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Bettie's Books

A Stuga On the Cusp of the Orust Riviera, tucked away next to a hobbit hole in the woods.

B is for Bauhaus by Deyan Sudjic

Passion for Design a - Sudjic Deyan

bookshelves: spring-2014, published-2013, nonfiction, filthy-lucre, art-forms, library-in-norway

Read from April 10 to 18, 2014


I see this has been re-published as 'B is for Bauhaus: An A-Z of the Modern World: An A-Z of Design'. It is now Book of the Week.

Description: An essential tool kit for understanding the modern world, by the Director of London's Design Museum, Deyan Sudjic.

Not a dictionary, though it attempts to tell you all you need know about everything from Authenticity to Zips. It's not an autobiography either, though it does offer a revealing and highly personal inside view of contemporary culture.

It's about what makes a Warhol a genuine fake, the creation of national identities, the mania to collect. It's also about the world seen from the rear view mirror of Grand Theft Auto V, and digital ornament and why we value imperfection. It's about drinking a bruisingly dry martini in Adolf Loo's American bar in Vienna, and about Hitchcock's film sets. It's about fashion and technology, about politics and art.

Born in London, Deyan Sudjic studied architecture in Edinburgh, edited Domus in Milan, was the director of the Venice architecture biennale, and a curator in Glasgow, Istanbul and Copenhagen. He's the author of The Language of Things and The Edifice Complex.

Read by Deyan Sudjic
Abridged by Polly Coles
Produced by Clive Brill
A Pacificus Production for BBC Radio 4.

Episode 1: A is for Authentic but how do we decide exactly what that means? C is for Car which perhaps more than any other consumer object, has shaped the texture and shape of modern life. Deyan Sudjic considers both.

Episode 2: C is for Chair. Few objects have attracted the attention of designers as much as the chair. Perhaps only the corkscrew and the bicycle have had as many reinventions. F is for film and its depiction of architects and architecture.

Episode 3: G is for Grand Theft Auto and how its creator might be the modern Charles Dickens. H is for Habitat: how Conran changed British homes and IKEA made everyone's house look the same.

Episode 4: K is for Kitchens and how they were once at the frontline of class warfare. N is for National Identity and the way it is somehow provisional and yet also utterly compelling.

Episode 5: W is for War and whether design collections are really the place for weapons? Y asks is Youtube really so democratic? Z is for Zip and how in the thirties it was the height of modernity.