Tuesday, 4 November 2008

The language of clutter

Deyan Sudjic, director of the Design Museum, has just published a book, The Language Of Things (Allen Lane, £20). Fiona MacCarthy writes in her review: Deyan Sudjic presents us with a nightmare vision of a world drowning in things.

MacCarthy sums up exactly the claustrophobia I feel when opening gifts of a Christmas or other nature, that help-where-am-I-going-to-put-all-this-stuff? sensation. And I am not alone in being one of those souls who throw out one object when another comes in.

There are exceptions to this rule, of course, books, CDs and DVDs being three of them. But these 'experience' items most often stimulate the mind, rather than deaden and obfuscate. If I was an environmental physicist - is there such a thing? - I could numerically define how much energy is added to, or taken away from our lives by the objects we surround ourselves with. If there is such a practitioner out there, please do get in touch.

Until now, such science has been buried in the mysticism of Feng-shui, and in the possesion of new-age crystals. In the meantime, I continue my search for mentally stimulating and physically comfortable surroundings - are the two compatible?

I leave you with Deyan Sudjic's claim that the greatest form of luxury is the relief from the clutter of too many things.

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