Designing Things: A Critical Introduction to the Culture of Objects (Paperback)

A Critical Introduction to the Culture of Objects

By Prasad Boradkar

Berg Publishers, 9781845204273, 326pp.

Publication Date: June 15, 2010



When and why did the turntable morph from music machine to musical instrument? Why have mobile phones evolved changeable skins? How did hip-hop videos inspire an edgy new look for the Cadillac? The answers to such questions illustrate this provocative book, which examines the cultural meanings of artifacts and the role of designers in their design and production.

"Designing Things" provides the reader with a map of the rapidly changing field of design studies, a subject which now draws on a diverse range of theories and methodologies -- from art and visual culture, to anthropology and material culture, to media and cultural studies.

With clear explanations of key concepts -- such as form language, planned obsolescence, object fetishism, product semantics, brand positioning and user needs -- overviews of theoretical foundations and case studies of historical and contemporary objects, " Designing Things" looks behind-the-scenes and beneath-the-surface at some of our most familiar and iconic objects.

About the Author

Prasad Boradkar is Associate Professor in the College of Design at Arizona State University.

Praise For Designing Things: A Critical Introduction to the Culture of Objects

“A must read for those interested in the world of things. It explains complicated theoretical texts in ways that will delight readers.” --David Brody, Parsons The New School for Design “A lucid introduction to many of the theoretical perspectives that exist around objects and their design. For students it provides a deep understanding of the social meanings of design in both its production and consumption and the ethical issues that these raise” --Guy Julier, Leeds Metropolitan University