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Opinion: The Cult of Designed Objects, Image and Ideology.


Increasingly, designed objects assume the role of story teller in any appraisal of the ideological and material disorientation that has emerged to be a defining feature of post-modern, neo-liberal society whereby the virtuous individual, market forces, and an ensuing alienation is of the essence; where the crisis of belonging and identity is sustained through the adulteration, mass commodification and distribution of image, language and ideas. It is from this disorientation that our objects, environments and ideologies are conceived.

The modern, ‘contemporary’ chair, emerged during the first half of the Twentieth Century and was first and foremost a response to the technological breakthroughs made during and between WWI and WWII. Such innovations can be attributed to the likes of Ray and Charles Eames, whom famously pioneered a manufacturing process that allowed for fine sheets of wood to be glued together and pressure-formed into lightweight, durable and ergonomic pieces of modern furniture. It was the culmination of technological advancement and an eagerness for social reform from which such distinct objects came to embody the modern age.

Designed objects that once embodied an immutable advocation for social and technological advancement now preside over the disorientation of contemporary life, whereby once bold and unifying ideas have been dislocated and substituted for a far simpler narrative; one that can be framed within the cult of celebrity culture, individualism, and a global market infatuated with revolving fashion cycles and obsolescence.

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