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The essential shape, form and structure of some objects in our daily lives may have been fixed one, ten, or even a hundred generations ago; but the role of designers has become increasingly prominent in a society that in less than a half a century has gone from a restless search for the new to recycling of materials. Manufacturers are using design more systematically than ever before to shape their marketing and make their products more attractive, while designers have sought to raise the status of their activity to that of an art form. Peter Dormer defines with great clarity the contexts within which designers work, and surveys the wide range of postwar activity, including industrial and product design, graphics, furniture, textiles, kitchen utensils and tableware.