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ART AND WORKMANSHIP

By W.R. Lethaby

This article from 1913 is about craft and beauty and the ordinary. ''EVERY WORK OF ART', Lethaby writes (in caps), SHOWS THAT IT WAS MADE BY A HUMAN BEING FOR A HUMAN BEING. Art is the humanity put into workmanship, the rest is slavery.' Read more

 

LOOK AT ME, LOOK AT ME, LOOK AT ME

By Neil Cummings

This essay from 2002 examines the use, adaptation, subversion and meaning of products and the phenomenon of 'things as spectacle'. Read more

 

HIGH HEELS

By Helen Persson

From a mark of masculinity to a symbol of femininity (and a cause of life-long damage), Helen Persson charts the history of heels. Read more

 

THE FIRST AND FUTURE TABLE

By Federico Campagna

The origins of the table as a mechanism for meaning, meals and meeting beyond its status as a totem of interior design and consumption. Read more

 

TIME MACHINE: BUDAPEST STAIRCASES

By Balint Alovits

These photos of spiralling Budapest stairs give an impression of infinity and highlight the architectural thought applied to functional space. See more

 

ON EDGE: BORDER ANXIETY
IN POSTWAR BRITAIN

By Katherine Shonfield

In this essay written in 1999, Shonfield dissects the complexities of arbitrarily-imposed border conditions. A prescient piece. Read more

 

MANIFESTO OF FUTURIST ARCHITECTURE

By Antonio Sant'Elia

In this vision of the future, cities would last less than a human life and each generation would rebuild in the image of their own desire. Read more

 

THE CLOUD
 

By James Bridle

Clouds are fluffy and sublime, life-giving and beautiful.  Is that the right word for a massive, humming network of servers in anonymous industrial sheds on the exurban margins of our cities?  Artist James Bridle investigates the gulf between image and reality. Read more

 

MOULD MANIFESTO

By Friedensreich Hundertwasser

In this 1958 Manifesto Hundertwasser urges citizens to take back control of the buildings they live in. Read more

 

ILLUSTRATING THE SIXTIES

By various artists courtesy of Lever Gallery

This set of book covers and magazine illustrations highlights the influence of Italian illustrators in 1960s London publishing. See images

 

CAFÉS
 

By Hermann Czech

Hermann Czech's attitude to architecture is one of pleasure in use rather than impression through spectacle. Read more

 
 
 
 

BOOK COVERS

By various artists

This collection of book covers showcases an international selection of architecture books from the 1960s onwards. See the images

 

DISHONOURABLE SUCCESS

By Peter Maxwell

How is crowdfunding changing the nature of design? How might it affect what projects are undertaken in the future? Read more

 

THE HIDDEN PERSUADER

By Christopher Turner

Ernest Dichter was the hidden persuader, the Viennese psychologist who parlayed Freud's ideas about desire into endless consumption. Read more

 

THE TOPOGRAPHY OF TYPOGRAPHY

By El Lissitzky

The suprematist known for his book designs as well as his art summed up his tenets on typography in eight points. Read more

 

TEMPORARY FIX
 

By Andy Mattern

Andy Mattern's photos of damaged cars taped, bodged and covered up reveals a well of latent artistic, improvisational and design talent. See more

 

THE VALUE OF PRECEDENT
 

By Charles Harrison Townsend

This attack on the cult of self-expression at the expense of history has held up well since its original publication in 1894.  Read more

 

ALL WATCHED OVER BY MACHINES OF LOVING GRACE

By Richard Brautigan

The counterculture of cyberculture, Richard Brautigan's poem might be naive or it might be profoundly ironic.  Either way, his strange vision presents a 1960s view of a techno-utopia in stark contrast to contemporary fears of nuclear annihilation.  Read more

 

DESIGN AND DEMOCRACY

By Gui Bonsiepe

Bonsiepe argues in this lecture for a design which acts as a form of emancipation through the physical product and its associated meanings. Read more

 

AUTHENTICITY AND ARTIFICE

By Mark Pimlott

We often feel that our age is somehow less authentic than previous ages. Mark Pimlott examines the nature of authenticity and the essential. Read more

 

THE ONTOLOGY OF THE FASHION MODEL

By Caroline Evans

From mannequin to model, from inanimate object to objectified person, Evans examines how fashion has been presented through history. Read more