Moving Objects: A Cultural History of Emotive Design

Research output: Book/ReportBook - authoredpeer-review


Moving Objects deals with emotive design: designed objects that demand to be engaged with rather than simply used. These emotionally laden, highly authored works are often produced in limited editions and sold like art. Examples given in the book include a chair made from cuddly toys, a leather sofa that resembles a cow, and a jewellery box fashioned from human hair. If Postmodernism demanded ironic distance, and Critical Design is all about questions, then emotive design runs hotter than this, confronting how designers are using feelings in what they make.

Tracing the phenomenon back to the 'Dutch inflection' that began with Droog designers like Jurgen Bey and Hella Jongerius, Moving Objects follows the development of such work back through Italian radical design and looks for its origins in the uncanny explorations of surrealism. Through analysis of the rising popularity of designer-makers like Nacho Carbonell and Studio Swine, the book establishes a critical and theoretical framework for understanding the performative nature of this emotive and sometimes disturbing work. Through a critique of Speculative Design, and an examination of the work of designers such as Mathias Bengtsson who are 'growing' furniture inside computers, Moving Furniture asks what happens when the tangible melts into the datascape and design becomes a question of mobilities. In this way Moving Objects examines contemporary issues of how we live with artefacts and what design can do.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages196
ISBN (Electronic)9781350088627
ISBN (Print)9781350088610
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sept 2020


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