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Title: The influence of complementary practices and spirituality on British design, 1930-2005
Author: North-Bates, Susan T.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3449 5097
Awarding Body: Sheffield Hallam University
Current Institution: Sheffield Hallam University
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis investigates the nature and role of spiritually-influenced approaches to design in Britain in the period 1930-2005. The role of spiritual factors in design is considered as a complement to the predominance of the Modernist rationalist-functionalist discourse prevalent in much twentieth century design history writing and theories of design. Non-rational and spiritual facets of Modernism in this period are also examined. The influence of 'alternative' lifestyles, the New Age movement, ecology, holism, complementary and alternative medical practices, and spirituality on design is presented as a complementary paradigm to the predominance of Modernism. The origins and development of these influences are explored in relation to design and material culture. In order to reveal a body of relevant exemplars, the particular areas selected for detailed examination are the domestic environment, gardens and landscape design, and the influence of Complementary and Alternative Medicine on the design of therapeutic environments. This material, arising from practices of consumption as well as those of designing, challenges some of the established methods of design history and to deal with this, insights from the academic disciplines of Archaeology and Pagan Studies, relating to Shamanic concepts of the object, are explored as useful adjuncts to Postmodernism and other approaches in theorising complementary and alternative design practices. The research demonstrates that during the period under consideration, what was once considered outlandish has now become part of the mainstream and has affected contemporary design practice, material culture and consumption. The pluralism of contemporary design ideologies and methods presents a complement to, and a transformation of the Modernist hegemony in design practice and writing. This study contributes to a more complete historical picture of British design in the twentieth century and indicates that the predominance of a Modernist interpretation of design and its history is both insufficient and inadequate to understand the rich texture and complexity of the design history of this period.
Supervisor: Cowdell, Theo ; Rust, Chris ; Cunliffe-Charlesworth, Hilary Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available