The American Design writer Phil Patton (1952-2015) died late last year. His obituary in the New York Times is HERE.
Patton focused his considerable intellect and intense observational skills on the mundane artefacts that suround us. He saw what most people do not see in mundane artefacts: they are all too complex to have been invented by a single human. They are all the result of a co-operative development of skills, materials and shared assumptions that have been developed over many generations.
A typical example of Patton's intense scrutiny was his study of the design, economics and utility of disposable coffee cup lids. HERE is his blog post on the subject.