Show simple item record Furnishing the modern street: This was true not only in the home and in the workplace, but also in the everyday civic environment of the street.
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Ensuring that objects as ubiquitous as lampposts, litterbins and parking meters adopted the visual language of modern design — while at the same time, remaining inconspicuous - was perceived as being vitally important by the authorities concerned. Yet for a category of object designed to be ignored, postwar street furniture prompted considerable debate. The design of these objects also drew strong feelings from the groups involved with its improvement, including central and local government, the Council of Industrial Design and other state-advisory bodies, manufacturers, and civic groups.
Sometimes this multi-layered group worked to improve the design of street furniture together, and sometimes in opposition. This thesis is concerned with the critical reception of street furniture design in postwar Britain, and the debate these objects prompted.
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It emerges out of an interest in the systems and structures underpinning design culture, and a belief that reading the banal built world expands our knowledge of how political power works. Rather than prioritise the designed objects themselves or the intentions of those responsible for producing them — such as the designers and manufacturers — the thesis will expand the debate to include the wide variety of contemporary viewpoints that were expressed, both in public and private, in response to the promotion, dissemination and design of modern street furniture.
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