Read Shape of Things: A Philosophy of Design by Vilém Flusser Anthony Mathews Online

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This book presents for the first time in English an array of essays on design by the seminal media critic and philosopher Vilém Flusser. It puts forward the view that our future depends on design. In a series of insightful essays on such ordinary "things" as wheels, carpets, pots, umbrellas and tents, Flusser emphasizes the interrelationships between art and science, theolThis book presents for the first time in English an array of essays on design by the seminal media critic and philosopher Vilém Flusser. It puts forward the view that our future depends on design. In a series of insightful essays on such ordinary "things" as wheels, carpets, pots, umbrellas and tents, Flusser emphasizes the interrelationships between art and science, theology and technology, and archaeology and architecture. Just as formal creativity has produced both weapons of destruction and great works of art, Flusser believed that the shape of things (and the designs behind them) represents both a threat and an opportunity for designers of the future....

Title : Shape of Things: A Philosophy of Design
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ISBN : 9781861890559
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 192 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Shape of Things: A Philosophy of Design Reviews

  • Philippe
    2018-11-17 16:02

    This slender booklet is a collection of short, late essays by the cosmopolitan thinker Vilem Flusser. Originally from the Czech Republic he fled to Brazil at the beginning of the Second World War and returned to Europe only in the early 1970s. He died in a car crash in 1991. Writing in German, Portuguese, and French, Flusser remained unpublished in English during his lifetime. In fact, the book reviewed here was the very first to be made accessible to an English readership. Meanwhile, based on as yet a very small selection of translated work, he has acquired a kind of a cultstatus with cognoscenti as an iconoclastic, clairvoyant linguistic philosopher and media theorist. Flusser's big theme is the transition from a pre-industrial to an industrial and, onwards, to an information society. In that process, spanning a mere 300 years, our relationship with our environment, increasingly populated by `non-things', by artificial intelligences and robotic machines, has been (and continuous to be) fundamentally altered. What happens when human beings morph from being productive, shape-giving artisans to abstract calculators, pressing keys on a keyboard, when our existential concerns shift from things to information? An interesting, ambiguous reciprocal dependency sets in: "the robot only does what the human being wants, but the human being can only want what the robot can do." Hence, humans become `functionaries' of the programmed tools they have created, inscribing themselves into a kind of (hopefully) benign totalitarianism governed by potentially endless but pre-programmed choice. Flusser's perspicaciousness in anticipating an emerging, virtual, omnidirectionally transparant society is admirable. Although "The Shape of Things" is a slim booklet, it is very difficult to do justice to Flusser's ideas in the space of a short review. Flusser's way of communicating complex ideas is highly idiosyncratic. His idiom is more journalistic than scholarly: he uses clear and simple language in very short, punchy essays. There are no references to other thinkers or to secondary literature. His argument is characterized by unexpected twists, linking the mundane to the exotic, relying often on clever etymological and linguistic reasoning. The style is terse, at times to the point of abruptness. Flusser is a combative thinker, not afraid to take provocative positions to tease his readers. Sometimes there is a clenched teeth kind of wittiness. This book is not a full-fledged, methodically argued `philosophy of design' but a series of elliptical, thought-provoking essays intent on redefining the debate on what makes (and keeps) us human in a world engulfed by immaterial objects and smart robots.

  • Andree Verdin
    2018-11-12 12:58

    everything there is in this world stutters. pg 62everything quantizes. pg 62a. there are no longer norms that are applicable to industrial production.b. there is no such this as a single author of a crime c. responsibility has been so watered down that in effect we find ourselves in a situation of total irresponsibility towards acts resulting from industrial produciton. pg 68the new human being does not wish to do or to have but to experience. he wishes to experience, to know and , above all, to enjoy. p89the peoples of the computer, these producers of pots, shall be broken along with their empty vessels. p102the 'I' is that which ones says "you" to. p105first, the human being is made in the unique image of God. Second, the fact that people come together in groups conditioned by biology or economics has to be take into account by the administration, but must not overshadow the fundamental uniqueness of the individual human being. Third, the administration has to build up and maintain the economic, legal, biological, and educational principles by which the intellectual, moral and artistic approach of every individual human being to their god can be developed. However, it must not itself influence the particular approach. p113in the world of Myth, there can be no unmotivated movement. p 120

  • Lee
    2018-11-25 19:26

    A must-read book for any designer, even if only a few essays. Written in the early web, but still relevant today. "...for the time being we still have hands with which we can grasp things...hence we can see the approaching totalitarianism doing the programming for what it is: a non-thing [and] shows how 'outdated' we are." (From 'Non-Thing 2')

  • Spotsalots
    2018-12-03 13:15

    This is an interesting set of very short philosophical essays relating to design. I find Flusser an intriguing and original thinker and am wondering whether I can make good use of some of these essays in the design history course I'm preparing.

  • Anastasia Harach
    2018-12-08 13:12

    Каждая страница книги заставляла задуматься о разном - от ковров до исскуственного интеллекта. Книга написана очень интересно и мне удалось почерпать из нее новые идеи для жизни, а иногда и поменять свой взгляд на обыденные вещи. (На то она и философия вещей)