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Distributed for Reaktion Books

Shape of Things

A Philosophy of Design

This book presents for the first time in English an array of essays on design by the seminal media critic and philosopher Vilém Flusser. It puts forward the view that our future depends on design. In a series of insightful essays on such ordinary "things" as wheels, carpets, pots, umbrellas and tents, Flusser emphasizes the interrelationships between art and science, theology and technology, and archaeology and architecture. Just as formal creativity has produced both weapons of destruction and great works of art, Flusser believed that the shape of things (and the designs behind them) represents both a threat and an opportunity for designers of the future.

Distribution by the University of Chicago Press only to customers in the USA and Canada. Customers elsewhere should visit the UK website of Reaktion Books.

192 pages | 4.75 x 7.75

Literature and Literary Criticism: General Criticism and Critical Theory

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Table of Contents

Introduction - Martin Pawley
About the Word Design
Form and Material
War and the State of Things
About Forms and Formulae
The Designer’s Way of Seeing
The Factory
The Lever Strikes Back
Shelters, Screens and Tents
Design: Obstacle for/to the Removal of Obstacles
Why Do Typewriters Go ’Click’?
The Ethics of Industrial Design?
Design as Theology
Wittgenstein’s Architecture
Bare Walls
With As Many Holes As a Swiss Cheese
The Non-Thing 1
The Non-Thing 2
Shamans and Dancers with Masks
The Submarine
Biographical Note

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