Creative Arts


Prof Clive Edwards

Photo of Prof Clive Edwards

Professor of Design History (Emeritus)

Clive Edwards is Emeritus Professor of Design History at Loughborough University. After a career in the retailing of furniture and interiors he took an MA in the History of Design at the Royal College of Art/Victoria and Albert Museum and subsequently completed a PhD on Victorian furniture technology. He has published widely with works including monographs on aspects of furniture technology, materials and trades, furnishing textiles and the manufacture and retailing of domestic furnishings, as well as contributions to multi-authored works on interiors, architecture and home furnishings. His interest in cross-disciplinary study is evident in his work, which includes research on design, materials and technology, consumption, business and retailing.

Clive has published numerous books, including Eighteenth Century Furniture (1996), Victorian Furniture: Technology and Design (1993), Twentieth Century Furniture: Materials, Manufacture and Markets (1994), all in the Manchester University Press series Studies in Material Culture and Design.

He has completed an Encyclopedia of Furniture Materials, Trades and Techniques (2001) Ashgate, Encyclopedia of Furnishing Textiles, Soft Furnishings and Floorcoverings (2007)  Lund Hunmphries, and a work on retailing and consumption entitled Turning Houses into Homes: A History of the Retailing and Consumption of Domestic Furnishings (2005) Ashgate. His publication How to Read Pattern: A Crash Course in Textile Design (Herbert Press Ltd.:2009) has now been published in seven different languages. Other  publications include, The Twentieth Century Interiors Sourcebook (2014) published by Carlton and 'Multum in Parvo: ‘A Place for Everything and Everything in its Place’, Modernism, Space-saving Bedroom Furniture and the Compactom Wardrobe in the Journal of Design History, 27(1), 2014, pp.17-37.

Clive has also contributed articles to the Journal of Design History, Furniture History, Textile History, History of Technology, Studies in the Decorative Arts, Comparative Technology Transfer and Society, West 86th, and Technology and Culture. He has also contributed essays to the following works: Encyclopedia of Interior Design, Oxford Encyclopedia of Economic History, Furnishing Textiles in Western Europe, 1600-1900, Conservation of Furniture and Related Wooden Objects, Cultures of Selling and Twentieth Century Architecture.

Clive has published (as general editor) a three volume Encyclopedia of Design working with associate editors in US, UK and Australia and with over 200 globally sourced expert contributors. For more information see He continued this work as an on-line publication as general editor of the Bloomsbury Design Library until 2020

Clive is currently working on a range of projects including amongst others abook chapter: ‘Materials and Techniques’ in Vitra Furniture Atlas, Vitra Design Museum, ( 2019)  a book chapter: ‘Visual Representation’ in A Cultural History of Furniture Bloomsbury Academic (2020) a book chapter: “Artefacts and Color during the Eighteenth Century” in A Cultural History of Colour Bloomsbury Academic ( 2020)  and a book chapter : “Making, Merchandising and Pricing” Tea Caddies,  ACC  (2021)

Featured Publications

Edwards, C., Interior Design: a critical introduction, Oxford: Berg Publishers, November 2010, 1-288,9781847883131
Edwards, C., ‘‘Complete House Furnishers: The retailer as interior designer in 19th century London.’ Journal of Interior Design, 38, February 2013, 1-17, 
Edwards, C., Structured cladding and detail: the role of textiles in the association between identity, the interior and dress 1860-1920 in Fashion, interior design and the contours of modern identity, Aldershot, April 2010, 67-84, 978-0-7546-6915-9
Edwards, C., ‘Tottenham Court Road: The Changing Fortunes of London's Furniture Street 1850-1950’, London Journal, 36(2), July 2011, 140-160, 10.1179/174963211X13034705699171
Edwards, C., ‘Improving the Decoration of Furniture: Imitation and Mechanization in the Marquetry Process in Britain and America, 1850–1900’, Technology and Culture, Volume 53, Number 2, April 2012, pp. 401-434
Edwards, C., “Art furniture in the Old English style: An enterprising partnership-The firm of Collinson and Lock” West 86th: A Journal of Decorative Arts…Vol 19, 2, pp. 255-281. 2012

Edwards, C. D. (2016). Establishing Stability: Conforming to type in British house furnishings 1860-1910. In D. H. McMahon (Ed.), The Objects and Textures of Everyday Life in Imperial Britain (pp. 49-71). Farnham: Ashagate.

List of all Publications