Images from the Design Archives, Knitting Collections at University of Southampton, Museum of Design in Plastics, and University of the Arts London

Design Archives, University of Brighton

The Design Archives are based at the Centre for Research and Development in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Brighton. The collections originated with the acquisition of the Design Council Archive in 1994 and have since grown to comprise eighteen collections. The focus of the collections is on British design in the twentieth century although there is much of international significance, particularly in the areas of graphic and communication design.

The Design Council Archive charts the activities of the Council of Industrial Design, founded in 1944, through to its re-designation as the Design Council in 1972, and to its restructuring in 1994. The collection of photographs, posters, publications, and ephemera reflects many aspects of social and cultural change throughout the twentieth century. The collection includes the Council's picture library, a comprehensive photographic survey of products and interiors from Britain and abroad and of landmark exhibitions such as 'Britain Can Make It' and the 'Festival of Britain'.

Seeking to develop further the potential of the Design Council Archive, the University acquired the archives of individual designers and other design organisations that worked with or alongside it. These collections include the archives of the International Council of Graphic Design Associations (ICOGRADA) and the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID), and the archives of individual designers such as FHK Henrion, Anthony Froshaug, and James Gardner.

The Design Archives have been digitising material from their collections and developing online resources for research and dissemination since the late 1990s. Several thousand images were digitised as part of the JISC Image Digitisation Initiative (JIDI) and are available on VADS. Following this project, the University secured funding for the Designing Britain project which produced 7 web-based e-learning modules based around the collections. More recently, the University was successful in its bid for funding from the Digital Images for Education project, to digitise a further 2300 images for free use in education.

Dr Catherine Moriarty, Curator -
Sue Breakell, Archivist -
Barbara Taylor, JISC Digital Collections Project Co-ordinator -