Theorizing Things: Status, Problems and Benefits of the Critical Interpretation of Objects
Abstract:Things occupy significant portions of physical and symbolic space in our daily lives and yet their appearance in scholarly discourse is either infrequent or scattered across academic departments. Disciplines and areas of study such as industrial design, anthropology, material culture studies, engineering, philosophy, as well as media and cultural studies, do routinely examine, analyse and debate the significance of material objects, but the symbolic meanings and values ascribed to them vary widely within these branches of learning. Design studies, which has traditionally regarded objects in formal rather than social terms, can benefit by expanding its discourse to include a more socially- and culturally-rooted understanding of objects. This knowledge will serve to inform not only design studies but also other disciplines about the role of design in fashioning objects.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: July 1, 2006
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- Established in 1998, The Design Journal is an international, refereed journal covering all aspects of design. The journal welcomes articles on design in both cultural and commercial contexts. The journal is published four times a year and provides a forum for design scholars, professionals, educators, and managers worldwide. It publishes thought-provoking work that will have a direct impact on design knowledge and that challenges assumptions and methods, while being open-minded about the evolving role of design.