The Life of Stuff (1)

I read on twitter about a book which has been written by Susannah Walker, a former student on the V&A/RCA MA Course in the History of Design. It’s called The Life of Stuff: A memoir about the mess we leave behind. It’s a beautifully written, profound investigation of her feelings as she clears up the belongings left by her mother after her death in her tragically chaotic house in Worcester: a miniature design history of objects accumulated and hoarded and never thrown away – cutlery and vacuum cleaners, a black basalt teapot and a napkin ring, each of them inspiring a set of memories and thoughts about their design or history, why and how they were acquired and how they fit within her family history. It’s such a powerfully evocative description of her interest in the meaning of things, which she herself describes as partially originating in the seminar room, now demolished, hidden behind the eighteenth-century galleries of the V&A.

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