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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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.
“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or beautiful.” That was the rallying call of the nineteenth-century designer, William Morris, a British designer and social reformer. He aimed to rid the world of shoddy mass-produced goods and replace them with objects that were designed and made by artists.