University of Brighton Design Archives

Collections • Collaboration • Research


Projects and exhibitions

We mobilise our collections through innovative research projects, exhibitions and collaborative activities.

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 →

Machine Learning Methods to enhance access to Design Archives image collections: Supporting Classification of Archival Images via Artificial Intelligence Models

A guest post by Karina Rodriguez Echavarria, Vladislav Vaculin and Andrei Sobo.  During the summer of 2023, the Centre for Secure, Intelligent and Usable Systems in collaboration with the Design Archives and the Digital Skills in Visual and Material Culture network service at the University… 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 →

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 →

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 →

Archives Hub: Machine Learning and IIIF 2022

The Design Archives is contributing to an innovative project run by our longstanding partner, the Archives Hub, to investigate the potential of Machine Learning and the photographic platform IIIF for its operations.   Our relationship with the Hub, which delivers our… 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 →

Design Research & Its Participants 2016

Design Research & Its Participants was an invited curatorial intervention in the fiftieth anniversary conference of the Design Research Society, taking place in Brighton 24-27 June 2016.  Curated by Dr Lesley Whitworth, Design Archives’ Deputy Curator, the exhibition examined the… Continue Reading →

Navigating the Analogue, the Digital and the Archive 2015

This two-day workshop for the AHRC-funded ARENA (Arts Research Enrichment Activities) project held on the 5th and 6th of March, 2015, was hosted by the Design Archives and led by Professor Catherine Moriarty. Over the two days we sought to… Continue Reading →

Joseph Emberton: the architecture of display 2015

The Joseph Emberton Archive has been made available for research at the University of Brighton Design Archives since 2002. This exhibition for Pallant House, curated by Professor Catherine Moriarty and Design Archives Archivist and Research Fellow, Sue Breakell, presents selected… Continue Reading →

Exploring British Design

Exploring British Design is a proof of concept, cross-sector web portal that conjoins data, expertise and audiences. It connects and amplifies information about Britain’s rich design history held in numerous museums and archives. Through the building of detailed biographical authority records… Continue Reading →

Design Exchange

Led by Professor Harriet Edquist, Director of RMIT Design Archives, Melbourne and Professor Catherine Moriarty, Curatorial Director of the University of Brighton Design Archives, this alliance sought to establish foundations for co-operation across the world in the form of research… Continue Reading →

‘Black Eyes & Lemonade: Curating Popular Art’ 2013

An exhibition at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, (9 March – 1 September 2013) A radical exhibition of popular art opened at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in the summer of 1951. Its curator, the artist, designer, writer and campaigner, Barbara Jones,… Continue Reading →

Poster Subject Specialist Network

The University of Brighton Design Archives is a member of the Arts Council-supported Subject Specialist Network for Posters. Archivist, Sue Breakell took part in a Posters Forum held at the V&A in May 2012 and Curatorial Director, Catherine Moriarty spoke… Continue Reading →

F H K Henrion research seminar 2012

Tuesday 24 July 2012 Hosted by the Design Archives, Faculty of Arts, University of Brighton The Design Archives holds the rich and extensive archive of the designer FHK Henrion (1914-1990), which has enormous potential for research. A recent research seminar… Continue Reading →

‘House of the Vernacular’ exhibition 2011

Photographs of litter bins from the Design Council Picture Library were included in one of the major shows of the Brighton Photo Biennial. Selected by Martin Parr, the images formed part of the exhibition ‘House of the Vernacular’, an installation… Continue Reading →

60th Anniversary of the Festival of Britain 2011

This year an exciting and diverse range of projects engaged with the extensive holdings in the Design Archives relating to the Festival of Britain. These include 77 files and over 400 photographs in the Design Council Archive dealing with the… Continue Reading →

Archiving Design Organisations 2011

Archiving Design Organisations A Design Archives seminar funded by the Design History Society Faculty of Arts, University of Brighton Monday, 6 June 2011 
10 – 3pm The Design Archives at the University of Brighton hold the archives of three major… Continue Reading →

The Festival of Britain

Dr Harriet Atkinson joined the Design Archives as Faculty Fellow in 2010. As the first Fellow to be nominated by the Design Archives, her expertise and research profile achieves a strong fit with a range of research interests across the… Continue Reading →

‘Towards an Atlas of the Design Profession’ 2011

A Collaborative Doctorate between the Design Archives and the Chartered Society of Designers. In September 2010 the Design Archives welcomed Leah Armstrong as its first AHRC-funded collaborative doctoral student. We are delighted to be working with the Chartered Society of Designers on… Continue Reading →

Look-Here! project 2011

A significant series of photographic images relating to the 1951 Festival of Britain, can be found among the holdings of the Design Archives within the Design Council Archive. Many of these are accessible online from the Visual Arts Data Service… Continue Reading →

Designs for Solidarity 2008

Taking a poster held within the University of Brighton Design Archives as a starting point, this display considered how photography was incorporated in graphic contexts as part of campaigning strategies in opposition to US intervention in Vietnam. This conflict was… Continue Reading →

Indoors and Out: Bernard Schottlander 2008

A joint exhibition project between the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds and the University of Brighton Design Archives, this retrospective of Bernard Schottlander’s work explored the overlaps between his sculpture and design, and traced how the elegant interior forms of his… Continue Reading →

Gabriel Kuri – Brighton Photo Biennial 2006

As artist-in-residence at the University of Brighton Design Archives, Gabriel Kuri’s intervention As Selected for the Design Centre, London moved photography quite literally out of the archive and into the public arena. Taking as his starting point a pristine black and white… Continue Reading →

Air World – Vitra Design Museum

Design and Architecture for Air Travel This major touring exhibition originated by the Vitra Design Museum included graphic material from the F H K Henrion Archive. Luggage tags, timetables and other Celebrating the aesthetic of the golden age of air… Continue Reading →

Cultures of Consumption 2005

In 2005 Design Archives’ Deputy Curator Lesley Whitworth concluded her contribution to the multi-disciplinary ‘Cultures of Consumption’ research programme.  This ambitious 5 year programme was jointly funded by two UK research councils, the first such initiative by the ESRC and AHRC, and… Continue Reading →

Sculpture and Design 2005

A British Academy-supported conference organized by the Design Archives’ Curator Catherine Moriarty with Gillian Whiteley of Loughborough University, this event brought together a range of scholars to discuss the relationship between sculpture and design. It explored the connections between sculpture… Continue Reading →

The Photograph and Commodity Culture 2004

From its origins in the mid nineteenth century to the present day, photography has been intimately linked with the development of a commodity culture and to the processes of consumption. A one-day symposium organised by Photoforum and the University of… Continue Reading →

Ecstasy of Things, Winterthur, Switzerland 2004

‘Vom funktionalen Objekt zum Fetisch in Fotografien’, Fotomuseum, Winterthur, Switzerland 2004. The Archive’s Curator was invited to co-ordinate research in the UK as part of a pan-European project to identify collections of photography of mass-produced goods and equipment produced by… Continue Reading →

Brighton Photo Biennial 2003

A series of cards selected by those working with, or closely connected to, the photographic holdings of the Design Council Archive (Council of Industrial Design) and published to mark the Brighton Photo Biennial 2003.

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