The Design History Australia Research Network was launched in 2012 in order to explore the history of design and culture in Australia. The Network began in November 2011 with the Networks and Possibilities: Mapping Australian Design History Symposium, sponsored by Swinburne University of Technology, and held at the Robin Boyd Foundation, Walsh St, Melbourne.

The Symposium focused on the history of design as a mode of economic and cultural production within Australia. Some of the pertinent questions we began to address remain open for discussion in this online forum, specifically: What constitutes an Australian design history? How can we build upon foundations established by scholars such as Robin Boyd, Bernard Smith, Tony Fry, Michael Bogle, Margaret Maynard and Terry Smith? What are the methods, themes and narratives appropriate to Australian design history? How can we begin to comprehensively map this complex field?


  • Create a presence for design history and design studies in and about Australia
  • Make connections between various institutions and disciplines
  • Encourage collaboration to create a network of knowledge and people interested in Australian design history
  • Act as a research centre and database promoting accessible research into the history of Australian design