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History of Design

History of Design


“Magisterial. . . a stunning visual survey of 600 years of making, and an in-depth look at the evolution of the very idea of design itself.”
– Books of the Year 2013: Art, The Independent

More than a decade in the making, this work, spanning six centuries of global design, is the first to offer an account of the vast history of decorative arts, design, and material culture produced in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Indian subcontinent, and the Islamic world from 1400 to the present. Meticulously documented and lavishly illustrated, the volume addresses interiors, furniture, textiles and dress, glass, graphics, metalwork, ceramics, exhibitions, product design, landscape and garden design, and theater and film design. Divided into four chronological sections, each of which is subdivided geographically, the book elucidates the evolution of style, form, materials, and techniques, and address vital issues such as gender, race, patronage, cultural appropriation, continuity versus innovation, and high versus low culture.

History of Design is edited by Pat Kirkham and Susan Weber. Contributors, including BGC faculty and alumni and other leading authorities in design history and decorative arts studies, present hundreds of objects in their contemporary contexts, demonstrating the overwhelming extent to which the applied arts have enriched customs, ceremony, and daily life worldwide over the past six hundred years. Comprehensive and erudite, with widespread appeal, this book is essential reading for scholars, professionals, and students of design, decorative arts, and material culture, while also introducing these subjects to new readers.