26 research outputs found

    Travel-writing the design industry in modern Japan, 1905-25

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    Since 2000, historians have recognised the important role of transnational travel and information flow in the formation of particular designers’ practices (e.g. Christopher Dresser, Le Corbusier, David Adjaye). Nonetheless, many design histories continue not only to operate within national boundaries but also to emphasise them, despite the acknowledged importance of travel in the development of national design cultures. This chapter presents Teasley’s research into the impact of foreign travel and study on designers in the early twentieth century, another period marked by concerns about national identity, the impact of globalisation on local culture and developing exporters’ presence in global markets. After 1900, the Japanese government sponsored graduate designers’ travels in Europe, America and Asia. This was part of a state strategy for increasing light industry profits in domestic and export markets by strengthening indigenous design for manufacturing. Teasley’s chapter in this peer-reviewed book analyses the diaries, personal photographs, sketches, memos and published travel reports of Kogure Joichi (1881–1943) and Moriya Nobuo (1893–1927), two seminal figures in modern Japanese furniture and interior design education and industry. The section on Kogure’s travels in Manchuria led to new information on furniture manufacturing as state strategy in Japanese-occupied Asia. The first published research on these sources in any language, Teasley’s chapter offers a close reading in conjunction with theoretical work on travel, identity and narration to illuminate the impact of travel on designers’ self-formation as members of a transnational and cosmopolitan profession in the 20th century. Teasley was invited to present versions of this chapter to several universities, including the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, New York (2008)

    'Methods of Reasoning and Imagination': History’s failures and capacities in Anglophone design research

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    This chapter, commissioned for an edited book on history's reception, interpretation and use within different arts and humanities disciplines, critically explores the place of history as concept and practice within the field of design research, past and present. The chapter focuses on the research field known first as ‘design methods’, subsequently as ‘design research’, which is concerned with the creation, communication and application of systematic, repeatable methods to create positive and effective change through design. The chapter situates design research as a social practice shaped through its interactions with professional training and the academy, and as an economic practice within the university structure. It assesses how key actors within the ‘discourse communities or networks’ that constitute design research in the Anglosphere have previously employed or understood history in two significant milieus and moments: a journal titled Design Issues in the 1980s and early 1990s; and interpretations of history for design in the early 2010s. It also offers elements of design research that might benefit historians as well. Finally, it argues that history, as a method that’s both forensic and problem-posing, might enable design research to attend even more carefully to design’s environments, impact and power relations, and to create more effective, ethical products as a result. Ultimately, the chapter aims to bring history and design into dialogue: not through writing histories of design or by developing designs that reference national or other pasts, but through an exchange of methods

    Design and Society in Modern Japan: An Introduction

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    Introduction to a special issue of the peer-reviewed journal Review of Japanese Culture and Society. The introduction, which draws on the expertise and knowledge of the three co-authors in modern art history (Adriasola), social history of design (Teasley) and spatial design studies (Traganou), sets out research questions, challenges and opportunities for studying the relationship between design and society in Japan, 1900-2015, looking both historically and at contemporary practice. The introduction intends to introduce current concepts of design as social practice to historians and other arts, humanities and social science scholars of Japan, and to demonstrate how a perspective that sees social spaces and networks as 'designed', and that views design and architecture practice and products as valid, valuable examples of historical conditions, can enable humanities scholars to engage more effectively with research into modern and contemporary Japanese culture and society. The introduction also offers an overview of key historical developments and conditions for design as an industry, profession and product in Japan, c. 1900-present day. It ends by challenging scholars who engage with design in Japan to address questions around gender, class and other determinants of power relations, and to understand design as an expanded practice, beyond the outdated, inaccurate and limiting view of design that persists within Japanese studies

    Design recycle meets the product introduction hall: Craft, locality and agency in northern Japan

