Books and Theories
Wider theoretical debates
Books and theories include Uta Brandes, Sonja Stich and Miriam Wender’s Design by use, Jencks and Silver’s Adhocism, Jane Fulton-Suri’s Thoughtless acts, to the actor-network theory of Bruno Latour or more alternative publications with The use of Books.
1. The Use of Books
In “The use of Books” (L’Uso di Libri, 2016), Matthias Hübner and Brad Downey document through photographs the different uses of books. In their introduction, they make an analogy with how words can be given new meanings through use and perform different tasks. If we can use the same words in a way and in another completely different, the same could happen with any object and why not books? As the authors put it, “Not all books are holy. Some fill holes. Some bridge gaps, some balance objects, hide things, make good kindling.” The pages that follow are satirical and imaginative as they show books in unexpected situations. Scenes are created and it becomes interesting to analyse them in categories: (1) what the book replaces (2) what function it entails (3) the main reasons for using a book (4) the context of its use (5) the degree of viability for such scene to happen based on ergonomics and (6) the number of books needed to carry such action. The following table is an attempt to classify such data.