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Design Culture Salon 14: How dependent is the design profession on cultures of migration?

Immigration has been a bargaining point between the political parties in the run up to the 2015 election and can be seen to particularly divide attitudes to working cultures in the UK. Economic experts point to the vital and invigorating role immigration plays in our national economy.

Design historians have established that the UK profession was carved out by émigré designers. Sociologists and geographers continue to note the lasting and continuing importance of global cultures of design in shaping the UK creative economy. Does immigration mean something particular and distinct in design? If designers are in the business of innovating and instigating change, is it an advantage for the designer to be an ‘outsider’? Or even further, is the designer necessarily an outsider? Could the design profession exist without these cultures of immigration? Is the identity of the immigrant or émigré an anachronism in an increasingly global design economy?

Chair: Guy Julier, Professor of Design Culture, University of Brighton and Victoria and Albert Museum.
Robin Kinross, Design critic and historian, Founder of Hyphen Press
Alison Clarke, Professor and Chair of Design History and Theory, University of Vienna
Max Nathan, Senior Research Fellow, National Institute of Economic and Social Research
Adrian Shaughnessy, Graphic designer, Associate Professor RCA, Founder of Unit Editions


Free, booking essential




Date and Time:

20 February 2015 at 6:30 pm


2 hours



Victoria and Albert Museum
V&A Membership
South Kensington
020 7942 2271

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