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A Critique Of Design In History By Victor Margolin

785 words - 4 pages

A Critique of Design in History by Victor Margolin
The article Design in History by Victor Margolin discusses the issues between design and the broader subjects within the field of history. He argues that design should be considered of enough importance to be studied as its topic. Margolin also emphasises that the history of design is also significant in other areas of history.
Margolin acknowledges the accomplishments of design historians including the wide variety of research that has been conducted and the “growing collection of academic publications.” (Margolin, 2009) However, he criticises the lack of generalisation to other components of history like the social aspects. “Yet despite ...view middle of the document...

” The way in which the history of technology has been overlooked could perhaps mean that design historians need to show more awareness for other social fields as this may aid them in discovering the answers to their own matters.
Margolin makes a point that many “components of daily life can be linked to larger economic and social forces.” (Margolin, 2009) He uses Fernand Braudel’s study of capitalism as a model of how material culture, and design, could be “incorporated within a large, historical narrative.” (Margolin, 2009) I think that this is a major point in the article as design historians should try to understand the bigger picture and use other topics of history to assist them with their research. They could perhaps also make use of knowledge about “complex social relations revealed by Jeffrey Meikle.” (Margolin, 2009)
Later on the in the article, Margolin continues to explain how other areas of history could apply to design. He mentions how many cultural historians have written about design which suggests that there is some level of relevance between the two topics. For example in Deborah Silverman’s study, Art Nouveau in Fin-de-Siècle Vienna: Politics and Culture, the Art Nouveau movement is defined in terms of social contexts such as self-glorification and associations to psychologie nouvelle....

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