Houze, R 2016. New Mythologies in Design and Culture. Reading Signs and Symbols in the Visual Landscape.  Bloomsbury Academic.  ISBN: HB: 978-0-8578-5521-3

In the introduction to this book Professor Houze examines Roland Barthes’ seminal work Mythologies in a contemporary context.  She starts by stating that the signs and symbols of the visual landscape are both practical tools and invitations to play.  She continues that the concept of a visual landscape is peculiar to modernity and that it first emerged in Europe (and North America) in the early modern period when industrialisation brought with it the concept of advertising and the emergence of ‘styles’ of architecture and finishings, among others.  This landscape is now much more cluttered with the advent of the Internet and globalisation but there is still a requirement to interpret its signs and symbols to understand the behaviours it influences: for example, what makes people want to buy ‘green’ products or a particular pair of trainers.


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