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  Review: The Language of Things by Deyan Sudjic

 Since every single thing we use has been designed, what is a

  'designer object'? wondered Martin Gayford back in October 2008

  Deyan Sudjic, the director of the Design Museum is, it seems, close to

  being fed up with things. 'In my own life,' he confesses early on in this

  brilliant but inconclusive essay, 'I have to acknowledge that I have been

  fascinated by the glossy sheen of consumption, while at the same time 

  nauseous with self-disgust at the volume of what we all consume.'

  He tells how he was seduced by a particularly alluring laptop while waiting

  at Heathrow for a 7am flight to Düsseldorf; this was the fifth portable

  computer that had worked its wiles on him in eight years. Such

  relationships, he laments - with a portable typewriter, for example, or a

  sturdy Nikon camera - used to be for life.

  This book is ostensibly about things - not any old sort but a particular

  kind: designer things. Sudjic traces the cult of the designer back at least to

  the 18th-century furniture of Thomas Chippendale. The novelty was in the 

  clear division between the person who thought of the object - and was

  famous - and the people who made it.


   Meanwhile Stefanie Marsh writes in her Guardian Interview piece... 

   "In the six weeks since it reopened in a new home, Londons

    Design Museum has welcomed more visitors than it used to get

    in a whole year. Its director, Deyan Sudjic, explains why he thinks

    they come."


    ... and in so doing for me, provides yet another wonderful example

    for me personally, of the concept of everything being connected to

    everything else, in the context of my father's involvement with the

    original building of the Commonwealth Institute, which NOW houses

    the new Design Museum


Views: 112

Comment by Michael Grove on February 2, 2020 at 12:05

The Dictionary of Design and Decoration
was presented to me at the end of my 
secondment and return to LATCC, as a direct result of my refusal to be bullied into submission by the head honcho of the Maastricht UAC, following the Trident/C130 air-miss over the LNO beacon, which happened as a result of evaluating new technology still under test, on live air traffic movements; a process which myself and others had vehemently warned against, over a period of several months before the incident.

Comment by Michael Grove on February 2, 2020 at 14:34

The Design Museum has been named European museum of the year, the seventh British winner in the 41-year history of the prize.

The London museum was crowned winner at a weekend ceremony in Warsaw, with judges praising it as “inspiring” and “socially aware”. It rewards years of significant upheaval for the museum, founded three decades ago by Sir Terence Conran.

In 2016 it moved west from its beautiful but too small premises near Tower Bridge, in what used to be a banana-ripening warehouse, to the former Commonwealth Institute in Kensington.

The move gave it three times more space and came with an ambition to do “what Tate Modern did for contemporary art, for design”. Alice Black, the museum’s co-director, said being named European museum of the year was a remarkable achievement, which celebrated its “common European future”.

Comment by Michael Grove on February 3, 2020 at 6:44


Collectively Communing with Consciousness [IT] SELF

The Design Museum is an unusual building, in that it has been recently newsworthy without being a tower block. Is Sudjic fond of the modern London skyline?

London is the nearest thing in Europe to Shanghai, the way the skyline has been utterly transformed, in a very heedless, mindless way. It seems very curious that all the things that we took for granted as a terrible idea 25 years ago like building skyscrapers in the middle of London are suddenly seen as entirely normal, he says.

“I think there are some buildings that do a lot of damage. No one, even its architect,
seems to like the Walkie Talkie. There are areas around Battersea Power Station that, when they’re completed – the reaction’s going to be shock.” Housing crises - “So I would probably look into curating an urban development corporation to build another Milton Keynes. You could find land that is not in the green belt, and build another proper, contemporary city”

Stefanie Marsh - The Guardian Saturday Interview


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