design and antiquarians – 1

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

Great discussion today about broad convergences between the world of the antiquarian collector and researcher of the seventeenth/eighteenth centuries and that of the designer of today.

The notion of design involves questions of how we relate to objects, their making and our relationships with them. We might ask, as did the antiquarians of the eighteenth century

Can an artifact stand alone and speak to us of its makers, its users, what went into its design?

What is the involvement of the designer and maker in the artifact? That, for example, we may treat it as an historical source, informing, enlightening? That an artifact is a resource for a life of wellbeing?

antiquarians-design-1

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