The Language of Things
The Language of Things: Understanding the World of Desirable Objects
by Deyan Sudjic
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Co. (June 1, 2009)
Hardcover: 224 pages

Description
What is it that persuades us to camp outside Apple stores to be the first to buy an iPhone? Why is it that a generation ago a typewriter might have lasted someone a lifetime, but now we write on computers that we upgrade every couple of years to shinier, faster, sleeker models? Why do the clicks of some car doors sound “expensive”? Deyan Sudjic charts our relationship—both innocent and knowing—with all things designed. From the opulent excesses of the catwalk to the playfulness of an Alessi jam jar, he shows how we can be manipulated and seduced by our possessions. With scintillating wit he addresses these questions and more, exploring the reasons why every designer yearns to put a personal stamp on a chair or an adjustable lamp, and where design ends and art begins.

About the Author
Deyan Sudjic is director of the Design Museum, London. He is the author of 100-Mile City and The Edifice Complex and the coauthor of The Architecture Pack.

Donald Norman about the book:
How do I sum up this book? “Witty and sophisticated,” or is it “seriously funny.” A deep penetrating look at the ever-perilous battle among the competing forces of art, fashion, and practicality that designers face. Sudjic examines the role of design in culture, society, and its continuing battle with art, neatly sandwiching in a marvelous treatment of luxury and fashion. Difficult to read because I was laughing so much, I kept losing my place.