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Mackenzie Belt and Adam Drazin

Au Pair. Zuzana Búriková and Daniel Miller, Cambridge: Polity Press, 2010, ISBN: 0-7456-5011-1. 240pp. Hb: £50, Pb: £15.99.

Domestic Goddesses: Maternity, Globalization and Middle-class Identity in Contemporary India. Henrike Donner, London: Ashgate, 2008, ISBN: 978-0-7546-4942-7. 230pp. Hb £55.

The Force of Domesticity: Filipina Migrants and Globalization. Rhacel Salazar Parreñas, New York: New York University Press, 2008, ISBN: 0-8147-6734-6. 224pp. Pb $22.

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An Exploration by Way of Introduction

Design and the Having of Designs in Ireland

Adam Drazin and Pauline Garvey

Ireland, both North and South, has gained international prominence in recent years for the startling economic transformations it has achieved. Many governments study the example of the Republic of Ireland and attempt to learn the recipe of the ‘Irish Model’ in which, as implied in the quote above, technology and design play a part. Key elements in the narrative of Irish national transformation are manufacturing and processing plants, established by companies whose names evoke the feeling of a contemporary hi-tech global zeitgeist. Microsoft, Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Rank Xerox and others, all have major plants for their core products, which can roll off a production line but are intricately engineered. Several of these companies have also established head offices in Ireland, overseeing European operations. Dublin has therefore become an international leader in hi-tech components, software engineering and pharmaceuticals.

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Adam Drazin and Simon Roberts

Ethnographic work conducted by the Digital Health Group, Intel Ireland, explores the questions of how concepts of health and independence relate to peoples' lives in later life. This paper serves to present artistic approaches to the design of the material culture in elderly homes in Ireland, and aims to highlight and discuss the merits and problems of such approaches. Through writing 'in miniature' about specific experiences and homes, we propose that it is possible to develop explorations of material objects in the home which, rather than presenting material contexts as terminal 'conclusions' to the research process, use them as provoking and questioning resources for engaged dialogical encounters with informants.