Design History Society

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The Design History Society was founded in 1977, and works nationally and internationally to promote and support the study and understanding of design history. Its activities are focused on consolidating the teaching of the subject in universities and colleges, and demonstrating the widespread cultural and economic significance of design history.


The Society undertakes a range of charitable activities intended to encourage and support research and scholarship, to offer information and enable networking opportunities, to foster student participation and public recognition of the subject and to provide regional links and events. These activities include the publication of the Journal of Design History (J Design Hist, web ISSN 1741-7279, print ISSN 0952-4649),[1] a quarterly newsletter and a website, an annual conference, prizes for research, awards for events and the running an electronic discussion list.


Membership of the Society is open to all, welcoming members from other disciplines and interest groups, such as anthropology, architecture and art history, business history, the history of science and technology, craft history, cultural studies, economic and social history, design and design management studies.

The patrons of the Design History Society are Mary Banham, Mark Jones, Gillo Dorfles and Nicholas Goodison.

The Society is run by an Executive Committee, drawn from the membership. Roles include Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Membership secretary, Communications Officer, Essay prize coordinator, Events award administrator, Regional coordinator, Bursary prize coordinator, Student representative, Conference liaison officer and Journal editor. Posts are held on a voluntary basis, for three years.

Annual Conference[edit]

Year Conference Title Location
2008 Networks of Design University College Falmouth
2007 Design / Body / Sense Kingston University London
2006 Design and Evolution Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
2005 Locating Design London Metropolitan University
2004 The Politics of Design University of Ulster at Belfast, Northern Ireland
2003 Sex Object: Desire & Design in a Gendered World Norwich School of Art and Design


  1. ^ "Journal of Design History". Oxford Journals. Retrieved April 19, 2016.