03 Nov 2015
A group of design history researchers at the University of Brighton have contributed to the major new, three-volume reference work, The Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Design.
Professor Jeremy Aynsley and Professor Cheryl Buckley, who established and lead the Internationalising Design History research cluster at University of Brighton, were both members of the project steering group and Aynsley, along with many other Brighton staff members, authored a number of entries in their areas of expertise.
Research carried out at the University of Brighton has influenced the form and content of design courses around the world and has contributed significantly to the expansion of design and dress history as a field of study since the 1990s at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. Buckley and Aynsley have added to the university’s standing as a centre for design historical scholarship. Buckley’s work, which has impacted upon museum curation and design curricula, embraces fashion, ceramics and gender, and focuses mainly on Britain and the United States. Aynsley’s research on modernism in graphics and on design organisations is more European-facing.
Dr Harriet Atkinson, lecturer in History of Design BA(Hons) acted as one of the editors of the encyclopedia, which provides up-to-date peer-reviewed, global coverage of the last 250 years of design history by leading international design scholars and design historians.
Atkinson was responsible for commissioning all entries related to the dissemination of design ideas and methods: through museums and exhibitions, art and design schools, journals and department stores, among other means. She commissioned around three hundred entries from international design historians (from Australia, to Japan, to India and the USA), covering design worldwide from 1800 to the present day. She also wrote a number of entries reflecting her particular research interests in exhibition design and design theory.
Atkinson said “It was a huge honour to be invited to take part in this project, led by Professor Clive Edwards from Loughborough University, which mapped design globally over two centuries. Through working on the encyclopedia, I have learnt much, both about national design cultures and about the important trans-national transfer of ideas between design schools and organisations, through design journals and through other means such as major exhibitions and world’s fairs. This has inspired my future research, as well as that of some of my contributors. This work represents the culmination of the extraordinary hard work of a global community of design historians. It highlights the many interesting opportunities that exist to go further in depth into subjects and areas that are flagged by the many short entries. I believe that the encyclopedia – which will be available both in hard copy and online – will become an invaluable resource for design historians worldwide”.
The encyclopedia is comprehensively indexed and fully cross-referenced to provide a comprehensive guide to design, with entries on key topics in the history and theory of design, addressing a range of design forms including graphic, textile, furniture, metal, ceramic, fashion, stage and film, vehicle and product design, as well as national histories of design and key design movements.
The following researchers also contributed sections to the encyclopedia: Dr Leah Armstrong; Prof Jeremy Aynsley, Dr Jane Hattrick: Dr Yunah Lee; Dr Marie McLoughlin; Ness Wood; Elli Michaela Young; and Rebecca Kearney who is a University of Brighton graduate.