The Annual Design History Society conference took place between 8 and 10 September at Middlesex University in London. It was followed by The International Conference on Design History and Design Studies organised in Taipei just a few weeks later. The temporal proximity of both events poses a question about the very nature of design history–its fragmentation into global, national or regional variants. Consequently, it makes us ponder a possibility of having a fruitful conversation between scholars dealing with those different design histories. It echoes an important question raised by Penny Sparke in her review of a recent conference in Paris and published on the blog earlier this year: Where is the History of Design Going?
6 January 2017 -
Cabin Fever is an exhibition that documents the historical evolution of the cabin in North America — and, as a counterpoint, in Scandinavia — from the 1800s to present, with a particular emphasis on visual and material representation. The cabin is explored through four main themes: pragmatism; romanticism; the counter-culture...
5 August 2016 -
Funded by the Leverhulme Trust, the ‘Artisans and the Craft Economy in Scotland, c.1780 – 1914’ project investigates the world of artisans and craft in Scotland, demonstrating that the craft economy was not destroyed by industrialisation, but rather it adapted and changed.
20 July 2016 -
My research aims to investigate the role played by typewriters for Indian languages in absorbing and shaping the aspirations of the independent nation-state of India following British colonial rule. In particular, my research intends to analyse the ramifications of the ‘swadesi’ doctrine within the context of modernisation, technological innovation, and the quest for self-sufficiency in the decades following Indian independence...
10 June 2016 -
Where do you import products from, if you have little or no native design industry or manufacturing? How do they differ from the products designed for the home market, and how are they advertised and promoted? These are questions that I have been considering in relation to domestic electric products sold in Ireland during the 1950s and 1960s, where the tiny native product manufacturing sector was dwarfed by the range and breadth of products imported from outside the State...
4 May 2016 -
My conference paper Design and the Notion of Contemporary Heterotopia presented an original, interdisciplinary research, which joined the field of design history with political theory and philosophy. My research combined the historical method and hermeneutics in order to critically challenge the understanding of how design shapes our world...
3 March 2016 -
With the support of the Design History Society Student Travel Award, I recently went on a journey in search of surviving jewellery artefacts made in Scotland during the nineteenth century. My PhD research explores the jewellery craft in Scotland from 1780 to 1914, tracing the transformation of raw materials in the landscape to finished objects worn on the body. The study draws on surviving artefacts to understand how Scotland’s jewellery craft evolved during a time of profound economic, social and cultural change, with a focus on the shifting intersections between design and workmanship.
12 February 2016 -
My project seeks to explore what can be learned by viewing and interpreting the cataclysmic social and political upheavals that have taken place in the American South during the period through a study of rhinestone tailoring, a style of performance dress and design closely associated with country music. The style juxtaposes the construction values of bespoke tailoring with bright colours, pictorial embroidery, sparkling rhinestones and the styling of the American West.
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