Design History: Culture and Contexts - A Visual Timeline

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Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Information Science, 6. HUMANITIES, 6.4 ART, Art history, Architectural design

Publication Details

Technological University Dublin, 2015.


Design History: Culture and Contexts

Design in it’s widest definition, cannot exist within it’s own paradigm. There are many thing that effect design. However, design influences and is influenced by other creative disciplines and within wider culture. Historical, societal and political events have an effect on design and vice versa.

This visual timeline covers the periods of Modernism to Postmodernism and various design styles and influences contained with in each era and shows how interactions of style and influences relate to each other. This poster is a visual representation of major design milestones of the 20th and early part of the 21st century and identifies key design practitioners active and influential in each decade. It identifies the multidisciplinary nature of design and highlights major design disciples including: Vehicle Design; Architecture; Product & Industrial Design and Visual Communication & Graphic Design. This is a infographic charts design’s relationship with culture and history.

Literature from national and international sources were investigated in order to develop a multi-disciplinary approach in identify key moments in design history and how this relates to current world and national historical events, and events within poplar culture. These influences are mapped against key design artefacts of the period and how colour is utilised within each decade. The time line looks at design in both an international and and Irish context and charts key design moments from the foundation of the state right up to the Year of Irish Design (ID 2015).

Once visualised, patterns themes and influences can be identified. Notably, from an international view, the Influence of Dieter Rams’ work on Jonathan Ive and how in Ireland, government reports on the design sector had lead to representation and action within industry. The example here of Scandinavian report in 1962 which led to the foundation of Kilkenny Design Workshop in 1963 and Enterprise Ireland’s Opportunities in Design in 1999 led to Design Ireland being founded a year later. With 2015 being designated as Year of Irish Design, it begs the question, what will it’s lasting legacy be?

This poster visualises how design is constantly evolving, and how the different design disciplines are responding to the environment in which is lives and is part of. Here we see the visual representation of the link between design history, it’s culture and contexts.

Finish size 594mm X 3000mm approx.

Bibliography and Sources: Design Museum (2009) Fifty Cars that Changed the World Pub. Conran Eiseman, L. and Recker, K. (2011) Pantone: The Twentieth Century in Color Pub. Chronicle Books Fiell, C. (2013) 1000 Chairs Hardcover Pub. Taschen King, L. & Sissons, E. (2011) Ireland, Design and Visual Culture: Negotiating Modernity 1922-1922 Pub. Cork University Press Meggs, P.B., and Purvis, A. (2001) Meggs' History of Graphic Design Pub. John Wiley & Sons Pivot Dublin (2010) Pivot Dublin: World Design Capital Bid Pub. Dublin City Council Read, H. and Stangos, N. (1994) Dictionary of Art and Artists Pub. Thames & Hudson Toscani, O. (2000) 1000 Objects Pub. Taschen Websites: http://www.autoblog.com/photos/historys-10-bestselling-cars-of-all-time http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/g93/the-100-hottest-cars-of-all-time http://www.creativebloq.com/architecture/famous-buildings-around-world-10121105 http://www.greatbuildings.com/greatest_hits.html http://www.militaryarchives.ie

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