Book ) discusses a hodgepodge "/>

Design and Truth

Robert Grudin, Author . Yale Univ. $26 (216p) ISBN 978-0-300-16140-3

The faddish exaltation of design as an all-encompassing force reaches an apogee in this scattershot manifesto. English prof Grudin (Book ) discusses a hodgepodge of phenomena as exemplars of good or bad design, including St. Peter's Basilica, Edsel automobiles, Microsoft Word, Heidegger's philosophy, human liberty, and a Velcro doohickey he rigged up to fix his TV remote. Grudin has a cosmic conception of his subject (“the entire universe is a knowledge design”) and draws correspondingly vast conclusions that go beyond engineering and aesthetics into morality and politics: good design, he contends, expresses honesty and integrity, while bad design embodies falsehood, corruption, and abusive power. Unfortunately, these notions get lost in a rambling text that jumbles together perceptive criticism (the artist Christo's installations were “a massive multiplication of banalities”) with self-help exhortations and leadership bromides (“corporate activity on all levels should be value-driven”). There's little payoff to Grudin's inflation of design into a theory of everything beyond abstractions (“The energy field created by a given design is situated within the larger energy that is the marketplace”) and clunky analogies (“The U. S. Constitution is the design equivalent of the Jaguar XKE”). The result is a promising but ill-designed treatise. Photos. (May)

Reviewed on: 03/01/2010
Release date: 04/01/2010
Show other formats
FORMATS
Paperback - 216 pages - 978-0-300-17131-0
Open Ebook - 229 pages - 978-0-300-16203-5
Open Ebook - 229 pages - 978-1-299-46357-8
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.