Studio 14: All in the best possible Taste

Studio brief

For many centuries the view of taste and the drivers of style and fashion has been hierarchical. Those educated in the appropriate subjects and institutions and those with unfettered wealth have laid down the markers and boundaries of what defines good taste. This Studio examines this history and how this was, and surprisingly in many areas of society still is, the prevailing thought and assumption. You will read key texts in this area and examine their social impact on consumption, marketing, displays and exhibitions today.

As well as these texts, you will raise your gaze to consider the wider impact of these readings. In a decolonialising world, how is this way of thinking as out of date as terms like 'the civilised world', empire and colonialisation?

Outline the first seven weeks of study

  • Week 1: Introduction
  • Week 2: Hierarchical views of Taste, group seminar on readings
  • Week 3: Visit British Museum
  • Week 4: Democratic views of Taste, group seminar on readings
  • Week 5: Visit shopping centre
  • Week 6: Group discussion: posing a question and structuring your argument
  • Week 7: Individual tutorial: dissertation topic and title

Selected reading list

  • Zukin, Sharon, How Shopping Changed American Culture, Point of Purchase, 2001
  • Lloyd Jones, Peter, Taste Today, 1991
  • Silverman, Deboro, 1900 Paris Exposition, 1989
  • Theiding, Kara, Anxieties of Influence, 1993
  • Sargentson, Carolyn, French Luxury Trades, 1996
  • Greyson Perry on YouTube
  • Fanon, Frantz, The Wretched of the Earth, 1961
  • Bhagat, Dipti, Art Deco in South Africa, 2003
Sign that reads: The Empire Remains Shop.



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