Framing Design Narratives: Collecting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper is concerned with the ways in which domestic objects are collected, interpreted and translated into narratives in the museum space in comparison with the domestic space of the home. If museum exhibitions generate curatorial practices and narrative systems of description that involve classifications, categories, genres, and modes of representations based mostly on history, function and use; the space of the home represents the postproduction of a private emotional history. In both cases cultural products are embedded in narratives dependant on various forms of collecting. As critic Nicolas Bourriaud observed, human society is structured by narratives that translate communal lifestyles which promote ‘collective values and visions of the world.’ Following Jean Baudrillard notion on collecting, that what is possessed is always the ‘pure object’, an object abstracted from its function and use it follows that through collecting, objects are transformed into a kind of poetry. As the result of well-proved practices, traditional tools represent materialisations of these narratives, belong to a field of practical mediations compensating for the disappearance of the symbolic relationship man-tool; accompanied by a concomitant abstractness of human praxis with respect to objects. Arranging, classifying and manipulating, searching, ordering, playing and assembling requires an intimacy with the privileged object. Contemporary curatorial practices aim to ‘reedit historical or ideological narratives, inserting the elements that compose them into alternative scenarios’ .
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
JournalWriting Design: Object, Process, Discourse, Translation
Issue numbern/a
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sep 2009


  • systems of description
  • immaterial scenarios
  • the privileged object
  • cultural practice
  • human praxis
  • domestic collections


Dive into the research topics of 'Framing Design Narratives: Collecting'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this