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Afternoon Shift

What's driving the democratization of design?

Listen to Michael Graves on Afternoon Shift


In the past five years it seems the number of "design aficionados" has blown up. An entire cottage industry of design blogs document the minutiae of home decor in loving detail. A certain period television show (that returns this Sunday) spiked interest in mid-century furniture that a few years ago would've been relegated to thrift stores. What's behind the new interest in designed living? Is it merely another industry for fetishists to obsess over or could this be a real shift in quality of life for average people?

(Flickr/Danielle Angres and René Spitz)

One person inextricably linked to the recent democratization of design is world-renowned architect Michael Graves. His whimsical and affordable household items are huge sellers for Target (in this context pronounced "Tar-jay").  He'll join Steve Edwards on Friday's Afternoon Shift to talk about the trend that some say is leading to a whole new design sophistication in America.  Editor at Large of Architecture magazine, Ed Keegan, and Christine Harold of University of Washington are also on hand to unpack what’s driving the democratization of design and what are the benefits and drawbacks – for us, for our culture and for the environment.

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