"Designing" has come of age since World War II. The essential shape, form and structure of some objects in our daily lives may have been fixed many generations ago, but design and designers have now been moved centre stage by the varied demands of a society that in less than half a century has gone from the restless search for the new throw-away consumerism to a postmodernist recycling of ideas - and now, Green recycling of materials. Companies use design systematically to plan their manufacturing, shape their marketing and make their products more attractive, while many designers have sought to raise the status of their activity to that of an art form and even - like Ettore Sottsass - to see it as "a way of discussing life". Dormer questions orthodoxies, defines the contexts within which designers work, and aims to cover the wide range of post-war activity, including industrial and product design, graphics, furniture, textiles, kitchen utensils and tableware. His previous books include "The New Ceramics", "The New Furniture" and "The Meanings of Modern Design".