Studio 7: Dirty Furniture - writing about the material world

Studio Outline

Inspired by the recent launch of new independent design magazine, Dirty Furniture, two founders of the magazine will run this module with the aim of exploring the possibilities for writing about design and the material world. Through reading different examples and considering different methods of research, students will be asked to formulate their own approach to writing about design. The group will be asked to choose one object/artefact as their topic.

First seven weeks of study

Weeks 1-7: The studio classes will involve a range of activities including weekly readings and group discussions. Topics to be considered will include, research methods, narrative voice, the introduction, polemics, text and image, video/film, fiction. Students will be asked to consider their writerly approach to the object/topic at hand and to justify this in the form of an exegesis/position paper.

Contact Tutors: Elizabeth Glickfield and Anna Bates

Reading List

  • 1. Reyner Banham, A Critic Writes: Selected Essays (Oakland: University of California Press, 1999).
  • 2. Roland Barthes, Mythologies (London: Vintage Classics, 2009).
  • 3. Dave Hickey, Air Guitar (Los Angeles: Art Issues Press, 1997).
  • 4. Ben Highmore ed., The Design Culture Reader (Oxford: Routledge, 2008).
  • 5. Ellen Lupton, Skin: Surface, Substance and Design (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2007).
  • 6. Rick Poynor, Obey the Giant: Life in the Image World (Berlin: Birkhäuser GmbH, 2007).
  • 7. Deyan Sudjic, The Language of Things: Design, Luxury, Fashion, Art: how we are seduced by the objects around us (London: Penguin, 2009).
  • 8. Tom Wolfe, The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby (London: Vintage, 2005).