Thursday, 1 December 2011

Now published by Berg, Writing Design: Words and Objects, edited 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: Words and Objects reveals the difficulties, ethics and politics of writing about design.

TVAD is proud to announce the publication of this book as a product of our Research Group. The editor of Writing Design: Words and Objects is TVAD Coordinator Grace Lees-Maffei, and the book includes an chapter from TVAD's Barbara Brownie, and another by Prof Michael Biggs and Dr Daniela Büchler from the School of Creative Arts at UH. The book is developed from the conference 'Writing Design: Object, Process, Discourse, Translation', hosted by TVAD at UH in September 2009, as the Design History Society Annual Conference. Writing Design: Words and Objects was published with the assistance of the Design History Society's research award.

Contents

Acknowledgements

General Introduction, Grace Lees-Maffei


PART 1: RIGHTING DESIGN - ON THE REFORMING ROLE OF DESIGN CRITICISM
Introduction
1. 'Writing about Stuff': The Peril and Promise of Design History and Criticism, Jeffrey L. Meikle, University of Texas at Austin, USA
2. Design Criticism and Social Responsibility: The Flemish Design Critic K.-N. Elno (1920-1993), Fredie Floré, Ghent University, Belgium
3. The Metamorphosis of a Norwegian Design Magazine: Nye Bonytt, 1968-1971, Kjetil Fallan, University of Oslo, Norway
4. Writing Contemporary Design into History, Stephen Hayward, University of the Arts London, UK


PART 2: MEDIATIONS - BETWEEN DESIGN AND CONSUMPTION
Introduction
5. Thinking in Metaphor: Figurative Conceptualising in John Evelyn's Diary and John Ruskin's Stones of Venice, Anne Hultzsch, University College London, UK
6. Regulating the Body in Army Manuals and Trade Guides: The Design of the First World War Khaki Service Dress, Jane Tynan, University of the Arts London, UK
7. Vitaglass and the Discourse of Modern Culture, John Stanislav Sadar, Monash University, Australia
8. Lewis Mumford's Lever House: Writing a House of Glass, Ann Sobiech Munson, Iowa State University, USA


PART 3: DESIGNING WITH AND THROUGH LANGUAGE
Introduction
9. Judging a Book by its Cover: or Does Modernist Form Follow Function?, Polly Cantlon and Alice Lo, both University of Waikato, New Zealand
10. Reading Details: Caruso St John and the Poetic Intent of Construction Documents, Mhairi McVicar, Welsh School of Architecture, UK
11. Applying Oral Sources: Design Historian, Practitioner and Participant:, Chae Ho Lee, University of Hawai'i at Mânoa, USA
12. Fluid Typography: Construction, Metamorphosis and Revelation, Barbara Brownie, University of Hertfordshire, UK


PART 4: SHOWING AS TELLING - ON DESIGN BEYOND TEXT
Introduction
13. Showing Architecture Through Exhibitions: A Taxonomical Analysis Applied to the Case of the First Venice Architecture Biennale (1980), Léa-Catherine Szacka, University College London, UK
14. Design as Language without Words: AG Fronzoni, Gabriele Oropallo, University College London, UK
15. On the Legal Protection of Design: Things and Words about Them, Stina Teilmann-Lock, Danish Design School, Denmark
16. Text-led and Object-led Research Paradigms: Doing Without Words, Michael Biggs and Daniela Büchler, both University of Hertfordshire, UK


Contributors
List of Illustrations
Select Bibliography
Index.

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