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Writing Design: 2009 Design History Society Conference

University of Hertfordshire
3 September 2009 00:00 - 5 September 2009 00:00

There is still time to book your place at Writing Design, the 2009 Design History Society Conference, at the University of Hertfordshire, UK, 3-5 September 2009! 

How do we find out about design, as both practice and object, including the processes of designing, crafting and manufacture, marketing and consumption? Students, scholars, critics and commentators use words, whether written or spoken, both to research design through observation, participation, interview and oral history, object analysis and documentary and visual interpretation, and in preparing resultant outcomes.

Writing Design invites delegates to reflect on their sources, historiography and methodology, research, dissemination and teaching processes to examine the issues mobilised by articulating design and material culture with language, and the ways in which writing about objects has conditioned our understanding of design. The conference is inclusive in its interests, and will attract designers, design historians, and practitioners of design studies, material culture studies, popular culture studies and literary studies, among others.

Keynote speakers:

Professor Jeffrey L. Meikle (University of Texas)

Dr Paul Jobling (University of Brighton).

Writing Design will showcase 72 double-blind peer-reviewed papers, which will enhance the practice of design history and design thinking. Panels will explore a range of issues, including...

  • What is at stake in the translation of objects into words, written or spoken, for research, communication and understanding?
  • How does typography - the design of words and writing - impact upon their interpretation?
  • What does writing on design - from popular and specialist design journalism and trade journals to academic studies - tell us?
  • What has been the value of designers' writings and how have designers attempted to shape their personae/biographies?
  • How have interview and oral history practices functioned to enlarge understanding of design?
  • What pedagogical issues are raised by learning about designed objects through lectures, seminars and written assignments?

Based in the Faculty for the Creative and Cultural Industries at the University of Hertfordshire, the tVAD (theorising Visual Art and Design) research group examines relationships between text, narrative and image.


Contact Name:
Dr Grace Lees-Mafei
Contact Telephone:
00 44 (0)1707 285369
Contact Email:

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