ABSTRACT

There are examples of design and opportunities for studying design history all around us, yet when our surroundings are very familiar, as our houses and streets are, we tend to take them for granted. We cease to see them, or even to think that there is anything much of interest in them. Wherever we are design affects us all, both directly and indirectly, consciously and subconsciously. At home the lighting, carpets, curtains, wallpaper and furniture all contribute to the interior design of a room. Every period has its own ways of arranging furniture, and today is no exception. Not long ago the main focus of a living-room would have been the fireplace, but this is not necessarily so today. Outside, the design of the front gardens, the variety of colours of the front doors, the textures of the bricks, contribute to the environment, as do the shops, the traffic and the open spaces. Of course not all the features that go towards creating our environment were consciously designed, some occurred by accident, or neglect, or by juxtaposition. One of the most obvious examples of design in our society, intended to attract our attention wherever we find ourselves, is that of advertisements. In the street, in the shops, reading the papers or magazines, or watching television, advertisement designers hope to have a direct effect on us, and this we recognize. Their indirect effects are, however, much more subtle and not nearly so easy to recognize, yet our perception of ourselves, our surroundings and our society are affected by them.