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    This chapter explores methods by which existing local manufacturing industries reframe and reshape themselves in relation to local, regional, national and international networks to survive through changing economic, social, technological, political and cultural conditions. It articulates how Colon Design and Chobundo, a Yamagata iron-casting firm, have engaged with new actors and technologies in local, regional, national and international networks to reframe local crafts products as lifestyle goods for new markets, as a way to secure a future for Yamagata crafts. A key theme is ‘the local’ and how the various actors – at the national as well as local level – understand and employ the concept within crafts promotion activities in Yamagata. I suggest that ‘the local’ is subject to interpretive flexibility and that actors have varying investments in Yamagata as a locale, but that these differing understandings and investments do not impede collaboration. Rather, the interactions discussed here are pragmatic collaborations to achieve differing aims through shared results. A further hope is that presenting some actors and interactions might offer a model for carrying out similar initiatives elsewhere. The chapter builds on research conducted in 2012 through an AHRC Early Career Fellowship and in 2013 through British Academy International Mobility Grant, and forms part of Teasley's research into methods for contemporary history - social, economic, political and cultural - through the lens of design, craft and industry

    When local industry meets global forces, or what we might learn from furniture manufacturing in Shizuoka, Japan

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    The furniture manufacturing industry in Shizuoka, Japan, has lost 80% of its workshops since 1980. Shizuoka, a city partway between Tokyo and Nagoya in Japan’s eastern industrial belt, has been home to furniture manufacturers since the sixteenth century. At its heyday in the 1950s, entire neighbourhoods consisted of SMEs and micro-businesses producing mirror stands and storage chests for the national market, some employing then-advanced machinery for mass production, others creating bespoke products by hand. Today, twenty years of economic stagnation, offshore competition, changing consumer tastes and distribution systems and an ageing workforce have left the industry a shell of its former self. At the same time, however, some firms are thriving thanks to strategies like targeting niche markets, and local and regional government are keen to identify further strategies to support Shizuoka through its industries. This peer-reviewed conference presentation, published in the subsequent proceedings, takes the Shizuoka furniture industry’s decline and transformation as a case study for understanding the impact of market conditions, environmental and forestry regulations, industrial policy and global trade networks on furniture as a local industry in advanced industrial nations. Based on interviews with manufacturers, local and regional government officials, industry organisations and consultant designers, site visits and research into industry publications and grounded in two larger perspectives – the social, economic and cultural history of Shizuoka’s furniture industry and Japanese furniture industry conditions nationally, now - the paper identifies key actors in the Shizuoka ‘ecosystem’. Ultimately, it argues for the need for stakeholders to cooperate in developing local and regional industrial policy aimed at supporting sustainable industry as part of sustainable communities – whether in Japan, Britain or elsewhere

    Creative Temporal Costings: A Proto-Publics Research Project with Leeds Creative Timebank

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    A key defining characteristic of timebanking is that all activities are valued equally and in terms of time, with an hour contributed by a legal expert rendered equivalent to an hour of dog-walking. Leeds Creative Timebank (LCT), shares this principle, but is currently the only UK bank dedicated to the collaborative exchange of time among creative practitioners. The team is working on an experimental social design intervention that explores the practices of collaborative exchange as experienced by, and through a co-commissioned study undertaken with LCT, to investigate the value(s) of creative collaborative exchange in this emerging parallel economy. The authors employed methods that allow them to work within the ethos and economy of the LCT, with each investigator having an equal number of hour-long denominations deposited for them in the bank, to enable participation in the bank on the same basis as other members. The assembled ‘hours’ were invested in individuals’ participation in two workshops and the co-production of two outputs: a research report and a creative publication. This experimental method assemblage allowed to explore how collaboration supports the creation of multiple values from within LCT, while also affording members a position from which to develop critical approaches to collaborative exchange from without

    Nurturing Culture, Nurturing Design

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    A co-authored introduction to the 'Nurturing' strand of 'The Virtuous Circle: Design Culture and Experimentation, the 2015 Cumulus conference held in Milan. Cumulus is the International Association of Universities and Colleges of Art, Design and Media. The introduction, delivered at the conference and printed in the conference proceedings, articulates a vision of the relationship between design and culture, drawing on the papers presented in the strand to make its points. Both the strand and this introduction are purposefully interdisciplinary, and present arguments for the importance of culture to design, and vice versa, from design research, social science and the humanities (particuarly history, Teasley's home discipline)

