Design history has emerged in recent years as a significant field of scholarly research and critical reflection. With their interest in the conceptualization, production, and consumption of objects (large and small, unique or multiple, anonymous or signed) and environments (ephemeral or enduring, public or private), design historians investigate the multiple ways in which intentionally produced objects, environments, and experiences both shape and reflect their historical moments. This anthology compiled from volumes 3-10 of "Design Issues", includes material from areas seldom discussed in existing surveys and will facilitate the general discourse within the design community on a wide range of conceptual and methodological issues of contemporary design history. Individual essays investigate various aspects of design in the modern era. They provide fresh insights on familiar figures such as Harley Earl and Norman Bel Geddes and shed new light on neglected aspects of design history such as the history of women in early American graphic design or the history of modern design in China.
The essays are grouped in three broad categories: graphic design, design in the American corporate milieu, and design in the context of national experiences.