Pop Matters' editor Rob Horning has an excellent essay up on design-oriented consumerism, referencing everything from Virginia Postrel's The Substance of Style: How the Rise of Aesthetic Value Is Remaking Commerce, Culture, and Consciousness to Renaissance concepts of self-styling to Rich Gold's "Plenitude" ideology.
...once mundane products like toilet brushes, spatulas, and ice cube trays are now complemented by design so flamboyant that itâ€™s unmistakable even to the untrained consumerâ€™s eye... No longer a prole with a dirty toilet, one becomes a fledgling design critic and a curator of the tastefully appointed museum that used to be a one-bedroom apartment.
If the superficiality of today's design has been bugging you, Horning hits the nail on the head for you here.
via pop matters / marginal utility
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