Public Practices

How do design historians communicate their ideas to a wider audience? What does the public practice of design historians look like? From archiving on social media to digital curation to writing for popular audiences to communicating ideas of heritage, this panel discussion throws light on the range of public-facing practices design historians engage in.

Anna Talley's work on the MA course focused on communication design in the 20th and 21st centuries. Her interest in history as a public practice extends from her work in museums, freelance writing, and her project, Design in Quarantine, a digital archive of design responses to the pandemic co-founded with fellow History of Design student Fleur Elkerton.

Eve MacNeill's research considers the role of popular culture within museums and archives, exploring the ways in which institutions can collaborate with community groups and fan groups to represent the experiences of the cultural consumer. Her dissertation focused on using oral histories to consider how pop music fans who collect memorabilia could be engaged in museum projects through co-curation

ZeYi (Denise) Lai’s research explores late 20th- to 21st-century design and alternative modernities in Malaysia. Her public-facing roles have included work in museums such as the V&A and the Ashmolean Museum, speaking as a panelist for the DHS, and her recent project in collaboration with the Malaysia Design Archive to build a physical and digital archive of designs relating to the Malaysian development programme, Wawasan 2020.

Freya Purcell's work examines everyday life and urban living through design history. With a background working in museums, she is interested is in public history and its potential in deconstructing popular myths. Alongside her classmate, Genevieve Drinkwater, she is one half of the digital archive Word on the Street.