Designing History: From Pevsner to postmodernism

Jonathan Woodham
Vol 20, Number 2, p.130
This paper investigates the history of design as a comparatively new field of enquiry in higher education. It proposes that as a scholarly field design history has the scope for innovative thinking and a new approach to knowledge. Claiming that design has too often been cast as a handmaiden to style, the 'creative individual' and the fashionable branded product, this paper considers some ways in which design history may provide rich insights into the material culture of different times and locations, intersecting with other discipline areas, from social history to social anthropology, from economic history to cultural and consumer studies. The focus is on Britain but the implications are wider than that one location.