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 contributes 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 singular object to complex ecologies, objects and systems, and the embedding of design thinking into management and organisational processes.
While traditionally, design history has been applied to museology, business history and within academia, opportunities have emerged for new applications and forms of impact for the discipline. The current reflexive use of design as a value in policy and planning opens up new fields of investigation both in contemporary design history and re-investigating the past, and offers exciting opportunities to pioneer new research routes and produce new, impactful and high-quality research outcomes.
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