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When and why did the turntable morph from music machine to musical instrument? Why have mobile phones evolved changeable skins? How did hip-hop videos inspire an edgy new look for the Cadillac? The answers to such questions illustrate this book, which examines the cultural meanings of artefacts and the role of designers in their design and production. ‘Designing Things’ provides the reader with a map of the changing field of design studies, a subject which draws on a diverse range of theories and methodologies – from art and visual culture, to anthropology and material culture, to media and cultural studies. With explanations of key concepts – such as form language, planned obsolescence, object fetishism, product semantics, brand positioning and user needs – overviews of theoretical foundations and case studies of historical and contemporary objects, ‘Designing Things’ looks behind-the-scenes and beneath-the-surface at familiar and iconic objects.