University of Brighton Design Archives

Collections • Collaboration • Research


Sirpa Kutilainen

University of Brighton Design Archives receives £315,000 funding

The University of Brighton Design Archives will receive £315,000 from the Research England Museum, Galleries and Collections Fund. Retaining their position among the country’s top archives to receive support, the Design Archives will receive £63,000 in each of the next… Continue Reading →

Shutdown: Protecting collections in a changing climate

Sustainability and reduction of carbon emissions are a concern across the cultural heritage sector. Dependency on energy hungry HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) systems to maintain unrealistic environmental conditions has become an issue of adaptation, working with existing infrastructure… Continue Reading →

Design Archives material in two new museum exhibitions in South-East England

Two recently opened museum exhibitions feature material from the Design Archives, as part of our work to share our collections with public audiences. Consultant design commissions for the GPO (General Post Office) by graphic designers FHK Henrion and HA Rothholz… Continue Reading →

Towards a more sustainable archive practice

The Design Archives’ Preservation and Digital Resources Coordinator Sirpa Kutilainen is leading an environmental control unit shutdown project for the Design Archives to become more sustainable. With sustainability an increasingly urgent global concern, in late 2022, I began to investigate… Continue Reading →

The Jonathan M Woodham Design History Awards

The Jonathan Woodham Awards are made annually for the best pieces of work in any medium informed to a significant extent (but not necessarily wholly) by research in the University of Brighton Design Archives. It must have been created in… Continue Reading →

New Undergraduate Prize added to Jonathan M Woodham Design History Award

The Jonathan M Woodham Award was instigated through the generosity of one of the Design Archives founders, to encourage imaginative use of research undertaken in the Design Archives. In 2023 we are excited to inaugurate a dedicated undergraduate prize in… Continue Reading →

Report: Where Design Fails? Exploring Design Archives Event Series

In November and December 2022, the University of Brighton Design Archives hosted a three-part online talk series called Where Design Fails? Exploring Design Archives. Here, Researcher Zara Arshad reports on the programme. The events series Where Design Fails? was developed… Continue Reading →

Archive as Method: new approaches to archives of creative practice

What is ‘archival knowledge’? A new, ongoing Design Archives event series foregrounds the creative archive as a method for research, knowledge generation and exchange. It frames the archive not just as a source but a site, a subject and a… Continue Reading →

Archival Cultures of Design 2021-2

Archival Cultures of Design is an ongoing research theme established in 2021 in support of the Design Archives’ mission and goals to meld academic and professional practice through research-informed stewardship. It reframes longstanding priorities for the Design Archives research team,… Continue Reading →

Where Design Fails? Exploring Design Archives*

Join us for this three-part talk series on the 9th and the 23rd November and 14th December organised as part of the ongoing University of Brighton Design Archives research theme “Global Archival Cultures of Design,” run by Zara Arshad, Research… Continue Reading →

New writing by Design Archives team

Two new publications feature work by Design Archives researchers, contributing to scholarship in design history, émigré studies and fine art practice, as well as critical archive studies. A major edited collection, Designing Transformation: Jews and Cultural Identity in Central European… Continue Reading →

Festival of Britain: more new resources

Continuing our celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Festival of Britain, new resources have been added to our Document Library and Flickr set from the archive of designer H A (Arnold) Rothholz, relating to the Festival’s Land Travelling Exhibition. … Continue Reading →

Creating, curating and consuming the archive: new Design Archives decolonising initiative awarded National Archives funding

The Design Archives has been awarded a grant from the National Archives’ Collaborate and Innovate Archives Testbed fund, a scheme which supports innovation in archive practices and methods with the potential for transformative impact in the UK archives sector.  The project will… Continue Reading →

Reflections from a Jonathan M Woodham Design History Award Winner

The Jonathan M Woodham Awards are made for work in any medium informed by research in the University of Brighton Design Archives, and are made possible by the generosity of Emeritus Professor Woodham who, with Dr Paddy Maguire, established the… Continue Reading →

Celebrating the Festival of Britain

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Festival of Britain. Designed to nurture the country’s recovery after the Second World War, the Festival’s South Bank exhibition in London was the main attraction. On a 27 acre site, it ran… Continue Reading →

