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Harriet Atkinson

MA work

Imaginative Reconstruction: Designing Place at the Festival of Britain, 1951

This thesis explores the 1951 Festival of Britain as an occasion on which British people were offered the potential for imaginative reconstruction in the aftermath of the Second World War. Specifically, it contends that these exhibitions and events were focused – through their central theme of the Land and the People of Britain – on helping the people of Britain identify post-war with their altered environment. Analysing the structures and design devices through which this was presented: the integration of words, images and objects into the buildings and landscapes of its sites, this thesis shows how they were mobilised to focus British people’s experiences towards a reconfigured idea of Britain, providing a template for removing the immediate memory of war and the longer term impact of the Industrial Revolution, from both the idea and the look of places across Britain.

Info

  • MA Degree

    School

    School of Humanities

    Programme

    MA History of Design, 2007

  • Imaginative Reconstruction: Designing Place at the Festival of Britain, 1951

    This thesis explores the 1951 Festival of Britain as an occasion on which British people were offered the potential for imaginative reconstruction in the aftermath of the Second World War. Specifically, it contends that these exhibitions and events were focused – through their central theme of the Land and the People of Britain – on helping the people of Britain identify post-war with their altered environment. Analysing the structures and design devices through which this was presented: the integration of words, images and objects into the buildings and landscapes of its sites, this thesis shows how they were mobilised to focus British people’s experiences towards a reconfigured idea of Britain, providing a template for removing the immediate memory of war and the longer term impact of the Industrial Revolution, from both the idea and the look of places across Britain.

  • Experience

  • Project Manager of gallery development, Orleans House Gallery, Richmond, London, 2002-4; Regeneration and Culture Manager, Association of London Government, London, 2000-2; Policy Adviser, Department for Culture, Media & Sport, London, 1999-2000