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Objects of Desire: Design and Society Since 1750
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Objects of Desire: Design and Society Since 1750

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  259 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Objects of Desire looks at the appearance of consumer goods in the 200 years since the introduction of mechanized production, whether in Josiah Wedgewood's use of neo-classicism for his industrially manufactured pottery or the development of appropriate forms for wirelesses. The argument is illustrated with examples ranging from penknives to computers and from sewing machi ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published June 17th 1992 by Thames Hudson (first published 1986)
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Sep 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: design, dissertation
This book is a staple in the canon of design history so I was glad to read it. Although the ideas may seem commonplace now, Forty challenged the way in which design history was written: there are no histories of individual 'genius' artists or designers here nor any notion of teleological progression. Refering to Barthes's Mythologies, Forty posited the notion that 'unlike the more of less ephemeral media, design has the capacity to cast myths into an enduring, solid and tangible form, so that th ...more
Apr 18, 2011 rated it it was ok
What makes an object desirable? From this book I know now that it is not just great design but also the effort put into the production and the marketing of the object. The book isn’t a how-to, but I can relate to many of the examples. But the book wasn’t exactly a fun read, and I don’t think that the examples were much fun. Plus the illustrations weren’t that amazing or useful either.

Talking about design… this book wasn’t exactly well designed!
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Обычно книги о дизайне фокусируются на вопросах «кто?», «что?» и «зачем?», то есть, на историческом обзоре личностей и событий, на объектах и на внутренней логике процесса дизайна.

Эта книга пытается показать «почему» дизайна. Какие механизмы в обществе вызвали изменения в облике окружающих предметов и как дизайн влияет на общество. Здесь нет детального масштабного обзора, 9 хорошо разобранных примеров и большой список литературы. Керамика и ткани с принтами 19-го века, мебель, интерьер, офисная
Anatoly Gladky
Jan 22, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Чем искусство отличается от дизайна. Как поведение и образ жизни людей меняли образ офиса и жилья. Как стремление к чистоте изменила мебель. Почему плита выглядела как камин? Если заинтересовало — советую прочитать.
How art is different from design. How people's behaviors and lifestyles have changed the way the office and home look. How the desire for cleanliness changed furniture. Why did the stove look like a fireplace? If interested, I suggest you read it.
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dissertation
4.5 rounded up. I read this after reading A View From the Interior: Feminism, Women and Design (ed. Judy Attfield and Pat Kirkham) and both books complement each other well, with the latter providing excellent feminist context and comment which is perhaps less considered in Objects of Desire.
Вообще тут три с половиной, но гудридз не дает такой возможности.

Отличная книга о дизайне, торговле и способе донесения мысли товара до людей.

Издание НЕВЕРОЯТНОЕ, страницы настолько плотные, что кажется будто это две склеенные страницы. Лучше Темы в стране книги не печатает никто.
Viktoria Dobrodenchuk
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A must-read for designers and lovers of history. A beautiful window in the past of everyday things
Anatol Seibel
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Интересно про историю дизайна. Конечно же - много конкретных примеров и иллюстраций.
Igor Podoprygora
Feb 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of top reads on design history so far. A must read for anyone involved in product creation, forms a deeper understanding of design.
Doesn't go into specifics and terminology so accessible for everyone.
Sep 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Достаточно интересная книга, которая исследует историю дизайна в основном интерьера на примере истории дизайна Великобритании. Есть интересные заметки и исследования. Обложка вводит в заблуждение, потому что это не буквально история промышленного дизайна в привычном понимании. Здесь не будет как в энциклопедиях историй в алфавитном порядке о том, кто изобрёл булавку или пылесос. Скорее общий взгляд на то, как дизайн влиял на общество в истории.

Этоне какая-то гениальная книга, обязательная к проч
Oct 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This is a great book for someone willing to learn about the history of design. How the concept of design appeared in the first place and which changes it brought to the appearance of objects. I have nothing to do with the design in my work or studies but this book was extremely interesting for me, it gives quite an insight.
Brad Needham
Nov 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An excellent refute to the assertion that Form Follows Function., containing example after example of consumer objects that were designed to convey specific messages rather than blindly reflecting only the function of the object. One of my "must read" recommendations. ...more
Sep 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
strong 4+
Yoonho Choi
Jul 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The best book I've read since I began to look at design history. His socio-economic approach to design has influenced so much on design history and material culture studies. ...more
Sep 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
I'm hoping to gain some inspiration for a lecture I have to give from this book that I read years ago...and recently purchased from Broadway Market. ...more
Snoozie Suzie
Aug 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
The only text book from my degree course I actually read from cover to cover. And kept. Very interesting book and how design works.
Jan 29, 2010 rated it liked it
About the relationship between social and cultural trends and the design of material objects. Written by a British author, and uses primarily examples from Britain.
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Adrian Forty is Professor of Architectural History at The Bartlett, the Faculty of the Built Environment at University College London. He is the Programme Director of the MSc programme in Architectural History.

In 2003, he was awarded the Sir Misha Black Award for Innovation in Design Education.

Forty's main interest is in architecture's role in societies and cultural contexts. His research includes

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“In the way it transforms ideas and beliefs, successful design is like alchemy: it fuses together disparate ideas from different origins, so that the form of the completed product seems to embody only a single idea, which comes across as so familiar that we find ourselves supposing it to be exactly what we ourselves had always thought.” 0 likes
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