Introduction - Writing design : words, myths, practices
The six articles presented in this fourth volume of Working Papers on Design (WPoD) are the result of a long process of collaboration. They were initially offered as abstracts in response to a call for papers published in 2008 for the Design History Society annual conference, Writing Design: Object, Process, Discourse, Translation, which I convened, with Jessica Kelly (Middlesex University) in September 2009. Following double-blind peer-review, successful authors prepared their papers for advanced circulation. At the conference, presenters received responses from invited panel chairs and respondents. After the conference, delegates were invited to develop their papers as articles for another round of double-blind peer review, which took place at the beginning of 2010. The work showcased in this volume of WPoD has thus been developed over two years, from abstract to conference paper to article, with the benefit of formal and informal feedback at each stage. This volume of WPoD should, therefore, give a good taste of the work presented at the Writing Design: Object, Process, Discourse, Translation conference, as well as fulfilling the more ambitious aim of providing a series of case studies through which to consider the role of writing, variously defined, in understanding design. The articles presented here are arranged in a loose chronology, and according to three focal points: words, myths and practices. They might have been arranged differently, of course. The object lifecycle might have been used as an organising principle with, for example, Lima, Biggs and Büchler‟s article on the sketch, beginning, rather than ending, the volume and the articles on words and myths following those focused on practice, echoing the way in which discourse responds to, as well as forms, practice. However, the structure employed here has been chosen to emphasize three distinct concerns that can be discerned within the Writing Design thematic area of interest.