University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

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

Hazell, Paul and Fallan, K. (2015) The Enthusiast’s Eye: The Value of Unsanctioned Knowledge in Design Historical Scholarship. Design and Culture, 7 (1). pp. 107-123. ISSN 1754-7075 ESSN: 1754-7083

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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.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information:

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published online by Taylor & Francis in Design and Culture on 21 April 2015, available online:

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Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: enthusiasts, amateurs, collecting, knowledge, historiography
Subjects: A General Works > AM Museums (General). Collectors and collecting (General)
D History General and Old World > D History (General)
Divisions: College of Arts, Humanities and Education > School of Arts
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Paul Hazell
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2016 12:10
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2020 17:15

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