Picture of boy being examining by doctor at a tuberculosis sanatorium

Understanding our future through Open Access research about our past...

Strathprints makes available scholarly Open Access content by researchers in the Centre for the Social History of Health & Healthcare (CSHHH), based within the School of Humanities, and considered Scotland's leading centre for the history of health and medicine.

Research at CSHHH explores the modern world since 1800 in locations as diverse as the UK, Asia, Africa, North America, and Europe. Areas of specialism include contraception and sexuality; family health and medical services; occupational health and medicine; disability; the history of psychiatry; conflict and warfare; and, drugs, pharmaceuticals and intoxicants.

Explore the Open Access research of the Centre for the Social History of Health and Healthcare. Or explore all of Strathclyde's Open Access research...

Image: Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust. Wellcome Collection - CC-BY.

Different presents in the making

Anusas, Michael and Harkness, Rachel (2016) Different presents in the making. In: Design Anthropological Futures. Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, London. ISBN 9781474280600

Text (Anusas-Harkness-2015-Different-presents-in-the-Making)

Download (8MB) | Preview


This article seeks to challenge aspects of anthropology and design that curtail their potential to be significant agents of social, material and ecological change for the better. In doing so we also seek to open up the possibility for the anthropological imagination to play a greater role in the shaping of the world; we are critical of anthropology where the discipline tends not to build upon observations of the world and keeps itself at an arm’s length from the practical formation of future environments and things. Addressing design, we critique practices that produce and proliferate material things largely ignorant of the extended dynamics of time, materials and ecology. Whilst we acknowledge that these versions of the disciplines are to some extent stereotypes and therefore do not reflect their full scope, we still make the case that there is need for a radical reformulation of how materials, time and ecology are considered in anthropologically-informed processes of design and making.