The objectness of everyday life: engagement and disburdenment

Maycroft, Neil (2002) The objectness of everyday life: engagement and disburdenment. In: Material Geographies, September 2002, UCL.

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Abstract

The increasing scale of designed objects forming our artifactual environment has been often noted. However, description, interpretation and analysis of this dense realm has generally proceeded through discussions of aesthetic attributes, semiotic significance and the meanings that such designed objects convey. This paper argues that this interpretative focus has occluded the extent to which the environment of consumer goods has been increasingly marked by the eclipse of the functional utility of such artifacts. Following the insights of Donald Norman, Albert Borgmann and Ivan Illich, three dimensions of use-value, the cognitive, the experiential and the convivial respectively, are considered. The origins of a dynamic towards the eclipse of use- value will be outlined and alternative approaches to understanding the practical significance of such designed objects will be advanced.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information:The increasing scale of designed objects forming our artifactual environment has been often noted. However, description, interpretation and analysis of this dense realm has generally proceeded through discussions of aesthetic attributes, semiotic significance and the meanings that such designed objects convey. This paper argues that this interpretative focus has occluded the extent to which the environment of consumer goods has been increasingly marked by the eclipse of the functional utility of such artifacts. Following the insights of Donald Norman, Albert Borgmann and Ivan Illich, three dimensions of use-value, the cognitive, the experiential and the convivial respectively, are considered. The origins of a dynamic towards the eclipse of use- value will be outlined and alternative approaches to understanding the practical significance of such designed objects will be advanced.
Keywords:Use value, Usefulness, Design, Material culture, Everyday Life
Subjects:L Social studies > L700 Human and Social Geography
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Art & Design
ID Code:6778
Deposited By: Neil Maycroft
Deposited On:12 Nov 2012 07:05
Last Modified:12 Nov 2012 07:05

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