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
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.