    Current issues in global furniture - Proceedings of the 8th biennial Furniture Research Group Conference. Missenden Abbey. Buckinghamshire New University 20 November 2013

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    'Current issues in global furniture’ attempted to capture contemporary views of where furniture is currently positioned from a world perspective. The first keynote paper firmly placed kitchen design into the field of furniture products showing that it has a similar stylistic development, but with nuances particular to its form and function. Ecological issues were raised concerning durability and the use of recycled components that perhaps to many is not what is expected within the domestic kitchen. Johnny Grey is no ordinary kitchen designer having designed and built kitchens all over the world within a wide range of budgets. Grey shows innovation in his adoption of green principles and especially in reusing components and materials

    How to combine collaboration scripts and heuristic worked examples to foster mathematical argumentation – when working memory matters

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    Mathematical argumentation skills (MAS) are considered an important outcome of mathematics learning, particularly in secondary and tertiary education. As MAS are complex, an effective way of supporting their acquisition may require combining different scaffolds. However, how to combine different scaffolds is a delicate issue, as providing learners with more than one scaffold may be overwhelming, especially when these scaffolds are presented at the same time in the learning process and when learners’ individual learning prerequisites are suboptimal. The present study therefore investigated the effects of the presentation sequence of introducing two scaffolds (collaboration script first vs. heuristic worked examples first) and the fading of the primarily presented scaffold (fading vs. no fading) on the acquisition of dialogic and dialectic MAS of participants of a preparatory mathematics course at university. In addition, we explored how prior knowledge and working memory capacity moderated the effects. Overall, 108 university freshmen worked in dyads on mathematical proof tasks in four treatment sessions. Results showed no effects of the presentation sequence of the collaboration script and heuristic worked examples on dialogic and dialectic MAS. Yet, fading of the initially introduced scaffold had a positive main effect on dialogic MAS. Concerning dialectic MAS, fading the collaboration script when it was presented first was most effective for learners with low working memory capacity. The collaboration script might be appropriate to initially support dialectic MAS, but might be overwhelming for learners with lower working memory capacity when combined with heuristic worked examples later on

    Designing Modern Japan

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    Designing Modern Japan is a single-authored book, contracted for publication with Reaktion Books. A critical history of design in Japan since that country’s re-engagement with international politics and trade in the 1860s, the book charts the relationships between developments in domestic design industries (product, graphic, furniture, fashion and interior), changes in the material culture of everyday life in Japan, perceptions of ‘Japanese design’ oversea and debates within Japan on what 'modern Japanese design' should be. The book is the culmination of more than a decade of primary archival research in Japan, the US and the UK as well as a comprehensive survey of existing secondary sources. Surprisingly, it will be the first English-language resource to narrate - let alone critically examine - the history of design in Japan from the nineteenth century to the present day. Research questions include: - How has ‘design’ been understood in Japan since the late nineteenth century? - What impact have existing craft traditions, local culture and foreign definitions of design had on the development of design as a discipline, industry and method in Japan? - What has been the relationship between professional understandings of design in Japan, the domestic reception of designed products and images of ‘Japanese design’ overseas, both in Europe/North America and in neighbouring Asian countries? - How might the standard ‘history of modern design’ change when Japan’s experience is added to the story? - How might we understand the story of design in modern Japan (or any local/national context) within the broader framework of global design history? The book progresses chronologically, from early attempts at formulating and implementing a state design policy for product exports in the 1860s and 70s through to Japanese design in global economic and cultural circuits today. Publication is expected in autumn 2013; to date, the project has also generated numerous lecture invitations in the UK, North America and Japan. The research also inspired a successful proposal to the Victoria and Albert Museum for an exhibition on Japanese design post-1991, currently in development