Why is design so popular it is now actually critiqued? Justin McGuirk isn’t talking about graphic design, but his is the best analysis yet:

Furniture was interesting in the early twentieth century when it was imbued with ideology and notions of progress. It was still interesting in the mid-century when it gave vent to a burgeoning middle class’s sense of taste. Now that those same manufacturers have abandoned the middle class to become a luxury industry, Ikea is left to cater to the majority and there is nothing in between. This makes furniture a microcosm of the economy at large, where the rich get richer and the rest get by. That ought to be interesting, except that good taste prevailed where it counts: At the bottom of the market. […]

The truth is that technology feels more alive to us than it did in the days when we dreamed of flying cars because we’re witnessing mind-boggling advances on an annual basis now, in our very hands and not in the pages of some pulp comic. The pace of change dazzles us and so critics court geekdom for insights into the new commodity fetishism… [s]o we scan the horizon for signs that technology will liberate us even as it enslaves us.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2013.10.11 14:12. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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