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Hertzian Tales: Electronic Products, Aesthetic Experience, and Critical Design Paperback – 17 Oct 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: MIT Press (17 Oct. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262541998
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262541992
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 1 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 243,281 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


"A worthwhile challenge to the market subservience that dominates industrial design, indicating some of the ways of turning design towards more speculative, critical possibilities."-- "Design Philosophy Papers"

"This compact manifesto is essential reading for anyone who's ever used an electronic product. "Hertzian Tales" explores the complex chemistry whereby industry, design, use, misuse, and marketing all combine to form product. But while products are often boring, Dunne sees the potential for them to offer the sorts of 'complicated pleasures' we get from film or literature, and points to concrete ways that poetic products could be engineered. A theorist and practitioner, Dunne sees industrial design as a form of popular culture, and his analysis of that culture is accessible and profound."--Christopher Csikszentmihalyi, MIT Media Lab

"In refreshing contrast to the widespread, breathless adulation of new electronic gadgets, Dunne demonstrates that product design can and should be subject to a level of critical reflection that goes far deeper than packaging and superficial features and functionalities. And by daring to question some cherished myths of the design profession--such as the presumed merits of 'user-friendliness'--he opens up the possibility of a richer, more nuanced, but often disquieting discourse about designed objects and the social values and relationships they enable or suppress."--Janet Abrams, Director, University of Minnesota Design Institute, editor of "If/Then: Play" and coeditor of "Else/Where: Mapping".

"Anthony Dunne's thoroughly researched book is a harbinger of the future--a future where invisible electromagnetic spaces with their surreal qualities become a major component of architectural ambition and aspiration. Marvel at the secret lives of dreaming electronic objects and enjoy this fantastic odyssey. And see the future fully for the first time."--Neil Spiller, Professor of Architecture and Digital Theory and Vice Dean, Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London

"Design culture asks not just how sleek or usable some object is, but what it actually inclines us to do. As the world slowly realizes that electronic objects cannot be exceptions to this rule, it is worth remembering how early and how well Dunne & Raby showed us so. At last in an edition worthy of its role, "Hertzian Tales" offers provocations whose significance has only increased."--Malcolm McCullough, University of Michigan, author of "Digital Ground"

"A worthwhile challenge to the market subservience that dominates industrial design, indicating some of the ways of turning design towards more speculative, critical possibilities." Design Philosophy Papers

From the Back Cover

Architecture and furniture design have operated in the realm of cultural speculation for some time, but product design's strong ties to the marketplace have left little room for exploring the cultural function of electronic products. As more of our everyday social and cultural experiences are mediated by electronic products, designers need to develop ways of exploring how this electronic mediation might enrich people's everyday lives.

Hertzian Tales sets the scene for relocating the electronic product beyond a culture of relentless innovation for its own sake based simply on what is technologically possible and semiologically consumable to a broader context of critical thinking on its aesthetic role in everyday life. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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