I can't stand Stephen Bayley. There are loads of reasons why, but here's the most recent one.
That, in case it's not clear, is a whole book, a design book no less, called Woman As Design - before, behind, between, above and below.
The blurb says, "Stephen Bayley discusses how the female body works as a sign, a symbol...as a designed object." Does everyone else find that offensive? Abhorrent, even? It's not ironic or provocative, it's stupid.
It's precisely because I dislike him so much and because I am a well rounded human being that I read his piece first in a magazine article called 'Designs Of The Decade'. It's very good. Here's what he had to say.
Ignore the iPod bit and read the second paragraph.
"I do think we're coming to the end of a sort of sinusoidal wave, which began just after the second world war, in which life was all about making more, consuming more and so on. In architecture this is quite clear. The Chelsea Barracks is the last gasp of Richard Rogers, he is now as much an historical anachronism as Quinlan Terry."
Leaving aside that fact I hate people who say "I do think" and "I do believe" and so on; thank fuck Modernism is over.
I have always felt guilty that as a designer I don't like modernism enough. I mean, I like white spaces and hard edges and everything, but I don't feel the need to align my whole life to modernism. I would love a Huf Haus, but I'd be just as happy in a Victorian terrace. Sorry.
Christmas is a good example of modernism facism. Designers always try and fuck Christmas up by making it stylish and modernistic. Christmas should look like this if you ask me.
And he's right about the Chelsea Barracks thing too. People are looking beyond steel and glass in big cities. I'm not a steel and glass hater and I'm not a big fan of Chelsea red brick - it's nice to see a mix of both.
And there's another very interesting point in that second paragraph.
"I do think we're coming to the end of a sort of sinusoidal wave, which began just after the second world war, in which life was all about making more, consuming more and so on."
“Why should we so gratuitously assume, as we constantly do, that the mere existence of a mechanism for manifolding or of mass production carries with it an obligation to use it to the fullest capacity?”
I do hope Stephen is right and we're moving towards the end of that era.
I realise this is an incredibly simplified version of Modernism. But I'm glad it's dead. And thank you Stephen Bayley for letting me know.
Still hate that book though.