‘The Indexing Project’: access points and data sharing 2021

Lauren Bridges recently carried out a project reviewing access points in the Design Archives database, to support recent developments in best practice.  She completed her postgraduate Diploma in Archive Studies at the University of Liverpool in 2020. When you think… Continue Reading →

Prince Philip: A Case of Exemplary Royal Patronage

Since its inception in 1944, the Design Council (formerly Council of Industrial Design) has been fortunate in being able to call on royal support for its many initiatives.  This began when King George VI and his consort Queen Elizabeth opened… Continue Reading →

Design Archives loan to Margaret Calvert exhibition at the Design Museum

The Design Archives have loaned a poster from the Design Council Archive to the Design Museum’s new exhibition ‘Margaret Calvert: A Woman at Work’. The exhibition celebrates three of Calvert’s most influential typefaces (Transport, Calvert and Rail Alphabet), as well… Continue Reading →

New national digital capacity-building strategy features Design Archives case study

The Design Archives is one of four case studies featured in the National Archives’ new strategy for building digital capacity, ‘Plugged in Powered Up’. The case studies offer practical examples of how archives have implemented digital preservation processes and systems… Continue Reading →

Design Archives contributes to award-shortlisted digital preservation project

A National Archives (TNA) project to which the Design Archives contributed professional expertise has been shortlisted for a 2020 Digital Preservation Award.   Safeguarding the Nation’s Digital Memory was developed by TNA in collaboration with statisticians from the University of Warwick, supported by… Continue Reading →

Design Archives achieves Archives Service Accreditation

The University of Brighton Design Archives has been awarded national accreditation. The Archive Service Accreditation is the UK quality standard which recognises good performance in all areas of archive service delivery and, according to the service, “demonstrates that the Design Archives has… Continue Reading →

New exhibition at Brighton CCA responds to Design Archives collections

A new exhibition opening at the University of Brighton Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA) at Grand Parade is the first in an annual series of collaborations between Brighton CCA and the University of Brighton Design Archives, in which artists and… Continue Reading →

New exhibition traces history of pioneering Brighton fine art course

Excavating contemporary art education, a new exhibition in the Atrium Gallery at the University’s Grand Parade site, traces the history of Brighton’s distinctive Fine Art Critical Practice (FACP) degree programme, presenting an ongoing project to build an archive documenting its… Continue Reading →

Design Archives represented in three current exhibitions

As the display of Council of Industrial Design educational folios reaches the final days of its run at the Margaret Howell store in Wigmore Street, two further exhibitions introduce the wealth of our collections to new audiences, bringing to fruition a busy… Continue Reading →

University of Brighton Design Archives honoured with the Sir Misha Black Award

The award, considered one of the most prestigious of its kind, is in recognition of the “innovative work in building an impressive complex of resources that embrace teaching, research, the preservation of knowledge and its dissemination nationally and internationally”. The… Continue Reading →

Archivist presents papers in Manchester and Venice this month

On Friday 9 February, Archivist Sue Breakell gives the invited keynote address at a symposium organised by the AHRC-funded project ‘Life on the Outskirts’, at Manchester Metropolitan University.  The project explores the multiple challenges and opportunities faced by small creative… Continue Reading →

‘Designs on Britain’ exhibition

The University of Brighton Design Archives has lent 35 works to a major exhibition opening next week at the Jewish Museum in London. The exhibition considers the significant influence of Jewish designers who migrated from other parts of Europe during… Continue Reading →

Two Design Archives presentations with an urban focus on same day

On 16 June the Curatorial Director and Deputy Curator will each be speaking at events with an urban focus. Catherine Moriarty at ‘The City as Modernist Ephemera’ at London South Bank University and Lesley Whitworth at ‘Architecture, Citizenship, Space: British… Continue Reading →

Design Archives receives further HEFCE endorsement

The University of Brighton Design Archives has retained its place among the country’s top museums, galleries and collections by once again receiving funding from the Higher Education Funding Council (HEFCE). Funding was first awarded in 2010 and, following a competitive… Continue Reading →

Design Archives collaborate with Margaret Howell

Partnerships underpin many of the activities of the University of Brighton Design Archives be they AHRC studentships, research council-funded projects or artist residencies. This year, we have teamed up with leading British designer Margaret Howell to support the charity Open… Continue Reading →

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