Emerging from the world of commercial art and product styling, design has w become completely integrated into human life. Its marks are all around us, from the chairs we sit on to the Web sites on our computer screens. One of the pioneers of design studies and still one of its most distinguished practitioners, Victor Margolin here offers a timely meditation on design and its study at the turn of the millennium and charts new directions for the future development of both fields. Divided into sections on the practice and study of design, the essays in The Politics of the Artificial cover such topics as design history, design research, design as a political tool, sustainable design, and the problems of design's relation to advanced techlogies. Margolin also examines the work of key practitioners such as the matrix designer Ken Isaacs. Throughout the book Margolin demonstrates the underlying connections between the many ways of reflecting on and practising design. He argues for the creation of an international, interdisciplinary field of design research and proposes a new ethical agenda for designers and researchers that encompasses the responsibility to users, the problems of sustainability and the complicated questions of how to set boundaries for applying advanced techlogy to solve the problems of human life. Opinionated and erudite, Victor Margolin's The Politics of the Artificial breaks fresh ground in its call for a new approach to design research and practice. Designers, engineers, architects, anthropologists, sociologists and historians should all benefit from its insights.
Victor Margolin is professor of art and design history at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is the author, editor, or coeditor of a number of books, including The Struggle for Utopia, Discovering Design, and Design Discourse, all published by the University of Chicago Press.