British culture is marked by indelible icons—red double-decker buses, large oak wardrobes, and the compact sleekness of the Mini. But British industrial and product design have long lived in the shadows of architecture and fashion. Cheryl Buckley here delves into the history of British design culture, and in doing so uniquely tracks the evolution of the British national identity.
Designing Modern Britain demonstrates how interior design, ceramics, textiles, and furniture craft of the twentieth century contain numerous hallmark examples of British design. The book explores topics connected to the British design aesthetic, including the spread of international modernism, the eco-conscious designs of the 1980s and 1990s, and the influence of celebrity product designers and their labels. Buckley also investigates popular nostalgia in recent times, considering how museum and gallery exhibitions have been instrumental in reimagining Britain’s past and how the heritage industry has fueled a growing trend among designers of employing images of British culture in their work.
A thoughtful look at the aesthetic heritage of a nation that has left its footprint around the globe, Designing Modern Britain will be a valuable text for students and professionals in design.