Institute of Humanities
Director of Studies: Dr John Peters
Second and Third Supervisors: Dr James Taylor (Lancaster University); Dr Kjetil Fallan (University of Oslo)
'Properties, Functions and Value Complexes: exploring critical factors in the emergence of the utility Land Rover as an ‘automotive icon'
The development of technical artefacts and the value complexes that emerge around them are underrepresented in both design history and cultural studies research. Yet these artefacts can play hugely significant roles in people’s lives. Some technical artefacts have the capacity to assume an iconic status, becoming established in the popular imagination and carrying rich and complex meanings. These associated meanings (or value complexes) are often capitalised on by commerce, most often in the form of ‘branding’. A technical artefact’s meaning to a user or consumer can nonetheless be more complex than that which is projected by its manufacturer, and it is not fully controlled by the brand.
The research draws on several fields that deal with the nature, cultural significance and history of technical artefacts. These include the philosophy of technology, cultural studies (specifically informational capitalism), business history (particularly where economic factors are a driver) and design history. It also considers the potential of other approaches and theoretical models, from constructivist and deterministic philosophical approaches to Actor-Network Theory.
- About Paul Hazell
About Paul Hazell
Before becoming a full-time academic, Paul worked as a freelance multimedia designer while lecturing part-time at Falmouth School of Art and Design. He was the Head of BA Art & Design at the University of Worcester for a number of years before becoming Project Manager for development and operation of its Digital Arts Centre. Paul’s research interests also include aspects of pedagogy in applied media education.
- Research Interests
‘The Ford Model T’ Iconic Design: 50 stories of 50 things, Berg 2013
- Conference Papers and Conference Attendance
Conference Papers and Conference Attendance
Design History Society annual conference, University of Brighton 2011 ‘A very British SUV: How Land Rover used sport, competition and notions of adventure to reinvent the utility four wheel drive.'
Design History Society annual conference, Barcelona University