Global Networks

This column will explore the transnational relationships between countries, institutions, people and objects across time. We will concentrate not only on the here and now, but also on global networks from the fifteenth century onwards, when global trade first flourished. Over the course of the year we aim to encompass many geographies and themes, some wide in scope, others very niche, opening up the world of design to truly global analysis.

 

Fig. 6. Stamped images onto the fabrics © Yoshika Yajima, 2015

Thinking through Traumas – The Memory Impression Project

I had the opportunity to participate in the Memory Impression Project started by Clea Jentsch, Fiona O’Leary, Ivie Egonmwan, and Tomomi Ogata. This is one of four projects from the Design Products department at the Royal College of Art; the projects were supported by Formlabs.[1] The Memory Impression Project exhibited their results and

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‘Squaring the Circle’ and Shaping Global Perceptions: Gerard Mercator’s World Map of 1569

Maps codify existence. Societies across time and space have attempted to create maps; maps of the heavens,[1] of topographical features[2] and, since the 5th century BC, maps of the world.[3] All are incredibly different in design, some are dots, others detailed pictorial depictions, yet we name them all ‘map’. Thus,

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© Victoria and Albert Museum. No. E.96-1947

The Malacca Cane: A Gentleman’s Accessory

We might consider the cane to be the emblem par excellence of nineteenth-century respectability – what other accessory so well typifies the aristocratic gentleman, and brings to mind images of European – and especially British – propriety? Of course, however, this is not the full story. For aside from dating

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Gold!

The opening of the new Gold exhibition in Buckingham Palace has caused a pause for thought concerning the nature of this material. How has the desirability of gold endured across the ages, controlled the world’s markets and created global networks of trade, travel and taste? This belt, in the Victoria

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The power of textiles: tracing ‘Japanese’ textile patterns

This summer I purchased my new wallet at the shop, Nakamura Chingireya Co. Ltd., in Kyoto, Japan. The wallet is made of Wasarasa (和更紗), which is influenced by Sarasa(更紗). Sarasa or Chintz, was imported into Japan from Holland, Portugal and China from the Muromachi era to the Edo era (1392 to

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