern designers. Her works are a reflection of a profoundly independent vision and are featured in the permanent collections of museums throughout the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art. In this lavishly illustrated, full-color book, the designer for the first time communicates the ideas that have guided and inspired her. Each aspect of the design process is analyzedvariety, spontaneity, line, contour, shading, and texture, among othersto show how the best works are the result of a dialogue between creator and object, the result of which is an environment that is pleasurable, comfortable, and elegant. The language in which this dialogue is conducted, the language of things, is one in which Zeisels fluency is unparalleled, and her thoughts, read alongside the photos of her stunning creations and those that have inspired her, make this book indispensable to every enthusiast of art, ceramics, and design.
This excellent collection contains 13 essays from Gadamer's Kleine Schriften, dealing with hermeneutical reflection, phenomenology, existential philosophy, and philosophical hermeneutics. Gadamer applies hermeneutical analysis to Heidegger and Husserl's phenomenology, an approach that proves critical and instructive.
Thomas Owens explores some of the exultant visions inspired by Wordsworth's and Coleridge's close scrutiny of the night sky, the natural world, and the domains of science. He examines a set of scientific patterns drawn from natural, geometric, celestial, and astronomical sources which Wordsworth and Coleridge used to express their ideas about poetry, religion, literary criticism, and philosophy, and establishes the central importance of analogy in their creative thinking. Analogies prompted the poets' imaginings in geometry and cartography, in nature (representations of the moon) and natural history (studies of spider-webs, streams, and dew), in calculus and conical refraction, and in the discovery of infra-red and ultraviolet light. Although this is primarily a study of the patterns which inspired their writing, the findings overturn the prevalent critical consensus that Wordsworth and Coleridge did not have the access, interest, or capacity to understand the latest developments in nineteenth-century astronomy and mathematics, which they did in fact possess. Wordsworth, Coleridge, and 'the language of the heavens' reinstates many relationships which the poets had with scientists and their sources. Most significantly, the book illustrates that these sources are not simply another context or historical lens through which to engage with Wordsworth's and Coleridge's work but are instead a controlling device of the symbolic imagination. Exploring the structures behind Wordsworth's and Coleridge's poems and metaphysics stakes out a return to the evidence of the Romantic imagination, not for its own sake, but in order to reveal that their analogical configuration of the world provided them with a scaffold for thinking, an intellectual orrery which ordered artistic consciousness and which they never abandoned.
Examining the relationship between German poetry, philosophy, and visual media around 1900, Carsten Strathausen argues that the poetic works of Rainer Maria Rilke, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, and Stephan George focused on the visible gestalt of language as a means of competing aesthetically with the increasing popularity and "reality effect" of photography and film. Poetry around 1900 self-reflectively celebrated its own words as both transparent signs and material objects, Strathausen says. In Aestheticism, this means that language harbors the potential to literally present the things it signifies. Rather than simply describing or picturing the physical experience of looking, as critics have commonly maintained, modernist poetry claims to enable a more profound kind of perception that grants intuitive insights into the very texture of the natural world.
In this book the author explores the various meanings assigned to goods sold retail from 1550 to 1820 and how their labels were understood. The first half of the book focuses on these labels and on mercantile language more broadly; how it was used in trade and how lexicographers and others approached what, for them, were new vocabularies. In the second half, the author turns to the goods themselves, and their relationships with terms such as ’luxury’, ’choice’ and ’love’; terms that were used as descriptors in marketing goods. The language of objects is a subject of ongoing interest and the study of consumables opens up new ways of looking at the everyday language of the early modern period as well as the experiences of trade and consumption for both merchant and consumer.