From Berber to Blueberries: Rhetoric, Design, and Martha Stewart

Document Type

Grant Proposal

Date Accepted

Summer 2009

Project Description/Abstract

In today’s culture, it is almost impossible to think of an aspect of the home Martha Stewart is not involved with, making Stewart’s products critical texts in how we imagine and live in the home. The key question this book addresses is: What views of the world underlie the design of Stewart’s domesticity, and how is this world view manifested in Stewart’s domestic design? This project is the first comprehensive book-length project to explore Martha Stewart and the rhetoric of design. Using Stewart as the pivot point for my investigation, I employ critical analysis to examine facets of Stewart’s enterprise (“Everyday” and “Collection” merchandise at Kmart and Macy’s, the Atlanta Hampton Oaks Stewart-branded suburb, and Martha Stewart Living magazine) as a way of understanding both the rhetoric of design generally, and the rhetorical impact of Stewart’s designs specifically.

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