The Centre for Design History applies a cross-disciplinary perspective to understand how design in all its forms has shaped things, spaces and actions across time.
Our approach extends to other arts and humanities, the social sciences, engineering, health, and community engagement. We aim to develop wide social and economic impact via our links with the cultural sector, particularly museums and art galleries, government and voluntary sectors and, crucially, creative businesses. Our research makes an important contribution to cultural life and wellbeing.
The centre is committed to taking global perspectives on how colonial and post-colonial narratives of design are constructed. We contribute to an ‘expanded field’ of design history that embraces the conjunction of professional and non-professional practices; digital and analogue artefacts; the de-centring of design practice away from the singular object to complex ecologies, objects and systems, the role of design and material culture in everyday life, and the embedding of design thinking into management and organisational processes.
Our research is arranged by four principal themes:
- Transnational Design: Thinking across Borders
- Fashion and Dress Histories
- Museums, Archives and Exhibitions
- Graphic Design Histories