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This influential periodical was established at an important time for the development of art, design, and cultural studies in higher education in Britain. Conceived ‘as a vehicle of communications with a small and scattered community of like‐minded, Marxist and polemical practitioners…[involved in]…establishing undergraduate and graduate degrees in art, cultural studies and design history’, it was established at Middlesex Polytechnic (now University), the seat of the first masters degree in the History of Design in Britain. Block's relationship with the practice of design history was of considerable importance as it argued for a rejection of prevalent and established academic approaches of art history influencing the subject in favour of radical alternatives that sought to understand the social and existential meanings of things. Among the more important influences on editorial policy was the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies at Birmingham University, the writings of Raymond Williams, Pierre Bourdieu, and Jean Baudrillard, and the theoretical approaches of Michael Althusser and Michael Foucault. Economically produced in black and white, with an effective and unfussy layout in the manner of a broadsheet supplement, Block carried articles by a number of significant writers including John Heskett, Adrian Rifkin, Toni del Renzio, Dick Hebdige, Lisa Tickner, Judith Williamson, Tony Fry, Stuart Hood, and Griselda Pollock.

Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.

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