Ireland, Design and Visual Culture: Negotiating Modernity 1922-1992 is the first comprehensive collection of essays ever to be published about Irish design from the foundation of the State to the early 1990s. This richly illustrated and beautifully produced book is edited by Dr Linda King and Dr Elaine Sisson of IADT (Institute of Art, Design and Technology), Dun Laoghaire.
Minister Ruairi Quinn says, ‘I am delighted to launch this book on Irish design which documents and acknowledges the importance of design to the cultural and economic life of the State.’
Dr King explains, ‘The book traces how a modern Irish visual identity was shaped through architecture, theatre design, industrial design, print, graphic design, illustration, currency design, and advertising. Obviously there were tensions of conservatism and modernity involved in visualizing a new political reality in Ireland, but one of the most interesting things we discovered was that Ireland was much more open to American and European cultural influence during the early years of the State, than has previously been considered.’
Dr Sisson adds, ‘By looking at subjects as diverse as the state-of-the-art German technology used in the design of the Shannon Scheme at Ardnacrusha, the spectacle of the Industrial Pageants of the 1950s, the development of a global brand identity for Aer Lingus, and the establishment of the Kilkenny Design Workshops as part of a driver for economic recovery in the1970s, the contributors have highlighted the value of creative enterprise and design for our economy historically, reminding us of the cultural and economic value of design for our own times.”
Speaking about the book, Dr Annie Doona, President of IADT says, ‘This important book, beautifully designed by our colleague David Smith, features the work of cultural and design historians, and documents, through its many arresting illustrations, that Irish design culture has a rich and diverse visual history.’
Ireland, Design and Visual Culture: Negotiating Modernity 1922-1992 is edited by Dr Linda King and Dr Elaine Sisson of IADT, Dun Laoghaire and is co-published by IADT and Cork University Press.