TVAD Visiting Researcher 2014-5 Dr Javier Gimeno-Martínez
Javier Gimeno-Martínez is Assistant Professor at the VU University Amsterdam. He holds a MA-degree in Industrial Design from the Universidad Cardenal Herrera, Valencia (Spain) and an MA-degree on Art History from the Universidad de Valencia. He got his PhD in 2006 from the KULeuven with the dissertation “The Role of the Creative Industries in the Construction of Regional/European Identities (1975-2002): Design and Fashion in Belgium and Spain.” He was a visiting scholar in the department of Design History at the Royal College of Art (London, UK) for the year 2009-2010. Dr Gimeno-Martínez’s research interests encompass design and fashion as related with consumption, gender and national identity. He has been conducting research on the shifting cultural status of industrial design and craft from the 1950s up to today with Belgium as case study, funded by the Research Foundation – Flanders from 2007 to 2010. The culmination of the first three years of this research project was the seventh ICDHS conference “Design and Craft: A History of Convergences and Divergences”, organized in collaboration with Dr. Fredie Floré, which provided the opportunity for an international discussion on regional specificities as well as the impact of global processes of industrialisation. If, until now, design history has been largely dominated by the Western narratives of industrialization, then moving the focus towards non- industrial design practice might bring non-Western scholars to the forefront. Moreover, previously marginalized design histories in industrialized countries can finally get a voice. Dr Gimeno-Martínez was an Editor of the Journal of Design History from 2008-2013 and he is currently co-editing a special issue on Dutch design for that journal.
MON 24th NOVEMBER 2014 F390 Wright Building
10 am to 12 pm – Session with PG, MA and research students, led by Dr Gimeno-Martínez on national identity in design
12.45 to 3 pm – TVAD Talk ‘A graphic negotiation with the past, present and future. Political devolution and the symbols of the Belgian regions (1970–1998)’ - Political devolution results in administrative institutions that are generally created anew. However, these new institutions try to conceal the brevity of their existence by reusing communal symbols from the past, such as flags or coats of arms. Even when these symbols might objectively carry certain polemical connotations, the weight of tradition can become an opportune tool for legitimating institutions, so that the past is somehow forced to conform to the present. Properly analysing this instrumentalization of historical iconography can pose quite a challenge for both historians and designers. Indeed, it is present-mindedness rather than historical perspective that drives these legitimating processes.
This talk analyses the negotiation of signs by the governmental bodies that resulted from Belgian federalization. Along with the conflict between past and present, the Belgian case addressed the future, too. Belgian political devolution evolved in parallel with the Maastricht Treaty (signed in 1992), through which regions attained prominent roles in Europe. Did the need to create competitive regions invalidate the suitability of ancient symbols for legitimizing public institutions? It does not seem to be the case. On the contrary, institutional emblems coupled the necessity for appearing established with the urge to project European regions as competitive entities.
3.30 to 5 pm - Student presentations about their work (follows on from morning session).
TUES 25th NOVEMBER 2014 F302 Wright Building
11.30 am to 12.30 pm – Planning for next visit, all staff invited to input.
1.30 pm – 3 pm – Reading Group session with TVAD and School research staff and PG students. Staff and research students are invited to circulate a piece of their writing in progress in advance to Dr Grace Lees-Maffei, firstname.lastname@example.org for discussion at the reading group round table.