Gamman, Lorraine (2012) Gone shopping: the story of Shirley Pitts - queen of thieves. Bloomsbury Books, London. ISBN 9781448209712 (re-issue), 9780451182586 (original)
|Type of Research:||Book|
This book was originally published by Signet Books in March 1996. It has been re-issued by Bloomsbury Books with a new critical afterword by Lorraine Gamman.
Gone Shopping is the biography of shoplifter, Shirley Pitts, who was given the name “Queen of Thieves” by the newspapers when she died in 1992. Whilst the public are familiar with the true crime stories of gangsters, good fellas and fictional “bad” girls, Shirley Pitts story is unique in as much as the central character is real - the book documents the life of an active female criminals who spent 50 years – from the age of 7 to 57 – making a full time living from crime.
Design Against Crime Research Centre aims to help designers get smart quick about crime and to show them the best ways available to prevent, or design out opportunities for crime in products, environments and services. Gamman prioritizes attention to criminal perpetrator techniques in her work, and teaches designers to understand what she calls the “criminal gaze” at the world because she argues if designers want to design out crime they first need to understand how criminals see and do it. Shirley Pitts was an inspiration. Her simple foiled lined bags – that enabled her to walk out of the shops despite security tags with everything that caught her eye – was an innovation, even if one linked to the dark side of creativity. It also tells us why design and designers needs to do better to design out such opportunities for crime. Gamman’s work at the DAC Research Centre encourages designers to be more creative and enterprising than criminals, by thinking thief, and to look for opportunities to design out crime and deliver innovation.
Gamman cites Shirley Pitts as a big influence on her decision to set up the Design Against Crime Research Centre.
Her argument is that criminals are made not born, in many cases by too easy crime opportunities, that are often enabled be poor design, that does little to prevent or deter crime.
She also asserts that designers and criminals often have creativity in common, and that education, and the privilege of a stable home environment, can make all the difference to how such creativity is used and deployed.
Gamman has catalysed several product ranges that aim to design out bag and bike theft, and the DACRC has won a number of awards for design Innovation. She also has written several books and numerous articles on design and visual culture.
|Your affiliations with UAL:||Colleges > Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design|
|Date:||31 June 2012|
|Date Deposited:||31 Jul 2012 11:17|
|Last Modified:||04 Sep 2015 21:13|
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