dr. J.C. Gimeno Martinez

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Javier Gimeno-Martínez is Assistant Professor at the VU University Amsterdam. He holds a MA-degree in Industrial Design from the Universidad Cardenal Herrera, Valencia (Spain) and an MA-degree on Art History from the Universidad de Valencia. He got his PhD in 2006 from the KULeuven with the dissertation “The Role of the Creative Industries in the Construction of Regional/European Identities (1975-2002): Design and Fashion in Belgium and Spain.” He was a visiting scholar in the department of Design History at the Royal College of Art (London, UK) for the year 2009-2010.


Gimeno-Martínez currently teaches “Methods of Design Analysis: The Meanings of Design” and “The Arts and Crafts of ‘Dutch’ Design” for the MA Design Cultures.


His research interests encompass design and fashion as related with consumption, gender and national identity. Since the end of his PhD, he has been conducting research on the shifting cultural status of industrial design and craft from the 1950s up to today with Belgium as case study. Industrial design, as cultural activity, was considered during the 1960s as an edge phenomenon of the crafts industry. Conversely, craft was often related to the field of sculpture. However, design has gradually taken over the leading role and by the 1990s craft activity was moved to the background. Designers or design critics are not the only active agents that shape the design landscape, but also the institutions for design promotion disseminated their own concepts on applied arts and design. Museums, award schemes and state-funded institutions are studied as actors that shape and reshape the perception of design and craft. This research was funded by the Research Foundation – Flanders from 2007 to 2010.

The culmination of the first three years of this research project was the seventh ICDHS conference “Design and Craft: A History of Convergences and Divergences” that Gimeno-Martínez organized in collaboration with dr. Fredie Floré (assistant professor at the VU). This conference brought the relation between design and craft to the fore. This theme offered an excellent opportunity to gather new design historical and theoretical research from over the world in a focused discussion on regional specificities as well as the impact of global processes of industrialisation. If, until now, design history has been largely dominated by the Western narratives of industrialization, then moving the focus towards non- industrial design practice might bring non-Western scholars to the forefront. Moreover, previously marginalized design histories in industrialized countries can finally get a voice (see www.designandcraft2010.be). The dichotomy design/craft was studied as related to tourism, criticism, aesthetics, postmodernity, fashion, historiography, gender, etymology, new technologies and traditional techniques.

Publications (selection)

Books and edited volumes
  • Gimeno Martínez, Javier and Fredie Floré (eds.) Design and Craft: A History of Convergences and Divergences. 7th Conference of the International Committee of Design History and design Studies. 20-22 September 2010. Brussels: Vlaamse Koninklijke Academie van België voor Wetenschappen en Kunsten, 2010, 553 pp. ISBN 978-90-6569-071-5. English.
  • José Juan Belda. Objetos y espacios. Castellón de la Plana: Universitat Jaume I (Spain), 2009, 123 pp. ISBN 978-84-8021-668-5. Spanish/Catalan. Reviewed in Calver, Anna, “José Juan Belda: Objectes i Espais (‘José Juan Belda: Objects and Spaces’), Journal of Design History (Oxford University Press) 23.3 (2010): 321-323.
  • Eduardo Albors. Diseño de producto. Castellón de la Plana: Universitat Jaume I (Spain), 2005, 118 pp. ISBN 84-8021-532-1. Spanish/Catalan.
  • La Nave: un colectivo de diseño. Valencia : Institució Alfons el Magnànim/ Diputación de Valencia (Spain), 2005, 132 pp. ISBN 84-7822-443-2. Spanish/English. 

