The Routledge Companion to Design Studies

The Routledge Companion to Design Studies

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Since the 1990s, in response to dramatic transformations in the worlds of technology and the economy, design - a once relatively definable discipline, complete with a set of sub-disciplines - has become unrecognizable. Consequently, design scholars have begun to address new issues, themes and sub-disciplines such as: sustainable design, design for well-being, empathic design, design activism, design anthropology, and many more.

The Routledge Companion to Design Studies charts this new expanded spectrum and embraces the wide range of scholarship relating to design - theoretical, practice-related and historical - that has emerged over the last four decades. Comprised of forty-three newly-commissioned essays, the Companion is organized into the following six sections:

Defining Design: Discipline, Process
Defining Design: Objects, Spaces
Designing Identities: Gender, Sexuality, Age, Nation
Designing Society: Empathy, Responsibility, Consumption, the Everyday
Design and Politics: Activism, Intervention, Regulation
Designing the World: Globalization, Transnationalism, Translation

Contributors include both established and emerging scholars and the essays offer an international scope, covering work emanating from, and relating to, design in the United Kingdom, mainland Europe, North America, Asia, Australasia and Africa.

This comprehensive collection makes an original and significant contribution to the field of Design Studies.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 554 pages
  • 174 x 246 x 35.56mm | 1,474g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 96 Halftones, black and white; 9 Tables, black and white
  • 1138780502
  • 9781138780507
  • 3,075,555

Table of contents


Penny Sparke


Defining Design: Discipline, Process

Penelope Dean

Free For All

Jilly Traganou

Wall Street Bounded and Unbinding: The Spatial as a Multifocal Lens in Design Studies

Alison Prendiville

Connectivity Through Service Design

Louise Valentine

A Curious Journey into an Unknown World

Christopher Boyko, Yi Chang Lee, Rachel Cooper,

Design Decision Making

Lois Weinthal

Drawing the Dotted Line

Janice Helland

The Craft and Design of Dressmaking, 1880 -1907


Defining Design: Objects, Spaces

Robert Friedel

Artifice, Materials and the Choices of Design

Paul Atkinson

Writing the Design History of Computers

Victoria Kelley

Keeping it on the Surface: Design, Surfaces and Taste

Trevor Keeble

Table Stories: History, Meaning and Narrative in Contemporary Homemaking

Marilyn Cohen

Wall Street(s)

Viviana Narotzky

Beyond Perfection. Object and process in twenty-first century design and material culture


Designing Identities: Gender, Sexuality, Age, Nation

Christopher Breward

Modern Dressing: the suit as practice and symbol

Penny Sparke

Arranging the Aspidistras: nature, culture and the design of the feminine sphere in the nineteenth century

John Potvin

From Bright Young Thing to Vile Body to Posthumous Reliquary: Stephen Tennant, queer excess and the decadent interior

Amy Ogata

Designing Childhood

Noel Waite

Futures Fairs: Industrial exhibitions in New Zealand 1865-1925

Paul Hazell

A Difficult Road: Designing a post-colonial car for Africa

Jeremy Aynsley

The Cultural Representation of Graphic Design in East and West Germany, 1949 to 1970

Kjetil Fallan

A Match Made in Utopia: the uneasy love affair of art and industry in Scandinavia


Designing Society: Empathy, Responsibility, Consumption, the Everyday

Barbara Penner

From Ergonomics to Empathy: Herman Miller and MetaForm

Deana McDonagh

How Products Satisfy Needs Beyond the Functional: empathy supporting consumer-product relationships

Joseph McBrinn

Refashioning disability: the case of Painted Fabrics Ltd, 1915-1959

Rama Gheerawo

Socially Inclusive Design: a people-centred perspective

Lorraine Gamman and Adam Thorpe

What is "Socially Responsive Design and Innovation"?

Ming Cheung

Use Experience Design in Digital Service Information

Prasad Boradkar

Design + Anthropology: An Emergent Discipline

Ben Highmore

Design, Daily Life and Matters of Taste


Design and Politics: Activism, Intervention, Regulation

Tony Fry

Configuring Design as Politics Now

Alison Clarke

Design for the Real World: Victor Papanek and the Emergence of Humane Design

Eeva Berglund

Impossible Maybe, Perhaps Quite Likely: Activist design in Helsinki's urban wastelands

Stuart Walker

Design for Meaningful Innovation

Rebecca Reubens

Towards Holistic Sustainability Design: The Rhizome Approach

Fiona Fisher

Regulating Design: The Spaces and Boundaries of the Late Nineteenth-Century Public House


Designing the World: Globalization, Transnationalism, Translation

Victor Margolin

A World History of Design

Grace Lees-Maffei

"Why Then the World's my Oyster": Consumption and Globalization, 1851 to the Present

Meltem O Gurel

Designing and Consuming the Modern in Turkey

Joana Ozorio de Almeida Meroz

Three Dutchnesses of Dutch Design: The Construction of a National Practice at the InterPART of National and International Dynamics

Tanishka Kachru

The Staging of Indian National Identity Through Exhibitions, 1850-1947

Elise Hodson

Exhibiting Independent India: Textiles and Ornamental Arts at the Museum of Modern Art in New York

Christine Guth

Design before Design in Japan

Yuko Kikuchi

The Cold War Design Business of John D. Rockefeller
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About Penny Sparke

Penny Sparke is a Professor of Design History and Director of the Modern Interiors Research Centre (MIRC) at Kingston University, London. Her publications include Elsie de Wolfe: The Birth of Modern Interior Decoration (2005), The Modern Interior (2008) and An Introduction to Design and Culture, 1900 to the present, 3rd edition (2012).

Fiona Fisher is a Researcher in Design History at the Modern Interiors Research Centre (MIRC) at Kingston University, London. Her recent publications include Designing the British Post-War Home: Kenneth Wood, 1948-1968 (2015) and, co-edited with Christopher Breward and Ghislaine Wood, British Design: Tradition and Modernity After 1948 (2015).
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