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Distributed for Reaktion Books

Designing Modern Britain

British culture is marked by indelible icons—red double-decker buses, large oak wardrobes, and the compact sleekness of the Mini. But British industrial and product design have long lived in the shadows of architecture and fashion. Cheryl Buckley here delves into the history of British design culture, and in doing so uniquely tracks the evolution of the British national identity.

            Designing Modern Britain demonstrates how interior design, ceramics, textiles, and furniture craft of the twentieth century contain numerous hallmark examples of British design. The book explores topics connected to the British design aesthetic, including the spread of international modernism, the eco-conscious designs of the 1980s and 1990s, and the influence of celebrity product designers and their labels. Buckley also investigates popular nostalgia in recent times, considering how museum and gallery exhibitions have been instrumental in reimagining Britain’s past and how the heritage industry has fueled a growing trend among designers of employing images of British culture in their work.

            A thoughtful look at the aesthetic heritage of a nation that has left its footprint around the globe, Designing Modern Britain will be a valuable text for students and professionals in design.

256 pages | 120 halftones | 6 3/4 x 7 1/2

Art: British Art

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 "Thankfully not just another book about design, but a book about design and society and how they interact. Cheryl Buckley’s book is all the more interesting and relevant to designers, students and anyone interested in the structure of Britishness."–Jasper Morrison

Jasper Morrison

"This book looks at the relationship between iconic British design and national identity, taking in the furniture, ceramics and textiles that defined twentieth-century Britain."

Grand Designs

"Reflecting the book’s eclectic sources and methodologies, Designing Modern Britain should be adopted as a key text for a variety of courses across disciplines such as architecture, museum studies, cultural studies, twentieth-century British history, and all the more specialized fields of the history of fasion, art, design, and graphics."

Becky E. Conekin | Journal of Modern History

Table of Contents

1. Modernity and Tradition:
    Late Victorian and Edwardian Design
2. ‘Englishness’ and Identity
    Design in Early Twentieth-century Britain
3. ‘Going Modern, but Staying British’:
    Design and Modernisms, 1930 to 1950
4. Designing the ‘Detergent Age’:
    Design in the 1950s and ’60s
5. The Ambiguities of Progress:
    Design from the Late 1960s to 1980
6. ‘I Shop Therefore I Am’:
    Design since the ’80s
Select Bibliography
Photo Acknowledgements

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