Strangely familiar: design and everyday life

Front Cover
In the past decade, designers have become increasingly engaged with the quotidian. This shift away from more strictly formal and functional concerns has allowed them to freely explore design's contexts and effects. A light that responds to silence, a table that knows where it is, a pig farm the size of a skyscraper, a coat that becomes a tent, a house that fits in your pocket--these projects by innovators in the field of design question the habitual, transform the commonplace, alter our notions of dwelling and blur the boundaries between form and function. Strangely Familiar: Design and Everyday Lifeexplores the paradox of design in our daily lives. Anonymous and conspicuous, familiar and strange, design surrounds us while fading from view, becoming second nature to us and yet remaining still somehow elusive. This exhibition catalogue includes more than 40 innovative projects drawn internationally from the fields of architecture, product, furniture, fashion and graphic design. Among the designers and architects featured are Shigeru Ban, MVRDV, LOT-EK, Atelier Bow-Wow, Dunne & Raby, Marcel Wanders, Michael Anastassiades, Constantin and Laurene Leon Boym, and Allan Wexler. This richly illustrated volume includes essays on the tactics of formlessness and its impact on everyday consumption, the potential of an endlessly transformable environment to extend product lifecycles, and ruminations on the strange and familiar worlds of design.

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Foreword 89 Rituals of
Andrew Blauvelt swing Greediness Meter Insipid Collection
Aaron Betsky Container Mobile Dwelling Unit Etana

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About the author (2003)

Andrew Blauvelt is Design Director and Curator at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, where he organized the traveling exhibitions, "Strangely Familiar: Design and Everyday Life" (2003) and "Some Assembly Required: Contemporary Prefabricated Houses" (2005). His writings on design and culture have appeared in such publications as "Emigre", "Graphis", "Eye", "Idea", "Design Issues", "Design Book Review", "AIGA Journal", "ACD Statements" and "Zed".