Local, National and Global: Redrawing the Design Historical Map

Jonathan Woodham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The history of design has matured considerably as an academic discipline over the past thirty years, benefiting considerably from an understanding of the ways in which a variety of methods and related disciplinary fields can enrich and enhance our understanding of the material world. However, research and publication have been geographically dominated by a focus on a comparatively limited number of countries in the industrialized world. In recent years a number of international conferences have been held with the aim of extending the territories of the world map generally delineated in histories of design. This has been accompanied by a number of propositions relating to the difficulties of constructing a world history of design. It is suggested here that professional design organizations, such as ICOGRADA, ICSID and IFI, with large memberships in all continents and a large number of countries and an impact on millions of designers throughout the world, may offer some means of beginning to redraw the design historical world map.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-267
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Design History
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2005


  • design history
  • local national global mapping


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