• Contemporary Design History

Teasley, Sarah, 2019, Book Section, Contemporary Design History In: Massey, Anne, (ed.) A Companion to Contemporary Design since 1945. Blackwell Companions to Art History . Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester, UK, pp. 9-31. ISBN 978-1-119-11118-4

Abstract or Description:

This chapter posits that design history, as a set of approaches, perspectives, and techniques, offers a powerful mode for undertaking histories of the contemporary. It suggests that the approaches and perspectives possible in the history of design – attention to lived experience, materiality, and the everyday; an understanding of experience as interface with artifactual environment; and a concern with the making and experience of the artifacts, environments, and experiences that shape our physical and emotional interaction in the world – might provide an effective net for catching and seeing that history. Combined with methods for communicating histories that activate such an understanding of affect as a designer would – or in collaboration with artist and designers – the chapter proposes that design history offers a powerful script for compiling and communicating histories of the recent past, and for relating those histories to decision‐making now.
The intention is to invite historians working with contemporary questions and material to engage with design historical approaches, and to articulate avenues, tools, and challenges for researchers and students in design history, research and practice. To this end, the chapter draws primarily on evidence and literature in design history, with reference to methodological reflections on contemporary history. The chapter builds also on findings from British Academy-funded research (Design History of Now, 2013-14) that sought to identify, test, and develop tools and perspectives for contemporary design through scoping studies, literature review, workshops and structured discussions with design historians, curators and researchers.
The chapter is organized in three sections. The first explores the temporality, scope, and subjects of contemporary design history. The second discusses methods, perspectives, and challenges for undertaking contemporary design history effectively. The third argues for the potential of contemporary design history, as an aggregation of approaches and perspectives, to contribute to history practice and public knowledge alike.

Subjects: Other > Eastern > T200 Japanese studies
Other > Historical and Philosophical studies > V100 History by period > V140 Modern History > V147 Modern History 1950-1999
Other > Historical and Philosophical studies > V100 History by period > V140 Modern History > V148 Modern History 2000-2099
Other > Historical and Philosophical studies > V300 History by topic > V370 History of Design
Creative Arts and Design > W200 Design studies
School or Centre: School of Arts & Humanities
Funders: The British Academy
Date Deposited: 28 Oct 2019 15:09
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2021 17:33
URI: https://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/3900
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