neil cummings

June 2011

Look at Me

08 Jul 2002

Recently hosted on the magnificent resource Reading Design

this short text was first published by Architectural Design, Vol 72 No 4, entitled Furniture + Architecture guest-edited by Edwin Heathcote, July 2002

Look at me, look at me, look at me

Stool It was the design historian Reyner Banham who coined the phrase ‘furniturization’. He was writing in the seminal catalogue for Modern Chairs 1918-1970 an exhibition at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in the summer of 1970. Banham evolved the phrase to describe a change that he recognized in the material world. A change in how previously unselfconscious and virtually invisible domestic artifacts – essentially the bibelot of everyday life; like chairs, taps, cuttlery, doorhandles, etc - had suddenly become great design objects that demanded attention.  Previously humble things were growing vast promotional superstructures that meshed beautifully with the rise of a culture of retail, celebrity and promotion.

Self Portrait: publication

23 Sep 2011



As part of the Self Portrait; Arnolfini project we are making a publication of the relational timeline for the Birthday Celebrations. Recalled from composite memory in 2061, three threads are intertwined;

1. social and financial organisation

2. technological innovation

3. art and its institutions

You can see how the text develops, as we're writing it collaboratively on this wiki. The book should be ready for the party on September 23rd 2011.

A sample:

1851, The Great Exhibition

"A great people will invite all civilized nation to a festival, to bring into comparison the works of human skill. the organisatuon of this giant enterprise; the inclusion of every type of process of manufacture; the successful appeal to all clases of the population; the stimulation of trade, will commend this Exhibition to our ancestors, as it now does to ourselves."  Henry Cole


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