The Authority of Everyday Objects: A Cultural History of West German Industrial Design

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The Authority of Everyday Objects: A Cultural History of West German Industrial Design

Serial No. FR0020#
Title The Authority of Everyday Objects: A History of West German Industrial
Author(s) Paul Betts
Publisher of California Press
Series Design, Industrial Design, Design,
Year 2004
Language English
Pages 366
ISBN 0520240049
Size 3.9 MB
Extension HQ PDF

From the Werkbund to the Bauhaus to Braun, from furniture to automobiles to consumer appliances, twentieth-century industrial design is closely associated with Germany. In this pathbreaking study, Paul Betts brings to the crucial role that design played in building a progressive West German industrial culture atop the charred remains of the past.

The Authority of Everyday Objects details how the postwar period gave rise to a new design culture comprising a sprawling network of diverse interest groups—including the state and , architects and designers, consumer groups and museums, as well as publicists and women’s organizations—who all identified industrial design as a vital means of economic recovery, reform, and even moral regeneration.

These cultural battles took on heightened importance precisely because the stakes were nothing less than the very shape and significance of West German domestic modernity. Betts tells the rich and far-reaching story of how and why commodity aesthetics became a focal point for fashioning a certain West German cultural .

This book is situated at the very crossroads of German industry and aesthetics, Cold War politics and modernism, institutional life and visual culture.

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