We Have Always Been Modern(ist): temporality and the organisational management of ‘timeless’ iconic chairs
journal contributionposted on 20.04.2018, 12:11 by Marta Gasparin, Daniel Neyland
In organisation studies, objects have been analysed as actors that enable sense to be made of organisational reality. We expand on this literature by exploring the times of the modernist design firm through its iconic chairs, using archival and contemporary ethnography to study timeless design. We suggest that studies of organisational times that focus on selectivity in organisational memory or history can be augmented through a detailed study of the folding of pasts, presents and futures into objects. Furthermore, we advocate for the treatment of objects as material semiotic actors that participate in the construction of organisational times, with iconic chairs acting as disruptors of otherwise linear organisational times. As material semiotic actors, these objects do not enable a single organisational time, but instead participate in disrupting time, deny any possibility of a pure and linear form of time, continuing to provoke the organisation and its members.