Appel à contribution : Early-Modern Design: Processes and Practices, RSA, Dublin, du 30 mars au 2 avril 2022, date limite le 22 juillet 2021

Today, the notion of design is inextricably linked to modernist mass-production. Early-modern artists also received briefs for designing elegant yet functional objects to embellish the environment in which their patrons lived. These objects were the result of intense collaboration which called upon artistic ingenuity, sophisticated craftsmanship and technological advances. However, unlike modern design objects, early modern design creations were unique, exclusive, and competitive in their originality and invention.

The case of Giulio Romano (c. 1492 or 1499-1546) is exemplary in this respect. His creative energy as a designer of luxury objects was highly valued at the Gonzaga court in Mantua and celebrated all over Europe, with kings and princes competing to secure his inventions. Whereas most of the objects designed by Giulio are long lost, his festive, humorous design drawings were already being avidly copied and collected in the sixteenth century, and many of them have survived to this day. Through the dissemination of his drawings in craftsmen’s workshops across Europe, his designs contributed to the creation of a common visual language among the European elite, which called upon goldsmiths from Germany to Portugal and England to integrate it within their practices.

Building on case-studies such as the above, this panel aims to analyse the crucial role played by design and designers as creative forces in the context of the production of objects in the early modern period. Focussing on the intersection of art, technology and material culture, the panel welcomes proposals focussing on: individual designers; collaborations between designers and artists/artisans; specific works of design; problems related to the materials and techniques used; the use and function of bi- and three-dimensional models. As one of the aims of the session is to compare creative processes and manufacturing practices on a global level [or “from a global perspective”], we encourage proposals with an interest in extra-European contexts.

If you are interested in participating, please send the following to Barbara Furlotti (barbara.furlotti@courtauld.ac.uk) and Guido Rebecchini (guido.rebecchini@courtauld.ac.uk) by 22nd July:
– paper title (15-word maximum)
– paper abstract (150-word maximum)
– resume (.pdf or .doc upload)
– PhD or other terminal degree completion year (past or expected)
– full name, current affiliation, and email address
– primary RSA discipline (check list of RSA disciplines for 2021-22 online)

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