Design and Aesthetics: A Reader
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Design and Aesthetics: A Reader is a comprehensive student reader on design history and aesthetic theory. It includes contributions from many of the writers whose work has been foundational to these two fields, including classic articles by Raymond Williams and Roger Scruton, and newer articles which provide an overview of current concerns and debates.
The role of design in the world today has aroused much controversy. The first half of this book deals with the main arguments which have emerged from contemporary analysis of its role in the communication process. Essays focus on the question of absolute aesthetic standards versus cultural relativism, and the role of objects in cultural and social life. The second part turns to particular areas of design history, ranging from architecture and pottery to the history of dress. These two main sectors are prefaced by contextualising introductions by Jerry Palmer and Mo Dodson.
even if we accept this distinction, we cannot say that all intellectual pleasures are ‘aesthetic’. Plato considered 22 Roger Scruton aesthetic pleasure to be a kind of intermediary between the sensuous and the intellectual, and the pursuit of beauty to be one mode of ascent from the lower to the higher realms of mind.7 In this theory he recognized that there are pleasures which are internally related both to thought and to sensation. A clear example is that of the ‘aesthetic’ interest in a
of all objects, i.e. in a generalized diacriticality. As a result of these three processes, the apparent ‘functionality’ of a correspondence between the nature of the object and some hypostasized ‘need’ in the user is no more than the ‘concrete alibi’ for the maintenance of the generalized system of equivalences (ibid.: 190–1). In this system which Baudrillard argues is based around the Bauhaus revolution—the fashion system in the way in which it is usually thought is only an apparent exception.
surfaces of rucheing, slits and straps are simply recombined so that one works merely with the permutations of this highly restricted set. Indeed, often the dresses themselves appear as patchworks of elements with a silver lozenge set within a pearly-white layered bodice, for example. Amongst the older generation, in particular, these are associated with wide-brimmed hats of similar shiny materials. The result may be new but not novel and is therefore still conventional. The players act
home and the foam of upholstery without a cover, but where family form and religious concerns still allow vehicles for its expression. As religion secures the future other techniques are used to incorporate the past, for example identity with roots which may be the history of East Indians in Trinidad, a more general nationialism for many Creoles or roots in Africa as with the Trinidadian Rastafarians who are increasingly moving today from the transient to the transcendent mode. In contrast to
present purposes then it would have to be allowed that both modes are 156 Daniel Miller attempts to construct a viable form of being against a history in which existence itself was rendered a worthless project, Indeed one of best recorded responses by slaves to their condition was mass suicides and poisonings (e.g. James 1980:15–16). Although this history is one of extreme rupture it places these societies in a position where they are confronting with unusual clarity the contradiction of