Congratulations to the Design History Society Ambassador

Recent graduate Rowan Adamson reflects on her degree in History of Design and Material Culture as a springboard for her role as a new Ambassador for the prestigious Design History Society, the leading organisation that promotes and supports the study of design histories, both in the UK and internationally.

After graduating with my master’s degree in the ‘History of Design and Material Culture’ from the University of Brighton in February 2023, I am pleased to announce my appointment as ‘Ambassador’ for the Design History Society. The DHS is the leading organisation that promotes and supports the study of design histories, both in the UK and internationally. My role will be to promote the DHS through engaging content (primarily through the Blog – including reviews, reports, interviews, thought pieces, visual essays etc) and updating social media channels, as well as organising an event for post-graduate/early career researchers and students to engage with the society in an informal and casual setting.

In addition to my master’s degree, I hold an undergraduate degree in ‘Textile Design’ from Gray’s School of Art (Robert Gordon University) in Aberdeen. Grounded in design and craft principles, my educational background has been instrumental in informing my research with a particular focus on utilising the archive through the lens of creative methods and making practices. Making the transition from a practical studio based undergraduate to an academically challenging and theory led post-graduate forced me to reassess my research methods and led to a deeper understanding of object theory, exhibition design and museum processes. For my master’s dissertation, titled “Memory, Materiality, and the Collection: Exploring the relationship between object and artist within contemporary art and craft,” I delved into creative practices involving found objects and archival material as a tool for inspiration and exploration, interviewing 3 artists/designers and analysing their methods. My research interests span a range of topics, including but not limited to the materiality of the archive, the memory of objects, and Scottish textile design and craft histories.

I loved my master’s degree, and credit the department of History of Art and Design and the Centre for Design History for such an encouraging environment in to learn and question our subject, especially through workshops and seminars along with the excellent staff and my fellow master’s students. With this encouragement I am actively pursuing a career within the arts/museum sector and have recently relocated from Brighton back to Glasgow, where I am continuing my pursuits in the field. The Design History Society allows me the opportunity to stay up to date on the ongoing discourse in Design History, and this engagement serves as a valuable resource as I explore potential avenues for further study and career opportunities.

We are looking for an additional Ambassador to join me; it is an excellent opportunity to be involved with Design History and network with other academics and researchers. Open to anyone with an interest in Design History, please see the ‘Vacancies’ page on the DHS website, or alternatively please email me at to discuss this further.



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