Past Design Experiences and Contemporary Design Practices



In addition to paper presentations and keynotes, the 12th ICDHS conference will host two exciting panels:
Publishing Design Research in Academic Journals, October 17, 2020, 15:30-17:00 (CEST)
Designing Archives and Collections, October 18, 2020, 12:00-13:30 (CEST).

For more information on the panels, please refer to the links below.

Publishing Design Research in Academic Journals

Date and time of the panel:
October 17, 2020, 15:30-17:00 (CEST)

Publishing allows us to participate in the construction of knowledge in our field while providing a wider audience for our work. The panel is aimed primarily at graduate students, emerging researchers, independent scholars and early career academics in design studies, design history and related fields. It will bring together representatives from some of the fields’ major academic journals to explain and de-mystify the publishing process.

Panelists will present their journals’ aims and editorial vision, as well as what makes their journal distinct from the other journals in the field. They will describe the process from submission to publication (including that of special issues), focusing on peer reviews and revisions of papers, and they will describe the wider array of contributions that authors can have in their journals, from traditional academic papers to visual essays, and multimedia scholarship.

Panelists will also discuss whether their journal is an appropriate venue for early career researchers, and what kind of support junior scholars would expect from the journal. Last, we will give advice on the preparation of papers for submission, and point out common pitfalls. The panel will include a Q&A during which prospective authors will have the opportunity to gain advice from the editors on their specific questions and publishing plans.

Paul Atkinson, The Design Journal
Erling Björgvinsson, Parse
Carl DiSalvo, Design Issues

Priscila Lena Farias, Infodesign
Fiona E. Fisher, Journal of Design History
Carlo Franzato, Strategic Design Research Journal
Claudia Marina, Plot(s).

Panel moderator:
Jilly Traganou, Design and Culture

Designing Archives and Collections

Date and time of the panel:
October 18, 2020, 12:00-13:30 (CEST)

Archival material and collected objects are primary sources for scholarly research on the history of design. However, an international network and an accompanying discourse on design archives and collections is largely missing in the field. The organizer of the panel believe that there is a need to exchange expertise and critically discuss the politics of constructing design archives and collections.

This panel aims to address the following questions: What should future design archives and collections look like? What should be preserved as valuable design heritage? What kind of tools do we appraise design archives and collections with? How to deal with the process of canonization and its impact on history writing? How to deal with dominant frameworks that often shape collections like nationalism, colonialism and modernism? Can we be confident that we’re not missing out on relevant subjects or fields, if archives and museums lean on existing research to prioritize, while researchers at their turn lean on what archives and collections have to offer?

Alison J. Clarke, Victor Papanek Foundation
Lesley Whitworth, University of Brighton Design Archives
Brigitte Jansen
, Het Nieuwe Instituut
Eva Van Regenmortel, Design Museum Gent

Katarina Serulus, Flanders Architecture Institute

Panel moderator:
Maja Vardjan, Museum of Architecture and Design (MAO)

Alison J. Clarke, Victor Papanek Foundation
Critical Biography: The Politics of a Monographic Design Archive
Throughout the course of his career Austrian-American émigré Victor J. Papanek, author of the seminal treatise on sustainable design, Design for the Real World: Human Ecology and Social Change (1971), collated documentation covering facets of his pedagogic approaches and research collaborations, as well as an extensive personal library indicative of a biography that spanned the twentieth century and engaged with post-colonial issues of development. This lecture explores the politics of representing and overseeing a monographic archive as a critical practice that looks beyond the collection as a repository for hagiographical research, towards its incorporation into critical design and biographical studies.

Lesley Whitworth, University of Brighton Design Archives
The Importance of Design Archives for Future Analysis
The foundation of the Design Archives was a natural corollary of the University of Brighton’s leading role in the emergence of design history in the later decades of the twentieth century.  During its first quarter-century it has sustained and fostered new scholarship, generated by its own curatorial team and the work of visitors.  Notwithstanding the trend away from hagiography, there is still a tendency to embrace the optimism of the post-1945 period, and to celebrate the idealism of particular groups and individuals.

In an environment in which specialized collections remain vulnerable, and companies often destroy records rather than leave themselves open to legal action, the holdings of this and other Design Archives offer the possibility of interrogating the era of peak consumption.  This paper argues that it is more important than ever to retain design-related records, so that post-industrial researchers can learn from the mistakes of the past.

Brigitte Jansen, Het Nieuwe Instituut
Re-thinking design and digital culture archives

The design field in the Netherlands is among other qualities known for its international focus and pioneering role on the web when the internet just started in the 90’s. Where it has always been focussing on the future it has trouble capturing the history and presents of it’s own practice.

The past 17 years different initiatives have tried to archive and preserve Dutch design and digital culture, but have not been sustainable and disappeared for various reasons. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science has asked Het Nieuwe Instituut to build a network of heritage institutes and design orientated organisations to start re-thinking these archives. They are doing this with the vision “centralised where needed, de-centralised where possible”. In 2020 this network will be developed to address crucial questions that go beyond known, status quo, archival practices, on themes such as methodology of selection and appreciation, network organisations, authorship, visibility and infrastructure. This way the network re-thinks what heritage can be, and the question why and for whom this heritage is important.

Eva Van Regenmortel, Design Museum Gent
Katarina Serulus, Flanders Architecture Institute
Post-war design heritage in Belgium. Towards an appraisal framework for archives and collections
Despite several valuable initiatives, most Belgian design collections and archives are badly documented and often inaccessible. Moreover, very few acquisition and preservation policies on design have been formulated by governments or heritage institutions. The main reason for this could be that a clear map of the field is missing.  In 2019 the Flanders Architecture Institute and Design Museum Gent started a project to map this field as a starting point to appraise archives and collections. Based on the registration of several documentation series, the aim of the project is to register data on Belgian designers, exhibitions and objects in a database that will be made public through Wikimedia platforms. This paper presents the methods and results of the project, and aims to explore fundamental questions connected to the creation of such an appraisal frame: How to deal with dominant frameworks that often shape collections and history writing like nationalism, colonialism and modernism? Moreover, is a national canon still a relevant tool for appraisal of archives and collections?