Global Design History

by Glenn Adamson, Giorgio Riello, Sarah Teasley

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9780415572859
  • 9781136833083
  • 9781136833076

Globalism is often discussed using abstract terms, such as ‘networks’ or ‘flows’ and usually in relation to recent history. Global Design History moves us past this limited view of globalism, broadening our sense of this key term in history and theory.

Individual chapters focus our attention on objects, and the stories they can tell us about cultural interactions on a global scale. They place these concrete things into contexts, such as trade, empire, mediation, and various forms of design practice. Among the varied topics included are:

  • the global underpinnings of Renaissance material culture
  • the trade of Indian cottons in the eighteenth-century
  • the Japanese tea ceremony as a case of ‘import substitution’
  • German design in the context of empire
  • handcrafted modernist furniture in Turkey
  • Australian fashions employing ‘ethnic’ motifs
  • an experimental UK-Ghanaian design partnership
  • Chinese social networking websites
  • the international circulation of contemporary architects.

Featuring work from leading design historians, each chapter is paired with a ‘response’, designed to expand the discussion and test the methodologies on offer. An extensive bibliography and resource guide will also aid further research, providing students with a user friendly model for approaches to global design. 

Global Design History will be useful for upper-level undergraduate and postgraduate students, academics and researchers in design history and art history, and related subjects such as anthropology, craft studies and cultural geography.


  • Taylor and Francis; March 2011
  • ISBN: 9781136833083
  • Edition: 1
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure ePub format
  • Title: Global Design History
  • Author: Glenn Adamson (ed.); Giorgio Riello (ed.); Sarah Teasley (ed.)
  • Imprint: Routledge
Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9780415572859
  • 9781136833083
  • 9781136833076

About The Author

Glenn Adamson is Deputy Head of Research at the Victoria and Albert Museum, where he leads a graduate programme in the History of Design. He is co-editor of The Journal of Modern Craft, and author of Thinking Through Craft (2007) and The Craft Reader (2010).

Giorgio Riello is Associate Professor in Global History and Culture at the University of Warwick, UK. He is the author of A Foot in the Past (2006) and has recently co-edited The Spinning World: A Global History of Cotton Textiles, 1200–1850 (2009) and The Fashion History Reader (2010).

Sarah Teasley is Tutor in the History of Design and Liaison Tutor in Critical and Historical Studies at the Royal College of Art, UK. She is co-author of 20th Century Design History (2005), and a specialist in the history of design for mass production in modern Japan.

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9780415572859
  • 9781136833083
  • 9781136833076