John Ruskin (1819 – 1900) was a British social critic and writer.
His influential books The Seven Lamps of Architecture (1849) and The Stones of Venice (1851—53) show his interest in architecture, particularly the Gothic style. His writings provided the primary source of inspiration for the Arts and Crafts movement. He persuaded William Morris and other Arts and Crafts movement followers to abandon industry for aesthetic and social reasons. He despised machine-made items such as railway trains, cut glass, iron, and materials devoid of handmade ‘truth.’
He chastised the ‘fatal newness’ of veneered rosewood furniture, for example, and equated the beauty of mediaeval craftsmanship and architecture with the joy and artisanal dignity he associated with their creation. Though an ardent historicist, his ideas influenced 20th-century design; he foreshadowed some of Modernism’s fundamental tenets, particularly by arguing that the forms of things must be faithful to their construction’s nature and materials.
Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing.
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The Arts and Craft movement took place at the end of the 19th century it connected many outstanding creative talents across Europe and North America. It responded to the dehumanising trends of industrialisation by rediscovering the dignity of labour in workshops, influenced by an idealised vision of the Middle Ages, rooted in the teachings of John Ruskin and exemplified in William Morris ‘ work.
Vance Packard (1914 – 1996) was an American writer who brought many of the less favourable effects of consumerism in the developed world to the public’s attention in a straightforward manner. After graduating from Pennsylvania State University in 1936, he started his career as a journalist writing for several newspapers and the Associated Press before becoming the editor of American magazine from 1942 to 1946.