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UAL Research Online

Design history and oral history: objects and subjects

Sandino, Linda (2006) Design history and oral history: objects and subjects. Journal of Design History, 19 (4). pp. 275-283. ISSN 1741-7279

Type of Research: Article
Creators: Sandino, Linda

In the opening of what has become the key text for anyone embarking on the study and practice of oral history, the social historian Paul Thompson states: ‘ All history depends ultimately upon its social purpose ’. Is there a social purpose to studying the history of design, and if so, what is it? The discipline studies objects and practices and their modes of production and consumption in order to understand the society in which they functioned.
Such studies are seen to provide access to social systems and communities of the past, in Carolyn Steedman’s apt phrase, the historian’s ‘ craft is to conjure a social system from a nutmeg grater ’. Interviews have now become a standard method for eliciting information
about objects as diverse as fridge magnets, cross-stitching, Second-hand Cultures and laptops. Oral history, on the other hand, focuses on people in order to understand them as subjects in the socio-historical contexts of the immediate past or the present.

Official Website: http://jdh.oxfordjournals.org/content/vol19/issue4/
Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: design history, oral history, objects, subjects
Publisher/Broadcaster/Company: Oxford University Press
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Camberwell College of Arts
Date: 2006
Copyright Holders: Linda Sandino
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2007 16:29
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2012 12:33
Item ID: 19
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/19

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