The PCM Paradigm has been influential, as a growing number of studies of mediating discourses which cite it have shown. When Berg publishers invited me to edit The Design History Reader, I again reviewed the literature of design history and sought to present the works which have influenced design historians and the course of thinking in the field. Working with co-editor Professor Rebecca Houze (Northern Illinois University), we produced:
the first anthology to address Design History as an established discipline, a field of study which is developing a contextualised understanding of the role of design and designed objects within social and cultural history. Extracts range from the 18th Century, when design and manufacture separated, to the present day. Drawn from scholarly and polemical books, research articles, exhibition catalogues, and magazines, the extracts are placed in themed sections, with each section separately introduced and each concluded with an annotated guide to further reading. Covering both primary texts (such as the writings of designers and design reformers) and secondary texts (in the form of key works of design history), the reader provides an essential resource for understanding the history of design, the development of the discipline, and contemporary issues in design history and practice.
Developed from my PhD, my first research monograph, Design at Home: Domestic Advice Books in Britain and the USA since 1945 (Routledge 2014) offers an extended analysis of the role of mediating discourses in forming, disseminating and negotiating ideas about the consumption and practice of design in the home. Domestic advice books do this through the mediation of real ideals that readers consume as a source of pleasure in their own right, regardless of their application to lived domestic practices. These ideals prescribe readers’ ideas about their homes, the design of their domestic spaces and the behaviours to be accommodated within them. Design at Home shows how a genre of printed text can be important in understanding an area of design, design in the home, which has been hard for historians to access.