Design and Industries Association : records

Scope and Content

Association records including committee papers, meeting minutes and annual reports (1915 – 1999); financial and accounting Records (1922 – 1988); material on conferences and tours (1916-1987); lectures and talks (1916-1955); publications including DIA Journal, DIA , DIA Yearbook, DIA News and other DIA booklets and publications (1917 - 1997); material on awards and initiatives (1965 – 1987); material on exhibitions and events (1911 - 1987); DIA membership records (1911 - 1087); DIA Trust records (1958 – 1970), DIA premises material (1948 – 1970); general correspondence (ca. 1914-1980s), staff papers (ca. 1912-1987); glass negatives depicting architecture, displays and objects for the purpose of demonstrating 'good' and 'bad' design in advertising, architecture, furniture, household goods, housing and interior design (1887 - 1939); lantern slides depicting architecture, displays and objects for the purpose of demonstrating 'good' and 'bad' design, with annotations including designer's or manufacturer's name and object's location, arranged by subjects including advertising, bathrooms, cutlery, exhibitions, furniture, glass, hotels, housing, interior decoration, kitchens, lettering and printing, lighting and heating, metalwork, offices, pottery, schools, sculpture, shops, textiles, town planning, transport and communications and wallpapers (1907 - 1946).

Please note aceess to the glass negatives and lantern slides is curently closed for conservation reasons.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Design and Industries Association was founded in 1915, modelled on the Deutscher Werkbund. In 1914 Cecil Brewer, Ambrose Heal, Harry Peach and Harold Stabler visited the Deutscher Werkbund exhibition in Cologne and decided to set up a British equivalent, the Design and Industries Association. It was intended to stimulate high standards of design in industry through exhibitions, publications and as an educational pressure group. The first exhibition, held in 1915, was on the theme of design and industry in printing. Initially the Design and Industries Association had close links with Arts and Crafts organisations and craftspeople. From 1928 to 1932, however, the Association actively promoted modernism through exhibitions and through its magazine, Design in Industry, later called Design for Today, then Trend in Design of Everyday Things from 1933 to 1936. Membership peaked in the mid-1930s at around 1,000.

Access Information

This archive collection is available for consultation in the V&A Study Rooms by appointment only. Full details of access arrangements may be found here:

Access to some of the material may be restricted. These restrictions are noted in the catalogue where relevant.

Acquisition Information

Given by Raymond Plummer, Design & Industries Association, 1987, AAD/1978/3.

Given by Philip Guilmant, Director of DIA, 1988, AAD/1988/2.

Given by Design & Industries Association, 1997, AAD/1997/7.

Given by Design & Industries Association, 2003, AAD/2003/5.

Conditions Governing Use

Information on copying and commercial reproduction may be found here: