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Title: Design innovation and diffusion in the British textile industry : 1945-1959
Author: Mecozzi, Daniela.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3390 8283
Awarding Body: University of Brighton
Current Institution: University of Brighton
Date of Award: 2003
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The following research addresses the process of design innovation and diffusion within the British cotton industry between 1945-1959. This study broadly concerns the relationship between art and design and its influence on the design process in relation to the British cotton industry. It covers the period from the 1940's when, the first generation of American Abstract Expressionists came of age, until the second half of the 1950's, when patterns showing stylistic and technical elements derived from this group of artists started to be produced by British companies. The analysis of this specific relationship provides this study with both a chronological framework and the opportunity to examine the relationship between the development of artistic movements and their reception, or lack of it, within commercially orientated bodies. The purpose of this thesis is to provide a study of the design process and the influence of market structures upon design strategies adopted by individual textile companies. This work is based on the study of the British cotton industry, the debate relating to art and design education during the period under examination. It includes the detailed comparative examination of the records of three British textile firms Heal's Wholesale & Export Ltd., the SUbsidiary of Heal's & Son founded in 1941, which became Heal Fabrics in 1958; Arthur Sanderson & Sons Ltd., which added the production of textiles to its wallpaper business after the First Wortd War, and Armitage & Rigby Ltd., a Lancashire based company of cotton spinners and manufacturers, established in 1841. The study of American Abstract Expressionism, its theoretical stand, and the critical and art historical writing on this artistic movement are examined to provide a basis upon which to compare the artwork with the 'contemporary' designs produced during the 1950's. Finally, the examination of a number of 'contemporary' designs provides evidence of the process and implications of the commercial adoption of Abstract Expressionism. This study attempts to demonstrate the relevance of material factors in the adoption of design policies by British textile firms. In particular, it suggests that the structure of the British textile industry, specifically the merchantketailer role in commissioning designs, was determinant in the taking up of the Abstract Expressionist style in textile design.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History History