Design: A Very Short Introduction

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OUP Oxford, 2005 - Art - 148 pages
John Heskett wants to transform the way we think about design by showing how integral it is to our daily lives, from the spoon we use to eat our breakfast cereal, and the car we drive to work in, to the medical equipment used to save lives. Design combines 'need' and 'desire' in the form of a practical object that can also reflect the user's identity and aspirations through its form and decoration. This concise guide to contemporary design goes beyond style and taste to look at how different cultures and individuals personalize objects. Heskett also reveals how simple objects, such as a toothpick, can have their design modified to suit the specific cultural behaviour in different countries. There are also fascinating insights into how major companies such as Nokia, Ford, and Sony approach design. Finally, the author gives us an exciting vision of what design can offer us in the future, showing in particular how it can humanize new technology. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
 

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Contents

2 The historical evolution of design
8
3 Utility and significance
24
4 Objects
37
5 Communications
55
6 Environments
68
7 Identities
84
8 Systems
97
9 Contexts
112
10 Futures
129
Further reading
137
Index
143
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About the author (2005)

John Heskett's analysis of design as the result of social and economic influences has earned him an international reputation as an important commentator on design. He is the author of Industrial Design (Thames and Hudson, 1980; published in translation in Spain, the Netherlands, Italy, Brazil,and Japan) widely used as a basic textbook in design courses in many countries, and Philips: A Study of the Corporate Management of Design (Rizzoli, 1989). He has also contributed articles and essays to numerous magazines, anthologies and catalogues, and regularly writes for ID Magazine. In additionto writing and lecturing internationally on design, he has acted as consultant to governmental bodies and educational organizations in many countries. He is an executive consultant for the Hirano Design Group, a major Japanese consultancy, and visiting professor at Tama Art University in Tokyo.