This important study introduces the key theories of national identity, and relates them to the broad fields of product, graphic and fashion design. Javier Gimeno-Martinez approaches the inter-relationship between national identity and cultural production from two perspectives: the distinctive characteristics of a nation's output, and the consumption of design products within a country as a means of generating a national design landscape.
Using case studies ranging from stamps in nineteenth century Russian-occupied Finland, to Coca-Cola as an 'American' drink in modern Trinidad and Tobago, he addresses concepts of essentialism, constructivism, geography and multiculturality, and considers the works of key theorists, including Benedict Anderson, Eric Hobsbawm and Doreen Massey. This illuminating book offers the first comprehensive account of how national identity and cultural policy have shaped design, while suggesting that traditional formations of the 'national' are increasingly unsustainable in an age of globalisation, migration and cultural diversity. Javier Gimeno-Martinez is Lecturer in Design Cultures at the VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands.