Aiming to place design developments in their broader context, this text describes the history of design from its emergence as a separate discipline around 1750 to the present. Arranged chronologically, and with colour-coded pages for ease of reference, the book includes time-lines and designers' biographies, as well as feature spreads on notable designers and companies. There is also a detailed list of major design museums and collections.
Written with beautiful clarity, Art in Consumer Culture: Mis-Design asks the contemporary art world to be honest about the pervasive effects of commodification and the difficulty of staging critique. The book examines the collusion of 'art' and 'design' in contemporary artistic practices in order to find avenues of critique in a commercially driven cultural landscape. Grace McQuilten focuses on the work of Takashi Murakami, Andrea Zittel, Adam Kalkin and Vito Acconci, four contemporary artists who claim to be working in the field of design rather than the traditional art world. McQuilten argues that Zittel, Acconci and Kalkin engage with 'design' only to reactivate the critical practice of art in a more direct engagement with capital - and conceives of and affirms a future for art, outside of the art world, as a parasite in the complex beast of late capitalism. This book is an important and timely provocation to a cynical and apathetic consumer culture, and a call to arms for creative freedom and critical thought.