We live in a world drowning in objects. But what do they tell us about ourselves? In "The Language of Things", Deyan Sudjic charts our relationship - both innocent and knowing - with all things designed. From the opulent excesses of the catwalk, or the technical brilliance of a laptop computer, to the subtle refinement of a desk lamp, he shows how we can be manipulated and seduced by our possessions. Sudjic delivers an exhilarating insider's history of design as he introduces us to the world's most original innovators and reveals the hidden meanings in their work.How did the design of a pistol influence a car? Why did a chair make a cafe the most fashionable place in Paris? What can we learn from a banknote, a police uniform or a typeface? And why can't any of us decide what size to wear our trousers? In an age when the word 'designer' has become synonymous with the cynical and manipulative, Sudjic examines the qualities behind successful design and explores the conflicting tensions between high art and mass production. Brilliant and courageous, "The Language of Things" defines the visual vocabulary of our time and gives us a powerful new way of seeing the world.