Professor Clive Edwards

  • Emeritus Professor

Research groups and centres

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 and lectured 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, manufacturing, consumption, 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, Journal of Interior Design, 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 (2016) (and online) Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Design working with associate editors in US, UK, and Australia and with over 200 globally sourced expert contributors. He continued this work as an on-line publication as general editor of the Bloomsbury Design Library until 2020.

In 2021 he published an edited collection of primary sources:  Nineteenth Century Design Theories and Discourses, (Vol. 1), Nineteenth Century Design, Objects Images and Spaces (Vol 2), Nineteenth century Design, Production and Practices (Vol.3) Nineteenth-Century Design, Networks, Mediators and Design.(Vol 4), for Routledge.

Clive has also recently published a book chapter: “Materials and Techniques” in Vitra Furniture Atlas, Vitra Design Museum, ( 2019);  a book chapter “Furniture And Furnishings in the Enlightenment period” A Cultural History of Home, Bloomsbury Academic (2020); a book chapter: “Visual Representation” (Twentieth century furniture) in A Cultural History of Furniture Bloomsbury Academic (2021); a book chapter: “Artefacts and Color during the Eighteenth Century” in A Cultural History of Colour Bloomsbury Academic (2021)  and a  book chapter : “Making, Merchandising and Pricing” The Story of British Tea Chests and Caddies: Social History and Decorative Techniques ACC Books (2022).

He is currently working on a variety of projects including 'Woodworking' in A Cultural History of Crafts (19th Century): an essay on Marquetry for the Winterthur Museum (USA); An analysis of the products of the furnishers Jackson and Graham for the Victorian magnate Alfred Morrison, and a four-volume set of primary sources on 19th century interior design for Routledge.