english version / version française
Design by Accident – For a New History of Design
Alexandra Midal [see all titles]
Sternberg Press [see all titles] History, Criticism and Theory [see all titles]
Alexandra Midal Design by Accident For a New History of Design
Graphic design: Haller Brun.
published in July 2019
English edition
11 x 20 cm (softcover)
408 pages
€22.00
ISBN: 978-3-95679-143-7
EAN: 9783956791437
temporarily out of stock
 
In Design by Accident, Alexandra Midal declares the autonomy of design—in and on its own terms. This meticulously researched work proposes not only a counterhistory but a new historiography of design, shedding light on overlooked historical landmarks and figures while reevaluating the legacies of design's established luminaries from the nineteenth century to the present.
Midal rejects both linear narratives of progress and the long-held perception of design as a footnote to the histories of fine art and architecture. By weaving together critical analysis of the canon of design history and theory, with special attention to the writings of designers themselves, she draws out the nuances and radical potentials of the discipline—from William Morris's ambivalence toward industry, to Catharine Beecher's proto-feminist household appliances, to the Bauhaus's Expressionist origins and the influence of Herbert Marcuse on Joe Colombo.

“Spoon to city, lipstick to locomotive, atom to complex system, Alexandra Midal's theory encompasses all scales. Bold and assertive, it claims a territory (both academic and disciplinary) that design has invaded over decades. Respectful, curious, generous, and hungry for other fields' bodies of knowledge and expertise, designers invade without colonizing. Who can we trust more?”
—Paola Antonelli, Museum of Modern Art

Design by Accident is a genealogical odyssey that masterfully—and critically, and lovingly—interweaves stories and ideas to chart the emergence of design as an autonomous discipline. This is no mean feat. As the author asserts, it is a ‘history of design in its own terms.' One for our own times too.”
—Michelle Millar Fisher, Philadelphia Museum of Art
Free-lance curator and Professor in the MA Spaces & Communication, Design Program at the HEAD – Genève, Ph.D. Alexandra Midal combine a curating and research activity in design and visual culture.