Rules of Unruly Design: Lessons from the history of anti-modernist aesthetics

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    This book is an attempt to develop rules that can provide guidance for
    the contemporary product designer in a postmodern society. Somewhere at the end of the 20th century, the focus of product design has shifted from primarily offering functionality, towards experience and emotion driven product characteristics. According to the theory of product phases, the design of mature product types will end in a phase characterized by extended segmentation, individualization or awareness. In these states the affective, emotional, and abstract product values become more important. Within this development, the usability, or utility factor of products becomes less important, in favour of their significance, or the meaning they represent. At the same time, according to French philosopher of culture Baudrillard, the image of the product becomes more important than the product itself.
    Placed in cultural context, an historical survey has lead to a ‘history of unruly design ideas’ that formed the basis for identifying five common unruly design practices, bringing unity in the diverse field of anti-modernist aesthetics. Then it showed that, despite their unruliness, from a design method perspective most of the researched designs are very alike. This means that everyone can make unruly designs, as long as the process is followed. However, the results will not be automatically interesting.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationEnschede
    PublisherUniversity of Twente
    Number of pages313
    ISBN (Print)978-90-365-4456-6
    Publication statusPublished - 12 Jan 2018


    • Unruly Design
    • Aesthetics
    • Postmodernism
    • Modernism
    • Product design
    • Design History
    • Design Methodology
    • Design and Emotion


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