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The most famous designs of the twentieth century are not those in museums- but in the marketplace. The Coca-Cola bottle and the McDonalds logo are known all over the world- and designs like the modernistic Frankfurt Kitchen of 1926- or the 1954 streamlined and tail-finned Oldsmobile- or Blow- the inflatable chair ubiquitous in the late sixties- tell us more about our culture than a narrowly-defined canon of classics. Drawing on the most up-to-date scholarship (not only in design history but also in social anthropology and womens history)- Jonathan Woodham takes a fresh look at the wider issues of design and industrial culture throughout Europe- Scandinavia- North America- and the Far East. He explores themes such as national identity- the Americanisation of ideology and business methods- the rise of the multi-nationals- Pop and Postmodernism- and contemporary ideas of nostalgia and heritage- and sets the proliferation of everyday design against the writing of critics as different as Nikolaus Pevsner- the champion of Modernism- and Vance Packard- author of The Hidden Persuaders.In the history which emerges design is clearly seen for what it is: the powerful and complex expression of aesthetic- social- economic- political- and technological forces....
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