Writing Design Project
A strand of my work on mediation entails consideration of the ways in which writing constitutes design. Writing is present at all stages of the design lifecycle.
In 2009, I conceived and co-convened the Design History Society annual conference on the theme Writing Design: Object, Process, Discourse, Translation at the University of Hertfordshire:
this conference encouraged participants 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. Keynote speakers were Prof. Jeffrey Meikle and Dr. Paul Jobling.
Browse the conference programme here
From the conference, I sole-edited two publications.
Writing Design: Words, Myths and Practices (2010), a special issue of Writing Visual Culture, which:
showcases studies of specific words relevant to understanding of the place of language in design,
studies of the myths which support our understanding of design and
the place of language in design practice.
2. Writing Design: Words and Objects (Berg 2012) is a sole-edited collection of essays developed from the peer reviewed conference papers. The book asks:
How do we learn about the objects that surround us? As well as gathering sensory information by viewing and using objects, we also learn about objects through the written and spoken word - from shop labels to friends' recommendations and from magazines to patents. But, even as design commentators have become increasingly preoccupied with issues of mediation, the intersection of design and language remains under-explored.Writing Design provides a unique examination of what is at stake when we convert the material properties of designed goods into verbal or textual description. Issues discussed include the role of text in informing design consumption, designing with and through language, and the challenges and opportunities raised by design without language.
Read more about the book Writing Design: Words and Objects.