Redefining Social Design in 1970s Belgium: Affordable Design vs. Elite Design

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The 1960s was the decade when democratization became a central issue in social affairs and politics, a trend that had a twofold effect on furniture design. A renewed interest in design creativity led to the emergence of new forms and typologies, and of a new, more dynamic relationship between user, furniture, and the domestic interior. On the other hand, the effort to provide universal access to design inspired the demand for affordability. However, only rarely could creativity and affordability be combined. Creative, unconventional design was often expensive, while affordable design was frequently unadventurous. This tension implies that the democratization of design in this decade was inherently contradictory. This article examines the factors that led to the redefinition of social (or "democratic") design in early 1970s Belgium. © Berg 2011.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-168
Number of pages20
JournalInteriors: Design, Architecture and Culture
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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