This Caiana dossier invites reflection on Design based on the call for texts which, with no geographical boundaries, approaches its configuration as a disciplinary field through the study of phenomena permitting the identification of its problem areas in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Also, it seeks to introduce a questioning of the categories that organized cartographies based on the material conditions of production of artefacts which are today a part of the History of Design, but were created when this discipline did not exist as such.
A historiographical gaze on the constitution of Design as a disciplinary field evidences that, during the last three decades, Design theoreticians and historians intended to distance themselves from accounts legitimating and not problematizing the discipline. Inasmuch as Design consolidated itself and developed as an autonomous area with specific modalities of production of knowledge, it was more open to debating acritical assumptions and normative and prescriptive methodologies.
Design was included in political agendas with various aims in mind: with the promise of representing the space par excellence from which to transform society and the lives of people, in order to produce development and innovation in public administration and policy, with the aim of exploring possible worlds outside the context of immediate necessity although it was also considered a manipulative, deceptive, sumptuary practice. In that framework, we can claim that Design negotiated its boundaries with Art, Economy, Sociology, History, Anthropology, Communication, Geography, Architecture and the Design disciplines, among others, not only because of its constitutively interdisciplinary nature, but also because its problem areas enabled the emergence of new fields of study, such as Design Culture, Visual Culture, Material Culture, Cultural Studies, the Sociology of Culture and Graphic Culture.
This has led us to speak about Culture(s), History (ies) and more recently Economy (ies) of Design to account for the scenarios, not devoid of conflictivity, in which its various objects of study are configured in contemporaneity.
In the context of the discussion about the conditions of possibility of a global history Design, certain characterizations have been criticized which define it as a field for industrially produced artefacts, i.e. machine-made artefacts produced in series. This gaze excluded from historic accounts experiences of countries with very sophisticated Design cultures, but which did not respond to that form of production or in which other relations were hierarchically-ordered, like the pair craftsmanship-design.
Through this appeal, Caiana proposes a dossier dedicated for the first time to the history of Design. Its objective is to foreground the multiple dimensions associated to writing about Design, observing the way in which its institutionalization and its role in political, social, economic or technological visibilization and invisibilization has been problematized by theory, History and practice. Thus, there is an intention to prompt debate by means of case studies and/or the explicitation of historiographic artefacts in which design takes centre stage as an issue or as a device which is a vehicle for meanings and logics which are its own in order to affect and interact with other disciplines.
Thematic focuses (not limiting)
Historiographic perspectives of Design histories of Latin American, African and Asian countries.
Problems in the construction of a History on the specificity of design as a form of knowledge.
Europe-US-Latin America dialogs in historiographic construction.
Exchanges between Art History and design.
Construction of otherness and gender perspectives in Design histories.
History of international Design networks and organizations and their Latin American agendas.
Interaction between Art History, Design History and Technology History in the State’s identity construction.
Museum projects, collectionism and Design archives.
Transmedia Design projects and information visualization devices in curatorial scripts for Art exhibitions.
Universal and Industrial Exhibitions.
Design as mediator, facilitator or as an obstacle in the generation, circulation and dissemination of knowledge.
The call for papers for this dossier will remain open until January 20, 2018
Bear in mind that the magazine is indexed in the catalogue of the Latindex and DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals) information systems.
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