Dear David and Martin,
Maybe I’ll manage to address the issues you raised both in one post.
A few days ago when President Obama stressed the fact that he had
inherited an economy in disaster someone wrote that he was trying to
write History because who writes History gains the Future.
Design History has been written as if the Design institutionalization
had evolved from arts and crafts (very low profile activity) and arrived
to higher education in a very low HE hierarchic position (and stayed
there until little by little entered University Departments and in
Schools entering universities as a poor relative that comes up just to
This story obliterates the other history line that is originated in the
Fine Arts and one amongst the three loving ones, Architecture.
Architecture, since the Renaissance was a complete superior activity
fully liberal and highly respected as you find from your “Christopher
Wrens”. In the institutionalization of Design what really happens is
that the lower line of arts and crafts teaching climbs up to meet the
higher architecture teaching line and also maybe Painting and Sculpture
(I don’t know about what happened in your countries but Art students
here had to know part of the human Anatomy as well as the Medicine
The intellectual proposal of the Bauhaus was highly determined by this
fact and the push that modernism in art gave to society was as important
as the theory of relativity if not more.
So here we are, by oblivion probably, asking ourselves what Design (or
Art) Research should be so that it could still be research and also be
design (or Art).
My suggestion is that we should really check things out. How did they
really happen a probably re-write Design History and once and for all
erase the importance of the meaning you give to Design as a mental human
activity inherent to every discipline. What matters is how design
institutions evolved, meaning: Design Schools 8and university
departments, Design Museums, Design Stores, Design Professional
Associations. And, and … and this is a big and, try to see what these
institutions out of English speaking countries were and are.
Maybe we can finally define a Designology as Tufan Orel pretended and
make the perfect Design Professor.
So here we arrive to the duality David wrote about. Why not all in one?
A Designologist both practitioner and researcher?