Reading Design (2013–)

26 October 2017, dusan

“Reading Design is an online archive of critical writing about design. The idea is to embrace the whole of design, from architecture and urbanism to product, fashion, graphics and beyond. The texts featured here date from the nineteenth century right up to the present moment but each one contains something which remains relevant, surprising or interesting to us today.

Reading Design is not a magazine or a journal and many or most of the texts here will have been published before. They might be papers, transcriptions of lectures, articles, essays, academic texts, photo essays, sketches or blog posts but the aim is to collate these texts in one place to build a resource which we hope will become invaluable to designers, academics, researchers, professionals and all those with any interest in design at all. It is a library of design which we hope is able to use the enormous capacity of the internet in a way in which it is not currently being used.

Reading Design is a non-profit making venture aiming to make pivotal texts available to all and to provoke, delight, enlighten, inspire, inform and occasionally infuriate.”

Editor-in-chief: Edwin Heathcote
Associate editor: Krisztina Heathcote


Wendy Bark: Constructivist Costume, Textile & Theatrical Design, 1917-1934 (1995)

9 June 2013, dusan

This thesis follows the life of the art movement known as Constructivism through the turbulent post-revolutionary years, up to the onset of Socialist Realism, a doctrine imposed on the Arts by governmental directives. It focuses on the areas of fashion, textile and theatrical design, which themselves are strongly influenced by extra-artistic factors – economics, sociology and the historical era – as was the ethos of Constructivism.

After a brief introduction giving some background information on the art world and the main artist-designers of the study, the chapters go on to discuss the factors affecting the rise and then the waning popularity of the constructivist ideology, explaining the focal tenets of Constructivism, particularly in relation to fashion, textile and theatrical design. Since the majority of constructivist works were completed during the time span covered by NEP, those chapters relating to NEP have thus been given emphasis. Some biographical details about the main artists of the study are given at the end, and the Glossary lists the most common acronyms and abbreviations used in the text. The illustrations are intended as a companion to the text, since often the artistic effects of designers cannot be described adequately by language alone.

The study focuses on six artist/designers: Vladimir Tatlin, Alexander Rodchenko, Varvara Stepanova, Liubov Popova, Alexandra Exter, and Nadezhda Lamanova.

Full title: Constructivist Costume, Textile & Theatrical Design, 1917-1934: A Study of Constructivism Set in the Socio-cultural, Political and Historical Context of Post-Revolutionary Russia
Masters thesis
Durham University
285 pages


PDF (alt link)

Sabine Seymour: Functional Aesthetics: Visions in Fashionable Technology (2010)

30 October 2011, dusan

Functional Aesthetics is a sequel to Seymour’s highly acclaimed book “Fashionable Technology” (Springer 2008) and contains new state-of-the-art and revealing artistic and design examples focusing on the aesthetic and functional aspects. Chapters like Contextual Prerequisite, Body Sculpture, or Transparent Sustainability provide in-depth studies of often visionary projects seen as stimulation for new developments in the matured field of “Fashionable Technology“. The book presents inspiring projects between the poles of fashion, design, technology, and sciences. It includes a list of relevant information on DIY resources, publications, inspirations, etc.

Publisher Springer, 2010
ISBN 3709103118, 9783709103111
232 pages

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PDF, PDF (updated on 2014-12-22)