Dr. Paul Hazell


Senior Lecturer, Creative Media

Theatre, Film & Media Production

Contact Details

email: p.hazell@worc.ac.uk
tel: 01905 85 5392

Before becoming a full-time academic Paul worked as a freelance multimedia designer and a part-time lecturer at Falmouth School of Art and Design. He was the Head of BA Art and Design at the University of Worcester for a number of years then became Project Manager for the Digital Arts Centre. This involved overseeing its design and development before heading the Centre when it became operational.

Paul’s research interests focus on Design History, particularly in topics relating to automotive and industrial design.

Specialisms: Design History, Photography & Graphic Design 

Teaching & Research

Research interests

Design History & Material Culture


  • Senior Lecture for BA Creative Media & BA Graphic Design in Photography, Design and Contextual Studies
  • Supervisor for PhD and MRes studies
  • Lecturer on the modules DMED1004, CMED2001 and CMED3003

Doctoral research

The Making of a Design Icon: The Utility Land Rover

The utility Land Rover when first launched in 1948 was designed to meet the assumed needs of agriculture and to address the British government’s export imperative imposed after World War II. These very particular circumstances nevertheless yielded long-term success for the vehicle, leading to 67 years of continuous production. How then did a vehicle intended to overcome the commercial constraints of the post-war British motor industry, go from humble workhorse to long-lived mythologised automotive icon? This research examines the factors leading to its prolonged production, the petrification of the design, as well as the changing value complexes associated with the utility Land Rover over time. It also deconstructs by case study the notion of iconisation with regard to a technical artefact and the significance of the vehicle’s reputation to the later hugely successful Land Rover corporate brand.

Director of Studies: Prof. John Peters

Supervisors: Prof. Kjetil Fallan & Dr. James Taylor


University of Worcester
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Design History
2010 - 2017

University of Worcester
PGCert, Research Methods
2010 - 2011

University of Coventry
MA, Design and Digital Media
1999 - 2001

Falmouth School of Art and Design
BA, Graphic Information Design, 1st
1988 -1992

Falmouth School of Art and Design
Diploma, Technical Illustration
1986 - 1988

Research outputs

A difficult road: Designing a post-colonial car for Africa

Publication date: Jul 1, 2016  (1st edition) & Jul 1, 2019 (2nd edition), book chapter in: Routledge Companion to Design Studies, ed. Penny Sparke & Fiona Fisher.

The car in Africa engenders many of the colonial interests in the region but has remained a largely ignored topic for design historians. This chapter explores various attempts to develop and build a post-colonial car specifically for the ‘bush’ regions of the continent and explores the factors which have so far prevented the creation of an indigenous post-colonial iteration of a car for rural Africa.

The Enthusiast’s Eye: The Value of Unsanctioned Knowledge in Design Historical Scholarship

publication date: March 1, 2015, Journal Article: Design & Culture (Routledge).

Paul Hazell and Kjetil Fallan

If design history research relies solely on institutionalized documentation and academic scholarship – that is, sanctioned knowledge – not only will its purview be limited to a very narrow segment of design culture, it will also lose out on a vast array of sources to valuable knowledge about our material environment produced by amateurs, collectors, and enthusiasts – what we in this article define as “unsanctioned knowledge.” Because of its dissociation with professional institutions and academic protocols and their – albeit admittedly utopian, but nonetheless upheld – ideals of objectivity, this type of knowledge is typically considered fundamentally subjective in nature and therefore of little or no relevance and value to academic scholarship. In this article, we argue that, to the contrary, design historical scholarship has much to gain from engaging more seriously with the unsanctioned knowledge represented by the enthusiast's eye.


Ford Model T, USA (Henry Ford, 1908).

Chapter examining the design historical significance of the Ford Model T.

Publication date: Sep 1, 2014, book chapter in: Icon Design: 50 stories of 50 Things, ed. Grace Lees-Maffei (Bloomsbury)

Recent papers

  • From aircraft to watercraft: Displacing complex innovation with established convention in British hovercraft design. ‘Design and Displacement’, Design History Society Annual Conference, Parsons School of Design in New York, September 2018  
  • Rehabilitating a ‘climate criminal’: Overhauling the SUV for environmentally conscious times. 'Making and Unmaking the Environment', Design History Society Annual Conference, Oslo University, Norway, September 2017
  • A design out of time: The persistence of the utility Land Rover in post-war British car design. 'Design and Time' Design History Society Annual Conference, Middlesex University, September 2016
  • Sublime Design or Crass Contraption? Designing a mechanised means of exploring the utopian wilderness. 'How we live, and How we might live: Design and the Spirit of Critical Utopianism’, Design History Society Annual conference, California College of the Arts, September 2015
  • Beating ploughshares into swords: The unintended adoption of the Land Rover into British military service. ‘Design for War and Peace’, Design History Society Annual conference, University of Oxford, September 2014
  • Designing the post-colonial car: A bumpy road for personal transport in Africa.
    ‘Design History and Post-colonialism’, Design History Society Annual conference, National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, India, September 2013
  • The enthusiast’s eye: the dilettante of design history?
    ‘Design History and Subjectivity, Design History Society one day conference University of Hertfordshire, June 2013
  • A very British SUV: How Land Rover used sport, competition and notions of adventure to reinvent the utility four-wheel drive. ‘Design and Sport’, Design History Society Annual Conference, University of Brighton, September 2012