Dan Friedman is internationally known as an artist, teacher, graphic designer, and furniture designer. His innovative and arresting work is in many public and private collections, including the Museum of Modern Art and Cooper-Hewitt Museum in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, and Seibu in Tokyo. In his book is Friedman's meditation on behalf of "radical modernism", a term he coins to avoid the constraints of orthodox modernism and the jargon and anarchy of postmodernism. A key figure in the current debate over design, Friedman provides inspiration and encouragement to those who are still open to risk, experimentation and optimism. To illustrate his ideas, he draws on both media images and a wide array of his own work-including his experimental furniture, sculpture, posters, logos, installations, typographic lessons, and his apartment, which has been called a living museum.
Friedman argues that design is in crisis, searching for a new sense of balance and vision in a period of historic transformation. Throughout the book he emphasizes the responsibility of designers to see their work as an important creative aspect of a larger cultural context. He also discusses the impact of digital technology on visual art education; the relationship between theory and practice; the ways in which appropriation, simulation, reuse, and eclecticism challenge our notions of originality, beauty, and authenticity; and the basis for reappraising modernism so that it gives new substance to ritual, fantasy, diversity, spirituality, humanism, and ecology. Essays by experts from the cutting edge of art, design, and architecture add insights to both the philosophy behind Friedman's work and the critical response to it.