21 April 2010

The Screen and the Drum

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Design and Culture
The latest issue of Design and Culture contains an article by Louise Crewe, Nicky Gregson and Alan Metcalfe on “homemaking”.

Entitled The Screen and the Drum: on Form, Function, Fit and Failure in Contemporary Home Consumption, it describes the complex relationships people have with their domestic appliances.

“This paper explores consumers’ connections to their domestic objects. Focusing on two particular objects (televisions and vacuum cleaners), the paper reflects upon why consumers desire particular domestic objects and how they assemble, arrange and use things in the home. It reveals how functionality is intimately infused with form, how design informs the consumption of everyday domestic objects and how both function and form can fail, deceive and trick. the mundane movements and moments that comprise homemaking encompass a whole suite of entanglements between object, subject, agency and space. In all sorts of ways this opens up exciting – but also difficult and perplexing – possibilities for consumer agency in the production of home. New kinds of temporality, the rapidity of fashion and design shifts, transformative technologies and new modes of fabrication require new forms of consumption knowledge, competence and skill.”

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