Here is the blurb I wrote for the back cover of this book. It is already available in the UK and will be relased in the United States in 2009. Sudjic is the director of the Design Museum in London (one of my favorite museums).
How do I sum up this book? "Witty and sophisticated," or is it "seriously funny." A deep penetrating look at the ever-perilous battle among the competing forces of art, fashion, and practicality that designers face. Sudjic examines the role of design in culture, society, and its continuing battle with art, neatly sandwiching in a marvelous treatment of luxury and fashion. Difficult to read because I was laughing so much, I kept losing my place.
Pointer to book at Amazon.com: The Language of Things: Understanding the World of Desirable Objects