Design History: The State of the Art
Design is a rich word. Its core meaning is a plan, so it refers by extension to evidence of the activity of planning, such as blueprints, technical drawings, and sketches on the backs of envelopes. However, it is also used to refer to the products of the activity of designing, such as designed objects, systems, and behaviors. Design history encompasses the study of design in order to find out about the past, and the study of the past in order to better understand design. Here I will briefly sketch the development of design history for those unfamiliar with it, including the international spread of the subject, and then focus on the current state of the field with reference to several key topics and work currently in progress.