Articles and chapters (selection)

  • "Artefacts: the Artificial as Cultural Mediator," in Kunstlicht 34.3 (2013): 4-11.
  • "La creazione di una cultura della moda in Belgio e in Spagna," in Dialoghi Internazionali (Bruno Mondadori) 18 (2012): 186-193.
  • “Restructuring Plans for the Textile and Clothing Sector in Post-industrial Belgium and Spain,” in Fashion Practice (Berg) 3.2 (2011): 197-224.
  • “Redefining Social Design in 1970s Belgium: Affordable Design vs. Elite Design,” in Interiors: Design, Architecture and Culture (Berg) 2.2 (2011): 149-168.
  • “The Signe d'Or Award Scheme from 1956 to 1960: The Economic Reasons for ‘Good Design’”, in Konsthistorisk Tidskrift/ Journal of art History (Routledge) 79.3 (2010): 127-145.
  • “Industrial Design in the Museum. The Case of the FN Milking Machine (ca. 1947)”, in The Burlington Magazine (Burlington Magazine Foundation) 1290 (September 2010): 603-608.
  • Gimeno Martínez, Javier and Jasmijn Verlinden, “From Museum of Decorative Arts to Design Museum: The Case of the Design Museum Gent”, in Design and Culture (Berg) 2.3 (2010): 259-283.
  • “Selling Avant-Garde. How Antwerp Became a Fashion Capital (1990-2002)”, in Urban Studies (Routledge) 44.12 (2007): 2449-2464. Ranking in 2005 ISI Journal Citation Reports: 3/28 (Urban Studies); Impact Factor 0.988.
  • “Narratives of Fashion and Nation. An Analysis of Two TV-Ads from the 1987 Moda de España Campaign.” Image [&] Narrative (online journal) 16 (2007).
  • “Women Only. Design Events Restricted to Female Designers during the 1990s.” Design Issues (MIT Press) 23.2 (2007): 17-30.
  • “Designing Symbols. The Logos of the Spanish Atonomous Communities (1978-1991)” Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies (Routledge) 7.1 (2006): 51-74.
  • “La Nave. How to Run an Anarchical Design Company.” Journal of Design History (Oxford University Press) 15.1 (2002): 15-32. 

Conference papers (integrally published, selection)

  • “The Introduction and Dissemination of the English Word ‘Design’ in the Belgian Context.” Words for Design. 2: Comparative Etymology and Terminology of Design and Its Equivalents. Osaka: Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (2009): 53-59.
  • “Deciding the Cultural Status of Craft and Design: The Design Museum as Defining Agent for the Term Design.” Another Name for Design: Words for Creation. International Conference of Design History and Design Studies. Osaka: Osaka University (2008): 114-117.
  • “We Do Not Just Make Clothes. The Institutionalisation and Intellectualisation of Belgian Fashion (1981-2001).” Connecting: 5th International Conference on Design Studies and Design History [CD-ROM]. Helsinki: University of Art and Design, (2006): 1-9. ISBN 951-558-210-5.
  • “Fashion, Country and City: The Fashion Industry and the Construction of Collective Identities (1981-2001).” Symposium 1: Modus operandi: state of affairs in current research on Belgian fashion. Antwerp: Modemuseum Provincie Antwerpen (2009): 51-67.
  • “Practice-based Research in the Creative and Performing Arts and Design. The Report ‘Inventarisering Internationaal Onderzoek Kunsten’.” NeTHCA Colloquium: The unthinkable doctorate, Brussels: Hogeschool voor Wetenschap en Kunst / Network for Theory, History and Criticism of Architecture (2007): 151-161. 

Conference papers (published as abstract, selection)

  • “Redefining Social Design in 1970s Belgium: Affordable Design vs. Elite Design.” College Art Association Annual Conference (10-13 February). Chicago (USA) (2010).
  • “Van de Velde after Van de Velde: Design Pioneers and the Promotion of Industrial Design in the 1950s.” The annual Design History Society conference “Writing Design” (3-5 September). Hatfield (UK): University of Hertfordshire (2009).
  • “The Periphery of Art: Forging the 1980s Concept of Design at Documenta 8 (1987).” 34th Annual Conference Association of Art Historians (2-4 April). Londen: Tate Britain & Tate Modern (2008).
  • “Designer Fashion and Post-industrial Economies. A Perfect Marriage?” Social History Society Annual Conference 2008 (27-29 March). Rotterdam: Erasmus Universiteit (2008). 
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