By Daniel Huppatz
Edited by Sydney Ure Smith, Australia National Journal‘s inaugural issue in 1939 set out its aim as “to give expression to our progress in Art, Architecture and Industry”. Promoting industrial progress and developments in transport were part of Smith’s initial agenda, and the architecture, industrial design, furniture, even the advertisements featured in the journal were unashamedly modernist (although the art was not). Included in this first issue was the article “The Designer In Industry: A Serious National Need”, by Richard Haughton-James (reproduced as a PDF below). In it, Haughton-James advocates “good design” and a Bauhaus-like educational program to train professional designers in Australia.
In 1939, Haughton-James arrived in Australia from England and worked as creative director at advertising agency J. Walter Thompson in Sydney. He later founded a modern design consultancy, the Design Centre, with Geoffrey and Dahl Collings (recently returned from London) and quickly became well-known in Australia as a passionate promoter of modern art and design through writing articles, organizing exhibitions and regular radio broadcasts.
The Designer in Industry: A Serious National Need
By Richard Haughton-James
Australia National Journal, Ist number, Winter Issue, July-August 1939, pp.87-91.