design matters

design and antiquarians – 4

This is a comment on the seminar series currently running between Stanford and Bard Graduate Center. [Link] [Link]

This week – George Kubler’s extraordinary “Shape of time” from 1962, and the philosophy and archaeology of R.G.Collingwood [Link]. Both crossed (disciplinary) borders in looking at how we connect things and history.

A key question (of pragmatography) for me – can there be a manual of antiquarian practice, of design practice? How do you write and represent what they do, so as to share, learn, acquire the skills

(Pragmatography – representing, writing about things and things done)

Cook books are a wonderfully rich genre now – especially after Julia Child’s and Elizabeth David’s pioneering writing. But a cook book doesn’t make you a great cook. You have to do it.

Collingwood fascinates me because he was both philosopher and archaeologist/antiquarian.


Robin George Collingwood_By Walter Stoneman

Collingwood – National Portrait Gallery, London

design and antiquarians – schedule

Here’s the schedule for our ongoing conversation about design, design thinking and the antiquarian paradigm – history through things, collection, documentation, ethnography.

[Link] – to more information

I. Orientation

Week 1, 23 September – What is antiquarianism? What is design?

The importance of history in design.
Antiquarianism as the model for the pre-disciplinary world.
The emergence of human-centered design since the 1960s.
Human-centered design is implicitly about history; we want to make this dependency explicit.
Human-centered design – a model for the post-disciplinary world?

Week 2, 30 September – History of the History of Design: concepts, categories, narrative
With Paul Stirton on the history of three design museums in the Nineteenth Century

Week 3, 7 October – History of Antiquarianism: concepts, categories, narrative and a case study from the Eighteenth Century.
With Jeffrey Collins on neoclassicism in Rome in the Eighteenth Century

II. The convergence of antiquarianism and design

Week 4, 14 October – History and things

Week 5, 28 October – Description

Week 6, 4 November – Assemblage

Week 7, 11 November – Connoisseurship

Week 8, 18 November – Community

Week 9, 25 November – Care

III. Conclusions

Week 10, 2 December – Where does this take us? What next?
Design, the humanities and the liberal arts.


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