What is graphic design history for? It is a perennial question I encounter with my students—typically written on their bored faces (Or maybe it’s me?). I’ve never heard a leading design practice discuss history except for theirs, nor one that has clinched a client because of it. This existential question was one of many that led to the 2014 conference: “Graphic Design: History and Practice” in the Free University of Bozen-Bolano in Italy. The 6 presentations and 2 post-discussions, as well as 3 additional reflections, compiled in this book offers a small but valuable inquiry into the role of graphic design history in contemporary times. Whether it is uncovering the role of women, harnessing the digital wave or rethinking its place in design education, there is much to look forward to for those interested in its past.
#ADesignLibrary spotlights lesser known design books, and invites public access to my personal collection of titles that focuses on Singapore architecture and design, Asian design, everyday design, critical and speculative design as well as design theory and philosophy. I welcome enquiries and physical loans.