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By John Heskett
The products of industry are omnipresent; at home, in the street, they form the man-made landscape of our lives. The author's highly original, broadly based approach shows how many and how diverse are the forces that have shaped the manufactured forms surrounding us during the past two centuries: the creativity of individual designers and design teams, technical innovations, economic and social pressures, and always the simultaneous and conflicting demands for continuity and change. 180 illus.
"We now have a serious history of the field...in this thoughtful and well organized book." --Industrial Design Magazine
"Compact, informative." --Artweek
Donna Seaman reviews book: "Heskett, a professor of design at Chicago's Illinois Institute of Technology and author of the textbook Industrial Design (1981), defines design in a "meaningful, holistic sense" by working from the recognition that "design is one of the basic characteristics of what it is to be human, and an essential determinant of the quality of human life." In a notably lucid narrative rich in provocative examples, he succinctly traces design's development from the earliest of technological breakthroughs to today's frenzied array of gadgets, graphics, and objects great and small, essential and frivolous. He goes beyond the classic duo of form and function to discuss utility and significance and to differentiate between the ephemeral and the enduring."