Design history in Britain from the 1970s to 2012: context, formation, and development

Gooding, Joanne (2012) Design history in Britain from the 1970s to 2012: context, formation, and development. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.


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This thesis discusses the development of design history in Britain from the 1970s to 2012, arguing that it is a clear example of a network of relationships, intersections of ideas, approaches and intellectual influences that are representative of the complexity of current academic practice. This study engages with discourses and debates concerning attempts to define academic recognition in a subject area that resists drawing boundaries and is by its very nature multidisciplinary. The period with which this study is concerned is characterised by considerable change in society, the approach to education and academic endeavour, and the consumption of histories. All of these changes have significance for the formation and development of design history, in addition to its contribution to academic practice and its impact beyond narrow scholarly circles.

This thesis acknowledges that the overlapping and interweaving of threads of knowledge, methodology, approaches and paradigms is a feature of contemporary academic practice, and applies the concept of communities of practice to discussion of the multiple types of scholarship that have constituted design history. In doing this no claim is made for design history as a distinct academic discipline but rather it is discussed as a much broader academic network. Additionally, the thesis offers an evaluation of the role of this network, including the Design History Society as a distinct community of practice, in the context of developments in education, academic changes, museums and publishing. This leads to a consideration of the various arenas in which the products of design history are consumed thus demonstrating the importance and impact of the network outside academia.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: historiography, art and design in higher education, actor network theory, communities of practice, professional oral history
Subjects: V100 History by period
V200 History by area
V300 History by topic
W200 Design studies
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Arts
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Ellen Cole
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2013 12:11
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2023 15:14

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