Search:
Computing and Library Services - delivering an inspiring information environment

Do it yourself: democracy and design

Atkinson, Paul (2006) Do it yourself: democracy and design. Journal of design history, 19 (1). pp. 1-10. ISSN 1741-7279

[img]
Preview
PDF
Download (139kB) | Preview

    Abstract

    Introduction:
    The theme of this special issue arose from a perceived
    need to generate a discourse around the interface
    between ‘ design ’ taken as a function of the activity
    of ‘ professional ’ designers and being part of an
    established cycle of the design, production and consumption
    of goods; and ‘ Do It Yourself ’ taken as its
    antithesis — a more democratic design process of selfdriven,
    self-directed amateur design and production
    activity carried out more closely to the end user of
    the goods created...

    ▼ Jump to Download Statistics
    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: © The Author [2006]
    Uncontrolled Keywords: democracy design
    Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
    N Fine Arts > NC Drawing Design Illustration
    Schools: School of Art, Design and Architecture
    References:

    Judy Attfi eld’s work on DIY in Wild Things: The Material
    Culture of Everyday Life ; Stephen M Gelber’s work on leisure
    in Hobbies: Leisure and the Culture of Work in America ; Carolyn
    Goldstein’s Do It Yourself: Home Improvement in 20th-century
    America and Penny Sparke’s As Long As It’s Pink: The Sexual
    Politics of Taste.
    2 Oral testimony on people entertaining in order to show off,
    fuelling a ‘ keep up with the Jones ’ approach in J. Dent, (Dir)
    ‘ The DIY Pioneers ’ , part one of ‘All Mod Cons.’ First broadcast
    21 July 1997 , BBC2.
    3 G. Lees-Maffei & L. Sandino, (ed) ( 2004 ) ‘ Dangerous Liaisons:
    Relationships Between Design, Craft and Art ’ , Journal of Design
    History , vol. 17 no. 3.
    4 P. Greenhalgh, ‘ The History of Craft ’ , in P. Dormer ( 1997 )
    The Culture of Craft , Manchester University Press, p. 21.
    5 S. Johnson ( 1773 ) A Dictionary of the English Language, cited in
    Greenhalgh, op. cit., p. 22.
    6 J. Dent, op. cit.
    7 S. M. Gelber ( 1999 ) Hobbies: Leisure and the Culture of Work in
    America , Columbia University Press, p. 4.
    8 Ibid, p. 2.
    9 Ibid, p. 28.
    10 J. Walvin, ‘ Children ’ s Pleasures’ in J. K. Walton & J. Walvin
    (eds.) ( 1983 ) Leisure in Britain 1780 – 1939 , Manchester University
    Press, pp. 228 – 241. Between 1801 and 1914, census
    returns show that children under 14 formed one third of the
    population of Great Britain, and between 1841 to 1901, the
    number of children almost doubled to 10 million. (Walton &
    Walvin p. 228.)
    11 Ibid.
    12 Anon, ‘ The New Poor – Making the Best of It ’ in The Times,
    May 11, 1920 p. 19.
    13 Sir Thomas Barlow, Director of Civilian Clothing writing in
    Harper’s Bazaar, cited in McDowell, C ( 1997 ) Forties Fashion
    and the New Look , Bloomsbury, p. 93.
    14 J. Dent, op. cit.
    15 P. Hunot ( 1946 ) Man About the House , Pilot Press, p. 13.
    16 C. M. Goldstein ( 1998 ) Do It Yourself: Home Improvement in
    20th-century America , Princeton Architectural Press, p. 31.
    17 Commentary in ‘Demob Happy’, one of The Lost Decade series
    of television programmes. First broadcast 30 Oct 2005 ,
    BBC4.
    18 J. Dent, op. cit.
    19 J. E. Wheeler ( 1935 ) The Practical Man’s Book of Things to Make
    and Do , Odhams Press Ltd., pp. 5 – 6.
    20 P. Dalton, ‘ Housewives, Leisure Crafts and Ideology:
    De-skilling in Consumer Craft ’ in G. Elinor et al. (eds.) ( 1987 )
    Women and Craft , Virago Press, p. 32.
    21 J. McCracken ( 2001 ) Taste and the Household: The Domestic
    Aesthetic and Moral Reasoning , State University of New York
    Press, p. 261.
    22 S. M. Gelber, op. cit., p. 33.
    23 J. E. Wheeler op. cit ., p. 3.
    24 For an in-depth account of this phenomenon see C. Brooks,
    ‘ The Amateur Mechanic and the Modern Movement ’ in
    Conference on Twentieth Century Design History ( 1977 ) Leisure
    in the Twentieth Century, Design Council Publications,
    pp. 24 – 31, and also J. Dent, op. cit.
    25 R. Samuel ( 1994 ) Theatres of Memory, Vol. 1: Past and Present in
    Contemporary Culture , Verso, p. 52.
    26 Boswell, cited in D. Johnson, ‘ The History and Development
    of Do-It-Yourself ’ in Conference on Twentieth Century Design
    History op. cit., p. 68.
    27 Ibid.
    28 A 1954 article in Time magazine discussed the range of new
