chapter  9
Post-modernism and design
WithPenny Sparke
Pages 15

In the throw-away economy that characterised the post-Second World War years, new values came to determine the appearance of the material world. The crisis of the theoretical underpinnings of modernism became increasingly apparent as the 1950s progressed and was expressed in a number of different quarters. The 1970s and 1980s saw the emergence of a converging body of theoretical writings, emanating from a number of different disciplines, that focused on the concepts of post-modernity and post-modernism. The post-modernists prioritised the consumption of goods, services, spaces and images over their production and reversed the modernists’ distrust of consumption, considering it, rather, as the main arena in which meaning was formed. In 1977 the architect and theorist, Charles Jencks, published an influential text entitled The Language of Post-Modern Architecture. In spite of the enormous cultural shift that occurred from the late 1960s onwards, where design was concerned the effects of post-modernism were primarily stylistic.