Art History and Design in Dialogue: Abutments and Confluences

Design at the Open University has always bridged knowledge systems and approaches from the natural sciences, humanities and social sciences. The Design Group connects to other schools within STEM but also to other faculties and schools at the Open University. The new Special Issue in the Open Arts Journal ART HISTORY AND DESIGN IN DIALOGUE: ABUTMENTS AND CONFLUENCES explores what connects Design with Arts History at the OU.

The collection of essays, papers and discissions explores the history as well as current collaborations or shared concerns between these two schools, such as education, participation, collaboration, colonialism and transnational flows of people and ideas.

The special issue offers a three-pronged approach that combines an art historical reflection on what can loosely be framed as fine art versus applied art, art versus industry and art and design from the eighteenth century to the present (Part 1), with the presentation of projects where collaborations have occurred or ‘in-betweenness’ is in evidence (Part 2). It also offers a bringing-into-relation within the discursive space of the journal, which entails a roundtable discussion between members of both departments around projects that broach issues of coloniality and present-day cultural and educational interactions between the Global North and South (Part 3), as well as the juxtaposition of the pioneering historic contributions of art history and design to their respective fields and the pedagogy of the OU (Part 4). The idea is that the bringing into proximity of art history in this constellation will allow for new vistas and synergies to emerge. (p.4)


Issue 9 is published as Open Access and you can read it at







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