The Design + History Research Node explores the past, present and future of design.
Based in UTS Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building, researchers in this node investigate the past, present and future of design, material culture and cultural history. Interdisciplinary by and in its very nature, we work closely with the GLAM sector (galleries, libraries, museums and archives) in order to investigate the social, cultural, affective and environmental impacts of design.
Distinguished Professor Peter McNeil FAHA
Design + History encompasses both traditional and practice-led research methods and approaches, including archival, material and theoretically-informed cultural histories, oral, business and economic histories, object biographies and literary criticism.
Within this node we conduct research on key areas of design including:
- Fashion Studies including long histories of dress, the fashion system, textile cultures and urbanism
- Queer design cultures
- Decolonising design + Indigenous design knowledge & practice
- Global perspectives on design, manufacturing & trade
- Critical histories of technology, labour & material culture
- Architectural, local and community histories
- Gender + design
- Environmental histories of design
- Critical Luxury Studies, histories of consumption
- Interpreting archives and collections
- Oral history in design research
Many of our PhD candidates are supported within the Imagining Fashion Futures Research Lab. Lead by Distinguished Professor Peter McNeil FAHA, the Lab’s interdisciplinary researchers examine the past, present and future of critical fashion as well as other aspects of design, with a focus on identity and material culture from the eighteenth century to the present day. We are interested in how fashion has the power to resist historical inequities and revisit cultural norms. Research frames include design-led knowledge, Indigenous knowledge systems, material ecologies, globalization, decolonisation, entrepreneurship, gender, sexualities and ethnicities. We work with diverse communities and the public from the street to the museum. Critical methodologies re-interpret and recalibrate local, regional, colonial/post-colonial, global and metropolitan fashion cultures. Topics range from today’s clothing politics of pregnant mothers, to wearable tech crossing fashion, software and performance.