Call for Papers: DresserFest 2023




DresserFest 2023, a three-day festival celebrating the life and work of Christopher Dresser, will be held in London from Friday 30th June until Sunday 2nd July 2023.

2023 will mark the 150th anniversary of the publication of Christopher Dresser’s influential Principles of Decorative Design. Based on a series of lessons written for the Technical Educator, Principles was aimed at those working men who sought to educate themselves regarding ornament and industrial manufacturing. Dresser would no doubt be pleased to know that this publication is now freely available as an online eBook to anyone anywhere with no restrictions. 

The newly invigorated Christopher Dresser Society is pleased to celebrate the design philosophies promoted in this influential publication by announcing the theme for its 2023 symposium, Principles of Decorative Design: 150 Years.

It is widely recognised that the publication of this highly successful and extensively circulated book played an important role in nineteenth century discussions of aesthetics and design theory. It also impacted on the production, marketing and consumption of designed goods, and continues to provide food for historical thought and inspiration for practicing designers.  A number of questions around the origins, content and impact of Principles of Decorative Design immediately arise:

  • What important ideas were introduced in this publication?
  • Who influenced Dresser’s thinking?
  • What impact did the publication have?
  • Who was his readership?
  • To what extent was it/is it relevant to designers in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries?

Further consideration situates the book as inspiration for the study of design theorists, designers, manufacturers, retailers, consumers, and publishers. Therefore, the Christopher Dresser Society is keen to receive submissions from scholars and connoisseurs working in areas within and beyond art and design history. Submissions are particularly sought from those developing new research which may serve to highlight Dr Christopher Dresser’s impact on design in the Victorian period and subsequently.

Papers will be published in the Journal of the Christopher Dresser Society.

Organisation of submissions

  • All papers will be subject to the scrutiny of a selection panel
  • Each selected presenter will commit to deliver a ready-for-print paper in word format (.doc or .docx) and a PowerPoint (or similar) presentation.
  • The title and abstract in English (500 words) of your paper to be sent to the Secretary by 1st December 2022:
  • Presenters should present their work in PowerPoint (or similar format)
  • Presentations are limited to 45 minutes with 10 minutes for questions.

Speakers will receive complimentary admission to DresserFest 2023.

More details of DresserFest 2023 to follow.

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