Design Culture Salon 17: Imitation, Inspiration or Theft: What does intellectual property mean in a global design economy?

October 23, 6:30pm, Clore 55, V&A Museum

The fine line between imitation and inspiration has always been a source of contention and debate in design. However the issue has come under greater scrutiny of late, in the context of the increasingly central role played by China and India in the global design economy. Here, the terms Intellectual Property (IP) function in different ways to Europe and America. This Salon will explore the possibilities and complexities of finding a common understanding of Intellectual Property across global design cultures and consider the implications of this for the future of design practice.


Professor Guy Julier, University of Brighton Principal Research Fellow in Contemporary Design


Tania Phipps-Rufus is currently studying for her Ph.D on Fashion, Culture and Intellectual Property in the Creative Economy (at the University of Bristol). Her scholarship focuses on the legal aspects of contemporary fashion business, and her research interests also concern intellectual property as it applies to the Design, Art & Fashion industries.  Tania read law at the University of Kent, Canterbury, and obtained her master of laws degree in intellectual property from the University of London, Queen Mary (2006). She is the founder and editor-in-chief of the blog: Fashion Law & Business and is a lecturer at the London based Italian fashion University, Istituto Marangoni, where she teaches the legal aspects of fashion business on the MA in Fashion Promotion and the MA in Strategic Luxury Brand Management. Prior to this she was a visiting lecturer of law at the University of Hertfordshire where she taught on the Masters of Law programme in Intellectual Property Law, M-commerce Law, E-commerce Law, Entertainment Law, and Contract Law & Negotiation.

Mark Waugh is currently Head of Research and Innovation at DACS drawing on experience across the private and public sector in the visual arts. He is Chair of Spacex Gallery Exeter and has recently worked extensively in Korea and South East Asia as Commissioner for emerging artfairs; Art Gwangju and G-Seoul 13 and as Associate Director Of SUUM; Commissioning a number of projects in collaboration with Samsung Electronics including the new media focused award, The Samsung Art+ Prize. He is producer of the International Curators Forum and previously Director of the iconic A Foundation in London and Liverpool. He author of the novels, Bubble Entendre and Come and Co- editor with Thomas Frank of; We Love You / On Audiences.

Arti Sandhu currently holds a position of Associate Professor in Fashion Design at Columbia College in Chicago. She studied Fashion Design at N.I.F.T. (New Delhi) and received her Master’s Degree in Fashion and Textile Design from Nottingham Trent University (U.K.). She has taught Fashion Design in New Zealand and the US. Her research interests lie in fashion and related visual and material culture studies, especially with regards to the impact of globalization, cross cultural exchanges and local pop-culture on Indian fashion and design. She has recently published a book titled Indian Fashion: Tradition, Innovation and Style through Bloomsbury Academic.

Dr Landé Pratt teaches both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in the Department of Media and Communication at Kingston University. She convenes a range of applied, theory and practice-based modules, including: Media Rights and Mashups and, Multi-Media (including documentary) Production. She is called to the Bar of England and Wales and, runs a training consultancy specialising in law / legal strategy relevant to the creative industries. Her current research projects include work on intellectual property, cultural property rights, film and music distribution, photography & design rights and user-generated content. She is interested in legal and enterprise issues relevant to the creative industries across cultures. Prior to her work at Kingston, Landé Pratt project managed / co-produced, the British Film Institute’s web archive on the history of British film and television.

Dr Sarah Teasley is Head of Programme (RCA) for the V&A/RCA programme in History of Design. Her research takes historical case studies from product, furniture and architectural design and manufacturing in Japan since the late nineteenth century to consider broader questions around design, technology and society. She is particularly interested in the roles that technical mediation and policy play in the adoption of new processes, materials and technologies, and in design as a perspective into political economy. Sarah’s teaching and research supervision covers the design and manufacture of objects and spaces in the nineteenth to twenty-first centuries, within Europe and North America as well as East Asia. Her other research and teaching interests include critical theory, the history and philosophy of technology, gender and design, globalisation and the design of mass production and other large systems.

Free event: All welcome! Directions to Clore 55 here. 

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