June, 23 2016
Salle Jullian room
Institut national d’histoire de l’art, Galerie Colbert 2, rue Vivienne 75002 Paris, France
Organized by Stéphane LAURENT
The history of design gradually established as a specific domain of research with dedicated publications since the late 1970s. It differentiated from the history of decorative arts and architecture and anchored to the field of the history of art. At that time, design as practice began to span after developing since the beginning of the industrial revolution in England in the Eighteenth century. Thus, the affirmation of the design as a creative industry and the sufficient consistency of its own history made possible to make observations and analysis.
The first publications remained in the wake of engaged writers such as Nikolaus Pevsner and Siegfried Giedon, who struggled to advocate modernity by using a methodology rather controversial than scientific.
The first graduate courses in design history were often delivered by art historians in art history programs or in art schools. The approach was rationally based on “heroes” actors and “masterpieces” objects, while taking into account other factors including technical, artistic, social and economical aspects. The discipline strengthened until being able to establish, develop and support academic journals, programs and societies dealing with the history of design. The richness of the analysis, and the will to open the history of design to a cross-cultural vision brought up a new thinking. The change happened at a time when new methodologies like gender studies, post-colonialism, material history significantly modified the interpretation of art and contemporary art. Hence, part of the history of design rooted into a history of material culture.
In France, where the history of design came later and in a more limited way, the influence of philosophy or "French theory" remained dominant after the outstanding works of Roland Barthes and Jean Baudrillard and the intellectual debates from the Sixties to the Eighties about the relations of sociology, anthropology, semiotics, aesthetics or psychoanalysis to art. However, a history of design based on sources such as archives is also active and aims to a better acknowledgment. It leads to a comprehensive and innovative approach of a rich heritage of design, which remains widely unknown and requires a close connection with museums, sources and collections.
The purpose of the symposium is to demonstrate the relevance of the history of design as a research field and the accuracy of its various readings. Experts will share their experience and vision. Benefiting from the advanced research in the UK and from diverse contributions, the conference will also shed light on a nascent and scattered but active and rich discipline in France.
Mr. Alain Barbaret, Direcrtor of the Mobilier National et des manufactures des Gobelins, de Beauvais et de la Savonnerie.
Dr. Hab. Françoise Ducros, curator at the Mobilier national.
Dr. Cloé Fontaine-Pitiot, curator at the Musée national d’art moderne-Centre de création industrielle, Centre Georges Pompidou.
Dr. Hab. Stéphane Laurent, University Pantheon-Sorbonne.
Dr. Asdis Olafsdottir, Administrator of the Maison Louis Carré and Editor of ArtNord journal.
Dr. Penny Sparke, professor and pro vice-chancellor, Kingston University, UK.
Dr. Jonathan Woodham, professor, University of Brighton, UK.
9h00 Welcome of participants.
9h30 Introduction by Hervé Barbaret.
10h Stéphane Laurent, L’Histoire du design en France, états des lieux.
10h30 Penny Sparke, The History of the History of Design: A Personal Perspective.
11h30 Asdis Olafsdottir, La recherche sur le design finlandais en
France: Alvar Aalto, d'Artek à la maison Louis Carré.
12h30 Lunch break.
14h Jonathan Woodham, Globalizing Design History in the 21st Century:
remapping and repositioning design history and culture.
14h30 Françoise Ducros, L’Archipel créatif du Mobilier national et des manufactures nationales.
15h Cloé Pitiot, Conserver, exposer, diffuser le design.
15h30 Discussions & Conclusions.
16h45 Visit of the design collections and resources of the Musée National d’art moderne-Centre de création industrielle, Centre Georges Pompidou.
With the support of the Society of Friends of the Musée national d’art moderne Centre Pompidou and the Design History Society.