    tools and materials fuelling the DIY boom, including ready
    glued wallpaper, rollers with paint reservoirs, spray paint and
    plastic tiles. (Anon, ‘ The Shoulder Trade ’ in Time magazine,
    Aug 2, 1954.)
    29 Apparently, Black & Decker had an early success with a drill for
    home use after noticing staff borrowed industrial drills to do
    maintenance jobs around the home. (Goldstein, op. cit., p. 49).
    30 In 1954 , it was reported that 70% of wallpapers were sold
    through retail outlets: ‘ a statement of some sociological
    signifi cance that ought to be of particular interest to the
    professional decorators ’ (Anon, ‘ “ Do It Yourself ” Display —
    Hints for Handymen in the Home ’ in The Times , Sep 10,
    1954 p. 10) while in 1957, the Housing Committee of St.
    Marylebone Council recommended paying tenants for DIY
    decorating work to save costs — causing a protest from the
    National Society of Painters (Anon, ‘ Do It Yourself Pay -
    ments ’ in The Times , Feb 18, 1957 p. 5).
    31 Anon, ‘ Do-It-Yourself is Big Business ’ in New York Times ,
    Jun 10, 1956 .
    Paul Atkinson
    10
    32 For example, see B. Phillips, ‘ Help for Do-It-Yourself Builders ’
    in The Times , May 25, 1983 p. 27. However, the notion of
    self building of properties was by no means a new one — ‘ in
    England the fi rst Building Societies were set up as mutual
    self help societies in the 18th Century to provide fi nance for
    self builders. Once homes were completed the societies
    were closed down and were, therefore, known as “ terminat ing
    building societies ” . ’ (M. Daligan, Walter Segal Self Build
    Trust ( http://www.mondodesigno.com/segal.html accessed
    5 Oct 2005).
    33 D. Johnson, op. cit., p. 70.
    34 As Triggs mentions, prior to the availability of photocopiers,
    science fi ction and comic fanzines were produced on Gestetner
    duplicators. Even though the photocopier was invented as early
    as 1938 by Chester Carlson, the fi rst available machine did not
    appear until 1959. It became widely adopted by business in the
    early 1970s when cost reductions in technology allowed a
    number of competitors to enter the fi eld. See www.xerox.com
    and www.InventHelp.com/Chester-Carlson-and-the-Invention-
    of-the-Photocopier.asp (both accessed 13 Oct 2005).
    35 A. J. Clarke, ‘ The Aesthetics of Social Aspiration ’ in Miller, D.
    (ed.) ( 2001 ) Home Possessions: Material Culture Behind Closed
    Doors , Berg, p. 23.
    36 Ibid, p. 42.
    37 D. Slater ( 1997 ) Consumer Culture and Modernity , Polity Press.
    38 R. Brown ( 2005 ) ‘ Narrativity in Home Design and Home-
    Making: The Personally Derived Space ’ , unpublished conference
    paper presented at Locating Design , Design History Society
    Conference, London Metropolitan University, September 2005.
    39 Ibid.
    40 P. Hunot, op. cit., p. 15.
    41 Margaret Mead cited in S. M. Gelber, op. cit., p. 268.
    42 Anon, ‘ The Shoulder Trade ’ in Time magazine, Aug 2, 1954 .
    43 J. Dent, op. cit.
    44 S. MacDonald, & J. Porter ( 1990 ) Putting on the Style: Setting
    Up Home in the 1950s , The Geffrye Museum. David
    Attenborough and Simon Vaughn also commented on expected
    gender roles, and discussed the fact that during the
    Second World War it was common for men, especially sailors,
    to knit in their spare time (‘Demob Happy’, one of The
    Lost Decade series of television programmes. First broadcast
    30 Oct 2005, BBC4).
    45 P. Sparke ( 1995 ) As Long As It’s Pink: The Sexual Politics of
    Taste , Harper Collins, p. 171.
    46 Anon, ‘ “ Do It Yourself ” Display – Hints for Handymen in the
    Home ’ in The Times , Sep 10, 1954 p. 10. See also D. Johnson,
    op. cit., p. 69.
    47 D. Barker ‘ Barry Bucknell: DIY Hero to Postwar Women ’ in
    The Guardian , Feb. 27, 2003 .
    48 A. Partington ‘ The Designer Housewife in the 1950s ’ in
    J. Attfi eld & P. Kirkham (eds.) ( 1989 ) A View from the Interior:
    Feminism, Women and Design , The Women’s Press, p. 211.
    49 Goldstein, op. cit., pp. 67 – 82.

    Depositing User: Sara Taylor
    Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2007
    Last Modified: 28 Jul 2010 19:19
    URI: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/132

    Document Downloads

    Downloader Countries

    More statistics for this item...

    Item control for Repository Staff only:

    View Item

    University of Huddersfield, Queensgate, Huddersfield, HD1 3DH Copyright and Disclaimer All rights reserved ©