• Listening to things and spaces: Sound archives for design historians

Candela, Emily, 2024, Journal Article, Listening to things and spaces: Sound archives for design historians Journal of Design History, 37 (3). 0-0. ISSN 0952-4649 (In Press)

Abstract or Description:

Sound archives, beyond those of oral histories, have great potential to enrich design history discourse on key themes, invite new methodological approaches, and help expand the field’s subject breadth. Sound is, after all, a pervasive part of the designed world. It is intertwined with materiality, and is an important factor in how many users interact in and with spaces and artefacts. Yet the sonic qualities of designed objects, spaces and systems are often ‘unheard’ in design history literature and in conventional archives. This article outlines the potential of sound-focused research in design history through a discussion of several sound archives that reflect design history subject matter and concerns. The archives covered focus on the sounds of artefacts and spaces, which have seen less use in design history than those of oral histories. The sound-focused sources introduced here speak to design historical discourses on materiality, use, subjectivity, the everyday, environmental ecologies and historical contingency. I argue, finally, that using sonic evidence invites the use of methodologies for listening, and contributes to a rethinking of epistemological hierarchies in design history research.

Subjects: Other > Historical and Philosophical studies > V300 History by topic > V370 History of Design
School or Centre: Other
Uncontrolled Keywords: sound, archives; design history; materiality; product design; public space
Date Deposited: 15 Apr 2024 12:03
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2024 12:03
URI: https://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/5804
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