University of Brighton Design Archives

Collections • Collaboration • Research

Two members of the Resolve Collective researching archival materials in reading room

Design Archives research informs new exhibition

A new exhibition at Brighton CCA, at the University’s Grand Parade site, continues an ongoing programme of artist commissions using the University of Brighton Design Archives as a starting point.  Brighton CCA commissioned Resolve Collective to make a new body of work, building on their concept of using the city as a source: for materials,…

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Black and white image showing a designer's office with products on shelves behind a desk

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 structure of knowledge. Bringing together a range of perspectives and practices around creative archives, the…

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A group of people looking at design materials on a desk

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 Officer, and Sue Breakell, Archive Director, with support from the Centre for Design History. This…

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Photograph of a coloured paper collage by Theo Crosby. The images appears to be an abstract representation of a human figure using different geometrical-shaped pieces of coloured paper. The artwork sits on white tissue paper and next to it are several conservation tools used to clean the artwork.

Developing archival skills through volunteering at the Design Archives

Recent MA Curating Collections and Heritage student Rachel Ng writes about her work as a volunteer at the Design Archives to support her professional development  The idea of preserving history for future generations has always fascinated me. Museums, archives, and heritage sites are a big part of my life so perusing a career in the heritage sector is an…

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Designing Transformation: Jews and Cultural Identity in Central European Modernism book cover

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 Modernism (Bloomsbury, 2021), edited by Dr Elana Shapira, arose from a 2019 symposium at the…

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Festival of Britain Land Travelling exhibition, 1951

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.  The new resources comprise a press release from the Festival of Britain office and a…

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Furniture Selection Committee at Britain Can Make It Exhibition

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 establish a network of ‘critical friends’ from outside the university to work with Design Archives staff and…

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Black and white photograph showing a pointy pylon at the Farm and Factory Exhibition in Northern Ireland, 1951.

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 from May to September 1951 and celebrated British art and industry. Complementing it were exhibitions…

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Black and white photograph of HRH Prince Phillip on the judging panel of the Design Council's Duke of Edinburgh Design Prize.

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 the Council’s most important early event, the Britain Can Make It exhibition, held at the…

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Red, white and blue poster design for a new font for British Rail

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 as marking the launch of Rail Alphabet 2, Network Rail’s new customised typeface, which she…

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