Workshop of the World? Manufacturing the British Product

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter considers how institutions, individuals and industries responded to new circumstances of manufacturing the British product from the 1960s onwards. New forms of education for industrial design resulted in the emergence of the consultant designer and in design consultancies that worked in partnership with industry in Britain and abroad. As British manufacturing evolved within a changing world economy, a decline in R&D in some fields was matched by an equal (though less well-documented) investment in other areas. In the meantime, the tradition of the British inventor and design entrepreneur was far from dead. More hidden was the role of women, but here too female designers and consumers played important roles. Britain also became a workshop in innovation and creativity, set against the backdrop of Swinging London, developing new technologies and exporting design expertise.
This book accompanied the exhibition British Design 1948–2012: Innovation in the Modern Age, V&A, 31 March - 12 August 2012. Deborah Sugg Ryan was also a member of the exhibition's advisory panel.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBritish Design from 1948
Subtitle of host publicationInnovation in the Modern Age
EditorsChristopher Breward, Ghislaine Wood
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherV&A Publishing
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)1851776753
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Design
  • British design
  • Product design
  • Industrial design
  • Industrial designer
  • Manufacturing
  • 1960s
  • 1970s
  • 1980s
  • Design history
  • History of design


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