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The Culture of Design

The Culture of Design

Third Edition

January 2014 | 296 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

What is the social impact of design? How do culture and economics shape the objects and spaces we take for granted? How do design objects, designers, producers and consumers interrelate to create experience? How do new networks of communication and technology change the design process? Thoroughly revised, this new edition:

  • explores the iPhone
  • digs deep into the digital with a new chapter on networks and mobile technologies
  • provides a new chapter on studying design culture
  • explores the relationship of design to management and the creative industries
  • supports students with a revamped website and all new exercises
This is an essential companion for students of design, the creative industries, visual culture, material culture and sociology.

Chapter 1: Design Culture
Design culture as an object of study  
Beyond Visual Culture: Design Culture as an academic discipline  
Models for studying Design Culture  
Design Culture beyond discipline?  
Chapter 2: Design and Production
The rise of design  
Freelance, in-house and consultancy design  
The establishment of design consultancy  
The 1980s design consultancy boom  
Neo-fordist design  
Post-fordist design  
Towards a brand ethos  
Speeding up design and production  
Design within disorganized capitalism  
The new economy  
Chapter 3: Designers and Design Discourse
Definitions of design  
The word ‘design’ in history  
The professional status of design  
Designers as ‘Cultural Intermediaries’  
Historicity and modernism in design discourse  
Second modernity versus design management  
Service design  
Design Thinking  
Chapter 4: The Consumption of Design
The culture of consumption  
Design and consumer culture  
Passive or sovereign consumers?  
De-alienation and designing  
Commodities and the aesthetic illusion  
Systems of provision  
Circuits of culture  
Designers and the circuit of culture  
Writing about things  
Consumption and practice  
Anomalous objects  
Chapter 5: High Design
Design classics  
Mediating production  
Consuming postmodern high design: Veblen and Bourdieu  
Modern designers/modern consumers  
Designers, risk and reflexivity  
Critical design  
Design art  
Chapter 6: Consumer Goods
Doing the Dyson  
Product semantics  
Mood boards  
Lifestyles and design ethnography  
Back to the workshop  
Product semantics and flexible manufacture  
Designing global products  
Product designers and their clients  
Products and brand image  
Product use  
The iPod: consumption, practice and contingency  
Chapter 7: Branded Places
Evaluating place: beyond architectural criticism  
The Barcelona paradigm  
Cultural economies, regeneration and gentrification  
Museums and postindustrial place-making  
Beyond nation-states: cities and regions  
The branding of city-regions and nations  
Problematizing the branding of place  
Chapter 8: Branded Leisure
From Fordist to disorganized leisure  
Time-squeeze and packaged leisure  
The Disney paradigm  
Naked and nowhere at Center Parcs  
Televisuality and designing leisure experiences  
Chapter 9: On-screen Interactivity
Computers and graphic design  
Technological development and consumer growth  
Professional practices  
Critical reflection  
Consuming interactivity  
Cybernetic loss  
Liberation and regulation: the bigger picture  
Bytes and brands  
Chapter 10: Communications, Management and Participation
Internal brand building  
The end of advertising  
Brand and communications consultancy  
Employees as consumers  
Aesthetic labour  
Designing for creativity  
Social participation and design activism  
Chapter 11: Networks and Mobile Technologies
iPhones and smartphones  
Closed and open networks  
Cultural relativism and technological change  
The competition of monopolies  
Scipts and metadata  
Boundary objects and spaces  
Chapter 12: Studying Design Culture
A design culture turn  
Writing design culture  
Closed and open conceptions of design  
Reflexivity and historicity  
Concluding remarks  

We use the book as an illustration about what design might look like.

Dr Jules Verlaan
Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences, Delft University of Technology
March 24, 2017

This is one of these design books that offer a very good overview of all aspects of design culture.

Mrs Ann Laenen
Communications , University of Malta
July 19, 2016

This book is excellent in connecting design to current scholarship in other disciplines. It inspires a myriad of possibilities to study design as related to culture. The case studies are recent and illuminating.

Dr Javier Gimeno Martinez
Humanities , Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
February 12, 2016

Excellent overview of design methodologies, practices and industry agendas

Mr Christian Lloyd
Department of Design, Huddersfield University
November 22, 2015

great book for completing research and to use for further reading

Mr Brendon Pettit
creative studies, Great Yarmouth College
January 13, 2015

an engaging text

Mr Richard Kotter
Geography & Environmental Management, Northumbria University
December 12, 2014

An excellent book that continues to be relevant to students whose disciplines demand an engagement with design and culture.

Dr Jamie Brassett
MA Innovation Management, Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design
November 25, 2014

This book has in previous editions been a core text on our Design Studies 2 module, which is taught across three undergraduate Product Design programmes and the new updated edition is greatly welcomed and has been updated on the students reading lists.

The book is written in a manner that is easily accessible to students and on topics that support seminar discussion within this module well.

Dr Matthew Watkins
Product Design, Nottingham Trent University
October 31, 2014

This book covers contemporary issues in design against a historical background. It is an ideal text that demonstrates the necessity of theoretical writing to underpin design research.

Mr David Jones
Design and Applied Arts, Wolverhampton University
June 12, 2014

Julier carefully negotiates some of the complex theory underlying the concepts of culture and design, and their historical development. The new version is refreshing in its inclusion of social impact design, but could further benefit from a less Eurocentric perspective of design culture. We have ordered multiple copies of the book for the universities libraries as supplemental reading for our students.

Mr Angus Campbell
Industrial Design, University of Johannesburg
April 21, 2014

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