Journal Article

From Service to Self-Service: Advice Literature as Design Discourse, 1920–1970

Grace Lees-Maffei

in Journal of Design History

Published on behalf of Design History Society

Volume 14, issue 3, pages 187-206
Published in print January 2001 | ISSN: 0952-4649
Published online January 2001 | e-ISSN: 1741-7279 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jdh/14.3.187
From Service to Self-Service: Advice Literature as Design Discourse, 1920–1970

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This article examines examples of advice literature published in Britain for what they indicate about changes in the materil culture of home enteraining from 1920 to 1970 Advice writing offers ideal model of design consumption attentive to social behaviour and reflective of reader concerns A theoretical framework for the fusion of the social and material in a domestic seetting is forged through reference to the work of Nobert Elias,Erving Goffman and Pierre Bourdien Elias's 1939 work The Civilising Process illuminates pre-industrial etiquette,Goffman's 1959 The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life bridges the movement away from such a model, and Bourdien's 1969 Distinction assists understanding of the reception of modernist design A pre-industrial courty model of ornament and luxury apparently jarred with the comparative austenity embodied in‘high’ modernism and popular idioms such as moderne and contemporary Modern design was recommended in advice literature, therefore,as contributing new ideals to the comfort of a social setting flexibility, youth,practically,thrift,hygiene,economies of space,fashionability and etiquette ideals of dignity,luxury and comfort,pointing to a new appreciation of the beauty of utility grounded in the aestheticization of everyday life that modified the visual language of status and of hospitality.

Keywords: advice literature; domestic space; home entertaining; household management; interor design; taste

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: History of Art ; Art Forms ; Industrial and Commercial Art ; Art Styles

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