Design Matters research network

White Rose College of the Arts & Humanities (Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York)

The project seeks to explore how concepts of ‘nostalgic design’ can inform current and future design processes and practices in the heritage sector and the contemporary marketplace. It is conducted through a multidisciplinary network involving staff from The School of Design at the University of Leeds; the Department of Archaeology and the School of Architecture at the University of Sheffield, and the Departments of Archaeology and History at the University of York.

The connection between these researchers is the belief that it is important for society to examine critically what has gone before, in terms of traditional craft organisations, processes, patterns, products and structures, in order to strategically inform the future support and development of heritage craft design in both the historic environment sector and the contemporary marketplace.

Three PhD projects are linked with the network, one based at each institution.

Mary Loveday Edwards is carrying out the project based at University of Leeds:

The use of nostalgia at the ideation stage of design (Mary Loveday Edwards, University of Leeds)

This study proposes to explore the underlying relationship between nostalgia and contemporary design. The core objective is to propose or suggest a strategic framework to support the use of nostalgia at the ideation stage of the design process, in the belief that it is important for society to examine critically what has gone before in order to strategically inform the future support and development of design in both the historic environment sector and design symbols, objects, actions or systems.

The other projects are:

Heritage crafts in folk life museums: nostalgia or heritage training? (Charlotte Bradshaw, University of York)

Past, presents and futures at the fairground (Ian Trowell, University of Sheffield)