Running head: DESIGN HISTORY
An analysis of Tony Fry’s approaches to studying and representing design history
For a long time, there have been discussions concerning the rewriting of design history. Consequently, the need to re-invent disciplines and approaches to design history has sparked greater intellectual probe on issues of sustainability and credibility. This paper seeks to critically analyze some of the various approaches to studying and representing design history as argued by Tony Fry. The paper will discuss connoisseurship and the object in space and finally assess there effects on the understanding of research ...view middle of the document...
This was based on the point that, he viewed connoisseurship as an approach that largely relies on first had close scrutiny of design objects. Additionally, Tony Fry came up with several categories of design historical approaches that can be used to understand design, they include, canonization, connoisseurship, the objects in the space, design as culture, the common space, design as economy, design and gender(Fry,1988). It can be mentioned that, this approaches are integral in examining the development of design history based on current and future practices. Fallan (2010) contends that, these approaches can be appropriately understood by looking at the production-consumption mediation paradigm. Markedly, canonization and connoisseurship have been categorically stated to fit into the production focus. The following section will critically analyze connoisseurship and design as culture as some of the approaches developed by Fry. Consequently, it will seek to analyze how these approaches relate to the study and representation of design history.
First, for a long time different scholars and practitioners have engaged in understanding the aims and principles of connoisseurship. According to tony fry, connoisseurship provides a working approach in the modern study and practice of design history. He further notes that, design history is based on aesthetics which largely influences the making of judgments of quality as a fundamental aspect. Secondly, based on his analysis of the book of Stephen Bayle’s in good shape- industrial products 1900-1960, Tony Fry identified that connoisseurship is also based on the work of hands and finally important in making distinction of original designs from copies (Bayley, 1885). It can be mentioned that, fry tries to look at connoisseurship by giving this approach an historical place with particular reference to modern capitalism. Consequently, the reputation of connoisseurship as presented by Bayle’s can be said to be scaled by the production and consumption meditation paradigm (Fry, 1988). As matter of fact, fry tries to mention that the transformation of products has largely contributed to the formation of new perception about the products. This implies that, the underlying distinctions between originals and copies are integral in gaining a secure conclusion about design history (Margolin, 2002).
According to Tony fry, there need to understand the epistemological status of connoisseurship in relation to design history. Markedly, Fry criticizes Bayle’s approach to connoisseurship by arguing that, it provides an impoverished approach to design history. Based on this perspective, fry tries to defend the epistemological and historical significance of connoisseurship. He argued that, by ignoring the effects of the development of mass production, the emerging systems of distribution and exchange and the pressure of capitalism, it is extremely difficult for anyone to gain a meaningful understanding of the history...