Aestheticising design: Revisiting the concept of commodity aesthetics

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Abstract

This paper is a theoretical contribution to the discourse on design aesthetics. Through revisiting Wolfgang Fritz Haug's (2009) seminal work on the critique of commodity aesthetics, Kritik der Warenästhetik, this paper challenges Haug's notion of aesthetic surfaces of products as means for seducing consumers and confirming capitalism. This paper takes its starting point in Haug's reevaluation of his original 1971 work in a new 2009 book-length addition on the commodity aesthetics in ‘high-tech capitalism’, updating his analysis regarding changing conditions in globalisation and digitisation. This paper points out that Haug has not changed his original Marxist analysis and argues, in opposition to Haug, that the prevailing aestheticisation inaugurates a cultural production of new conditions for experiencing aesthetic meaning properties of design objects. Following the analysis of Wolfgang Welsch (1996), aestheticisation is not only a matter of sugar-coating reality but also produces new possibilities for experiencing it. This paper thus discusses two effects of the aestheticisation for design, reflectivity and de-ontologisation, which create new framings of experience. These framings are, following the proposition of Jacques
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLessons to Learn? Past Design Experiences and Contemporary Design Practices : Proceedings of the ICDHS 12th International Conference on Design History and Design Studies
EditorsFedja Vukić , Iva Kostešić
Place of PublicationZagreb
PublisherUP12M Books, Zagreb
Publication date16. Oct 2020
Pages395-404
ISBN (Print)978-953-7703-67-7
Publication statusPublished - 16. Oct 2020
Event12th Conference of International Committee of Design History and Design Studies: LESSONS TO LEARN? Past Design Experiences and Contemporary Design Practices - School of Design, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia
Duration: 16. Oct 202018. Oct 2020
https://icdhs12.org

Conference

Conference12th Conference of International Committee of Design History and Design Studies
LocationSchool of Design, University of Zagreb
CountryCroatia
CityZagreb
Period16/10/202018/10/2020
Internet address

Keywords

  • Design
  • Aesthetics
  • Commodity Aesthetics
  • Wolfgang Fritz Haug

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