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Constanze von Unruh

MA work

Dissertation: Export or Die: Textile Design, Wool Industry and the State, Britain in the Trans-War Years, 1938-1951

The role of design for the production and export of woollen cloth under the circumstances of the Second World War are at the centre of this dissertation. Wool dominated the British economy for centuries and the wool sack in the House of Lords is but one testimony to this. Wool, in its processed form, is evocative of Britain's wealth, of the industrial revolution and mercantilism. If the raw material has little cultural content, in its processed form as cloth it creates and reflects cultural meaning. Thus woollen cloth can give testimony to both the economic history and the cultural and design history of the Second World War.

The War proved a moment of tremendous change for design through state intervention. However, the British wool industry remained fixated on a traditional, nationalistic image of British values contracting its exports to the British Empire. This response was fatally flawed as the Empire dissolved after the Second World War.

Info

  • MA Degree

    School

    School of Humanities

    Programme

    MA History of Design, 2008

  • Dissertation: Export or Die: Textile Design, Wool Industry and the State, Britain in the Trans-War Years, 1938-1951

    The role of design for the production and export of woollen cloth under the circumstances of the Second World War are at the centre of this dissertation. Wool dominated the British economy for centuries and the wool sack in the House of Lords is but one testimony to this. Wool, in its processed form, is evocative of Britain's wealth, of the industrial revolution and mercantilism. If the raw material has little cultural content, in its processed form as cloth it creates and reflects cultural meaning. Thus woollen cloth can give testimony to both the economic history and the cultural and design history of the Second World War.

    The War proved a moment of tremendous change for design through state intervention. However, the British wool industry remained fixated on a traditional, nationalistic image of British values contracting its exports to the British Empire. This response was fatally flawed as the Empire dissolved after the Second World War.

  • Degrees

  • MA German Literature and Linguistics, University of Tübingen, Germany, 1982
  • Experience

  • Director, Constanze Interior Projects Ltd, London, 1997-2006; Education Director, British Interior Design Association, London, 2004-5