CFP: Olympic Design, Journal of Design History

Call for Papers – Special Issue: Olympic Design
Edited by Dr. Jilly Traganou, Associate Professor, Parsons the New School for Design

Deadline for proposals: 30 June 2011

Modern Olympic Games are major global events that involve the production of a variety of artifacts that facilitate both athletic and cultural functions. The Olympic design milieu is multi-platformed and ranges from the production of material constructs –architecture, graphic design, fashion, product design–to the design of intangible entities, such as services and branding campaigns. The Olympic design milieu also includes processes of consumption, interpretation and appropriation of these products by their wider global audiences. In spite of their significance for the national and global narratives at the time of their production, and the vivid media discourses that they generate, only few Olympic designs have become part of the discourse of Design History.

Cases of Olympic design that have gained a paradigmatic status include the graphic designs for the Tokyo 1964 Olympics designed by Yusaku Kamekura and for the Mexico 1968 Olympics designed by Lance Wyman, Pier Luigi Nervi’s Rome 1960 stadium, and the urban regeneration plans of Barcelona for the 1992 Olympic Games. On the other hand, some products of Olympic Games have been associated with national guilt or regret (such as the 1936 Berlin National Stadium designed by Albert Speer, or the Montreal 1976 stadium designed by Roger Taillibert–having been dubbed as “The Big Mistake”), while most have fallen to oblivion or abandonment. The last is especially the case for various athletic venues that find little use in the long durée of the post-Olympic era.

This issue will look for multiple historical narratives of Olympic design including but not being limited to the following themes:

* Histories of design produced for the various modern Olympic Games from 1896 to the present, with an emphasis on comparative studies
* Consumption, use, interpretation and appropriation of Olympic design products by their various domestic and global audiences
* Mediation and Olympic design
* National Identity/National Branding and Olympic design Cultural (mis)understandings and ‘unintended’ meanings of Olympic ceremonies
* The after life of Olympic design
* Olympic Design from Internationalism to Globalization
* Olympic Design and Olympic Movement Ideology
* Olympic Design as Legacy
* Design for Counter Olympic Ideas

For inquiries please contact Jilly Traganou. Please send full papers that adhere to the guidelines of the Journal of Design History along with an abstract of 300-400 words and a brief biography of up to 250 words by June 30, 2011 to:

Papers for special issues will be subject to the usual refereeing and selection procedures of the Journal of Design History.

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