What constitutes Britishness in British design? Luxury 'British' car brand, Bentley is German owned and its head of exterior styling is Brazilian. Apple designer, Jonathan Ive was born and raised in Britain, but does that mean we can claim the iPhone and the MacBook as examples of British Design? It's possible to see the influence of those born or educated in Britain across the world. Yet at the same time, the world comes to Britain to study design and to establish their studios, from Marc Newson to car brands such as, Nissan and Ford.
Published in conjunction with the Design Museum, Design in Britain is the first book to take a comprehensive account of what it is that has given Britain a unique place in history. It is not just about British design, but a global view of that unique sensibility that informs everyone from Jonathan Ive to Zaha Hadid. It is an exploration of the major figures and movements that have led the way and those who have turned it on it's head, from the emergence of design in post-war years to the innovative implications of design in today's very different technological and social climate.
Divided by subject matter, each chapter is written by an international expert in that field:
- Product: Can Britain Still Make It? Daniel Charny offers a critical response to design in the commercial sense and the cultural sphere.
- Architecture: Building in a Cold Climate. Deyan Sudjic looks at how the shape of commercial rebuilding has evolved in Britain.
- Automotive: Breeding the Brand. Andrew Nahum looks at how Britain is building more cars than ever, but in foreign owned factories.
- Graphics: Form and Content. Rick Poyner gives an account of the successive creative waves of graphic design in Britain.
- Fashion: Demand the Impossible. Susannah Frankel presents a measured account of the reality behind British fashion.
- Interaction: After the Object. Simon Waterfall reveals the web-based expansion of what constitutes design.
- Identity: Making Marks. Wally Olins discusses how identities and brands have measured out the history of Britain.
- Design: The View From Outside. Paola Antonelli presents a view of what it is that made British design special from the outside.
This book celebrates the importance and quality of design in Britain that is recognised and admired across the world. Designers based in Britain are producing work that is an essential element of the international landscape of contemporary design. There is no British design; there is only design in Britain and for the last 20 years it has been extraordinarily fruitful.