Sweeping from the 1851 Crystal Palace exhibition in London to today's computer-aided design, this big, jazzy album explores the role of designed objects in our daily lives. Its 600 plates (about half in color) and 30 historical and analytical essays document a major exhibition in Paris. The eclectic, scholarly essays by a diverse group of academics, professionals and artists deal with the convergence of European and American design traditions, the survival of the craft idea, art deco's nostalgic appeal, the streamlining craze following WW I, the use of new materials, the symbolic significance of household appliances and the ``biodesign'' of cameras, cars and razors in shapes adapted to the human body. The text is punctuated with in-depth analyses of the Remington typewriter, the Singer sewing machine, the Barbie doll, the Walkman and other familiar products. De Noblet, director of the Centre de Recherche sur la Culture Technique in Paris, has created a fertile repository for browsing and serious study. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1996 Release date: 01/01/1996 Genre:
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