The Routledge Companion to Design Studies  book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge Companion to Design Studies

ISBN 9781138780507
Published July 1, 2016 by Routledge
576 Pages

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Book Description

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 subdisciplines – 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 past four decades. Comprising forty-three newly commissioned chapters, 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 chapters 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.

Table of Contents


Penny Sparke


Defining Design: Discipline, Process

  1. Penelope Dean
  2. Free For All

  3. Jilly Traganou
  4. Wall Street Bounded and Unbinding: The Spatial as a Multifocal Lens in Design Studies

  5. Alison Prendiville
  6. Connectivity Through Service Design

  7. Louise Valentine
  8. A Curious Journey into an Unknown World

  9. Christopher Boyko, Yi Chang Lee, Rachel Cooper,
  10. Design Decision Making

  11. Lois Weinthal
  12. Drawing the Dotted Line

  13. Janice Helland
  14. The Craft and Design of Dressmaking, 1880 -1907


    Defining Design: Objects, Spaces

  15. Robert Friedel
  16. Artifice, Materials and the Choices of Design

  17. Paul Atkinson
  18. Writing the Design History of Computers

  19. Victoria Kelley
  20. Keeping it on the Surface: Design, Surfaces and Taste

  21. Trevor Keeble
  22. Table Stories: History, Meaning and Narrative in Contemporary Homemaking

  23. Marilyn Cohen
  24. Wall Street(s)

  25. Viviana Narotzky
  26. Beyond Perfection. Object and process in twenty-first century design and material culture



    Designing Identities: Gender, Sexuality, Age, Nation

  27. Christopher Breward
  28. Modern Dressing: the suit as practice and symbol

  29. Penny Sparke
  30. Arranging the Aspidistras: nature, culture and the design of the feminine sphere in the nineteenth century

  31. John Potvin
  32. From Bright Young Thing to Vile Body to Posthumous Reliquary: Stephen Tennant, queer excess and the decadent interior

  33. Amy F. Ogata
  34. Designing Childhood

  35. Noel Waite
  36. Futures Fairs: Industrial exhibitions in New Zealand 1865-1925

  37. Paul Hazell
  38. A Difficult Road: Designing a post-colonial car for Africa

  39. Jeremy Aynsley
  40. The Cultural Representation of Graphic Design in East and West Germany, 1949 to 1970

  41. Kjetil Fallan
  42. A Match Made in Utopia: the uneasy love affair of art and industry in Scandinavia



    Designing Society: Empathy, Responsibility, Consumption, the Everyday

  43. Barbara Penner
  44. From Ergonomics to Empathy: Herman Miller and MetaForm

  45. Deana McDonagh
  46. How Products Satisfy Needs Beyond the Functional: empathy supporting consumer-product relationships

  47. Joseph McBrinn
  48. Refashioning disability: the case of Painted Fabrics Ltd, 1915-1959

  49. Rama Gheerawo
  50. Socially Inclusive Design: a people-centred perspective

  51. Lorraine Gamman and Adam Thorpe
  52. What is "Socially Responsive Design and Innovation"?

  53. Ming Cheung
  54. Use Experience Design in Digital Service Information

  55. Prasad Boradkar
  56. Design + Anthropology: An Emergent Discipline

  57. Ben Highmore
  58. Design, Daily Life and Matters of Taste



    Design and Politics: Activism, Intervention, Regulation

  59. Tony Fry
  60. Configuring Design as Politics Now

  61. Alison J. Clarke
  62. Design for the Real World: Victor Papanek and the Emergence of Humane Design

  63. Eeva Berglund
  64. Impossible Maybe, Perhaps Quite Likely: Activist design in Helsinki’s urban wastelands

  65. Stuart Walker
  66. Design for Meaningful Innovation

  67. Rebecca Reubens
  68. Towards Holistic Sustainability Design: The Rhizome Approach

  69. Fiona Fisher

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


Designing the World: Globalization, Transnationalism, Translation

  1. Victor Margolin
  2. A World History of Design

  3. Grace Lees-Maffei
  4. "Why Then the World’s my Oyster": Consumption and Globalization, 1851 to now

  5. Meltem O Gürel
  6. Designing and Consuming the Modern in Turkey

  7. Joana Ozorio de Almeida Meroz
  8. Three Dutchnesses of Dutch Design: The Construction of a National Practice at the Intersection of National and International Dynamics

  9. Tanishka Kachru
  10. The Staging of Indian National Identity Through Exhibitions, 1850-1947

  11. Elise Hodson
  12. Exhibiting Independent India: Textiles and Ornamental Arts at the Museum of Modern Art in New York

  13. Christine Guth
  14. Design before Design in Japan

  15. Yuko Kikuchi

The Cold War Design Business of John D. Rockefeller 3rd

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Penny Sparke is a Professor of Design History and Director of the Modern Interiors Research Centre (MIRC) at Kingston School of Art, 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). She is the present Chair of the editorial board of the Journal of Design History.

Fiona Fisher is a Researcher in Design History at the Modern Interiors Research Centre (MIRC), Kingston School of Art, Kingston University, London, where she is Curator of the University's Dorich House Museum. Her 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). She is the present Managing Editor of the Journal of Design History.