‘World Design is a snappy documentary on the national identities of nineteen countries and the global spread of five companies. ... Hugh Aldersey-Williams has chosen a panoramic ‘until the end of the world’ format in which he uses his traveller’s diary to capture an innovative vision of design and its market.
‘His framing recalls the world of sociology: a chapter in Megatrends 2000 entitled Global Life-styles and Cultural Nationalism deals with IKEA, the Benetton advertising campaigns (in the pre-sensationalist period featuring children of all colours), ETA, the IRA and the sometimes invigorating, sometimes tragic conflict between national pride and global culture. Hugh Aldersey-Williams offers an optimistic analysis of the creative energy this conflict releases in the world of design.
... ‘Hugh Aldersey-Williams is to be congratulated for not having lost sight of the fact that he is an ordinary man and consumer as well as a critic and intellectual. It is this integrity that has made his critical stance - market analysis rather than detailed study - so appropriate to his subject, because the market is now more interesting than individual products.’
Paola Antonelli, Abitare
‘Nowadays design is increasingly emerging as yet another factor by which a nation can demonstrate its individuality. But side by side with nationalist phenomena there exists an equally powerful and apparently entirely opposite movement: globalism. ... Aldersey-Williams writes clearly and intelligently about the debate.’
Wally Olins, Royal Society of Arts Journal
‘There is a possibility of a revival of national designs ... [World Design’s pages] raise some interesting and indeed important questions.’
‘In his newest release, Nationalism and Globalism in Design, Hugh Aldersey-Williams has undertaken an arduous swim against the tide of globalism, back toward what the author sees as more stable cultural ground in nationalism. ...
This is scholarly reading, but it is not dull. The author, the European editor for International Design and a writer for many graphic arts publications, has an authoritative grasp of the big picture, combining his knowledge of design, manufacturing, cultural influences and current affairs.
Aldersey-Williams has done the design industry a service by assembling this book, whether or not one agrees with his case. Designers, because of the hectic pace of their trade, may not have had the time or may simply not have noticed this split in the industry. It is a subject worthy of careful consideration.’
‘This is a well researched and written analysis of one of the most difficult issues in world trade, and deserves to be read by certain economists and industrialists.’
‘The lack of rigour is exposed in the unnumbered captions.’
Stephen Bayley, Designers’ Journal