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This book tells the story of critical avant-garde design in Japan, which emerged during the 1960s and continues to inspire designers today. The practice communicates a form of visual and material protest drawing on the ideologies and critical theories of the 1960s and 1970s, notably feminism, body politics, the politics of identity, and ecological, anti-consumerist and anti-institutional critiques, as well as the concept of otherness. It also presents an encounter between two seemingly contradictory concepts: luxury and the avant-garde. The book challenges the definition of design as the production of unnecessary decorative and conceptual objects, and the characterisation of Japanese design in particular as beautiful, sublime or a product of ‘Japanese culture’. In doing so it reveals the ways in which material and visual culture serve to voice protest and formulate a social critique.

Table of Contents

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  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. p. vii
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  1. List of figures
  2. pp. viii-x
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  1. Preface and acknowledgements
  2. pp. xi-xiv
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-30
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  1. Postmodern critiques, Japan's economic miracle, and the new aesthetic milieu
  2. pp. 31-53
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  1. The 1968 social uprising and subversive advertising design in Japan: the work of Ishioka Eiko and Suzuki Hachirō
  2. pp. 54-85
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  1. From cute to Rei Kawakubo: fashion and protest
  2. pp. 86-123
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  1. Mujirushi Ryohin and the absence of style
  2. pp. 124-150
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  1. Hironen and the representation of the other
  2. pp. 151-183
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  1. Digital design as social and critical design in the twenty-first century
  2. pp. 184-213
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 214-225
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 226-233
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