Design Management Academy 2017 Hong Kong

Track 7.a Pioneering Design Thinkers

*Martyn Evans, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK
James Moultrie, Cambridge University, UK
Emma Murphy, Glasgow School of Art, UK
Jane Webb, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

The history of design is often told though well-known design icons such as the Mini, Lucky Strike, Airstream or the Anglepoise. While these iconic designs are notable due to their significant contribution to the identity of design, there is another, untold and somewhat neglected history, that has the potential to provide insight into the development of design management as a business function (Murphy & Evans, 2016).

This track seeks submissions that explore the ground breaking activities of pioneering design thinkers and their legacy to contemporary design. It invites submissions that investigate how pioneering design thinkers (particularly in the second half of the 20th century):
i) contributed to the professionalization of design,
ii) informed the development of design research techniques (that are now commonplace in contemporary design practice), and
iii) as a consequence set the foundations of design management as a contemporary business function.

Exemplified by key figures in the US such as Raymond Lowey, Walter Teague and Henry Dreyfuss; and in the UK by Michael Farr, Bruce Archer and James Pilditch; pioneering design thinkers initiated, led or implemented a substantial movement or change in designs’ social history or material culture; were central to the development of a new process, method, technique or artefact; and were able to operate effectively between corporate, consultancy, education and research domains. Consideration of pioneering design thinkers represents an alternative view of design, which moves beyond the artefact and considers people, process and intersections – and importantly the business of design.

Indicative References

Baynes, K. (1967). Industrial design & the community. London: Lund Humphries.

Blake, J., & Blake, A. (1969). The practical idealists: Twenty-five years of designing for industry. London: Lund Humphries.

Cooper, R., Junginger, S., & Lockwood, T. (Eds.). (2011). The handbook of design management. London: Bloomsbury.

Cotton, M. (2010). Design research unit 1942–72. Netherlands: Koenig Books.

Loewy, R. (1951). Never leave well enough alone: The personal record of an industrial designer. New York: Simon and Schuster.

Murphy, E. & Evans, M. (2016). 20th Century boys: Pioneering british design thinkers. Proceedings of DRS 2016, Design Research Society 50th Anniversary Conference. Brighton, UK: 27–30 June 2016.

Sugg-Ryan, D. (2012). Workshop of the World? Manufacturing the British Product. In Breward, C. & Wood, G. (Ed.), British Design from 1948: Innovation in the modern age. pp. 265–283. London: V&A Publishing.

Woodham, J. (2006). Oxford dictionary of modern design. Oxford: Oxford University Press.