Products of our Time | 1999
Originally published to coincide with the exhibition 'Identity Crisis', curated by David Redhead, at Glasgow's Lighthouse in 1999.
The page design accomodates multi-layered texts - the central essay, divided into themes, runs through the central third of the pages with either directly relevant or sometimes tangential texts (extended captions, pull-quotes lists etc.) occupying the top and bottom zones and connected to the central text, where relevant, by leader lines.
"This book is not your typical survey of recent products. Redhead delivers an intelligent, insightful and concise snapshot of contemporary design as a field that not only attempts to manipulate materials and technologies, but increasingly tries to link ideas, form and context to tell compelling stories. Far from dry theory, this book is loaded with color photos of real-world examples that connect abstract (sometimes subversive) ideas with tangible products.
"With chapters entitled 'Basics', 'More', 'Control', Identity', and 'Crisis' - the author decodes the products of the 90's by classifying them according to cultural message rather than market or object category. Like an archeologist, Redhead sifts through consumer products, media messages and environments to frame the broad social, psychological, economic, and ontological patterns of contemporary design. Through this macro view, he describes the dialogue between Objects and Subjects that drives our material culture.
"A provocative and quick read for art and design students exploring the complex, and often contradictory, cultural conditions in which we communicate."
Scott Klinker, Head 3D Design
Cranbrook Academy of Art
Published by August | Birkhauser
Paperback: 144 pages