In “Design History” Fallan (2010), it presents a historiography of art history, the theory and methodology used towards understanding cultural studies, the epistemology behind the methods used for knowledge excavation and understanding, and the different paradigms in it.
Fallan (2010)’s argument is that the culture of men need not be an elite culture even if it appears to be so to others outside the culture. It is just that everyday things have shaped people’s cultures differently. Therefore, when one thinks about the design history, it can no longer be seen as a history restricted to some elite, but is more of one that is interpreted through different lens. Different translations, transactions, transpositions create the perceptions of culture.
The first chapter concerns itself with presenting a historiographic survey of the subject under study. The roots of design history are traced out from art history. Design historians started off with a set of art history subjects that made it more suitable for the contemporary topics and in more current times, have moved to become a separate branch. Although the heritage in art history enabled a good understanding of design artefacts, there were some problem tendencies that had to be addressed. For instance, there was some amount of bias and extent generalizations. When one discussed design history as a part of art history, there was a tendency to focus more on the aesthetics and less so on the aspects of design itself. Secondly, the designers or the artists were considered more as the product of studies than what they produced, resulting in what is called the “Heroic Approach”.