The Internationalising Design History research cluster launched in autumn 2014 offers a focus for those interested in the field of design history. It aims to develop and extend the study of design in all its forms, through its undergraduate and postgraduate work, as well as through research. Led and directed by Professor Jeremy Aynsley with co-director Professor Cheryl Buckley, as well as Assistant Directors Dr Annebella Pollen and Dr Megha Rajguru, the new research group is the only one in the world dedicated to international design history. It consolidates and builds on the University of Brighton’s considerable reputation in the field and the activities of researchers interested in design history, visual and material culture, and fashion and dress history. With over 20 researchers and 10 PhD students working on subjects that align in a variety of ways with the cluster’s interests, the objective is to offer new directions that create a dialogue with colleagues across the world through a programme of Visiting Professors, annual symposia, Brown Bag lunch events, exhibitions and publications and one-off study days.
The cluster’s immediate priorities are to extend design history research to new areas while continuing links between the Design Archives and the research programme. Staff and students also work closely with the DHS (Design History Society) while also developing new associations with design historians in Germany, Turkey, Japan, and Brazil with the ICDHS (International Conference on Design History and Design Studies) and through partnership arrangements with the American College Arts Association. Our goal is to develop the subject globally.
Design history research at Brighton takes a cross-disciplinary approach that extends to other arts and humanities, the social sciences, engineering, health, and community engagement. As such it offers real opportunities to develop wider social and economic impact via its links with the cultural sector, particularly museums and art galleries, government and voluntary sectors, and, importantly, creative businesses.
Our blog, with more informal regular updates about the activities of those within the cluster, can be found here: http://blogs.brighton.ac.uk/idhbrighton/