Design and Aesthetics: A Reader is a comprehensive student reader on design history and aesthetic theory. It includes contributions from many of the writers whose work has been foundational to these two fields, including classic articles by Raymond Williams and Roger Scruton, and newer articles which provide an overview of current concerns and debates.
The role of design in the world today has aroused much controversy. The first half of this book deals with the main arguments which have emerged from contemporary analysis of its role in the communication process. Essays focus on the question of absolute aesthetic standards versus cultural relativism, and the role of objects in cultural and social life. The second part turns to particular areas of design history, ranging from architecture and pottery to the history of dress. These two main sectors are prefaced by contextualising introductions by Jerry Palmer and Mo Dodson.