Former Head of Camberwell College of Arts, Jude Freeman, on whose initiative the project was begun in 2005, initially selected some of the participants. The general aim of the oral history project was to collect reminiscences of the college and art school experience. Having undertaken extensive life history recordings for National Life Stories based at The British Library Sound Archive, Senior Research Fellow Dr Linda Sandino took on the role of building up a series of interviews as part of her research. Given her experience, the remit of the project was extended to life histories because they do not separate ‘individuality’ from the ‘social’; instead they are occasions that enable individuals to reflect on the network of associations that make up their sense of self and their world.
In 2007 the Design History Society [DHS] oral history project was launched to mark the thirtieth anniversary of the founding of the society. As a member of the executive committee, Linda took on the management of the project as part of [VIVA]. More information about the project is available at DHS oral history project, or you can go directly to [Interviews].
The [VIVA] interviews (undertaken by Dr Linda Sandino) are unstructured life history recordings, led by the participant’s own version and selection of meaningful events but broadly chronological. There is, nevertheless, a focus on family background, education, and professional practice. At present the interviewees’ work experiences cover the fields of graphic design, corporate branding, publishing, ceramics, painting, curatorial practice, and art writing. The DHS recordings focus more on the discipline. As on-going projects, more interviews will be uploaded as they become available once participants have granted copyright and clearance. ©Copyright is held by the University of the Arts, and by the Design History Society.
Each interview is accompanied by a summary of each track providing an overview of its contents. It does not represent the actual words of the participant but is an index to the content of each track. The summaries follow the sequence of the recording. At present there is no funding for transcription.
The extracts have been selected in consultation with each participant and represent a particular aspect of, either their family background, education, thinking about arts practice, or their professional contexts and lives. There has been no formula in their selection except in so far as they provide as substantial a section of the recording as feasible within webspace constraints, and use.
Please note that all [VIVA] and DHS recordings may only be used for educational and research purposes. For further enquiries, please contact
The readings below represent a small selection of the many available texts, which guide the research methods of the [viva] project. One the one hand, it is driven by oral history in that the interviews gather material about the interviewee’s life experiences and reflective thoughts. However, the recordings are more than just ‘data’ but are narrative constructions produced in a particular setting, in a specific moment of interaction. The readings in the Narrative Research section offer a way of understanding this problematic. Further information can be found at Narrative Research
Abrams, L. (2010) Oral History Theory, London, Routledge
Cándida Smith, R. [ed], (2002) Art and the Performance of Memory: Sounds and Gestures of Recollection, London: Routledge.
Cándida Smith, R. (1995), Utopia and Dissent: Art, Poetry, and Politics in California, Berkeley, University of California Press.
Chamberlain, M. & Thompson, P. (Eds) (1998) Narrative and Genre, London: Routledge.
Dunway, D. K. & Baum, W.K. (Eds) (1996) Oral History: An Interdisciplinary Anthology, Lanham MD: Altamira Press/American Association for State and Local History and the Oral Hitory Association.
Frisch, M. (1990) Shared Authority: Essays on the Meaning of Oral and Public History, Albany NY: State University of New York Press.
Gluck, S. B & Patai, D. (eds) (1991) Women’s Words: the Feminist Practice of Oral History, London: Routledge.
Portelli, A. (1991) The Death of Luigi Trastulli and Other Stories: Form and Meaning in Oral History, Albany NY: State University of New York Press.
Ritchie, D. A. (2003) Doing Oral History: a Practical Guide, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Sandino, L. and Partington, M. (Eds) (2013) Oral History in the Visual Arts, London: Berg.
Sandino, L.(ed) (2006) ‘Design History and Oral Histories’, Special Issue Journal of Design History vol. 19/4.
Sandino, L. (2009) 'News from the Past: Oral History at the V&A',V&A Online Journal, Issue 2, Autumn
Thompson, P. (2000) The Voice of the Past: Oral History, (3rd edn), Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Thomson, A. & Perks, R. (Eds.) (2006) The Oral History Reader, 2nd edn. London: Routledge.
Tonkin, E. (1992) Narrating Our Pasts: the Social Construction of Oral History, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Yow, V.R. (2005) Recording Oral History: a Guide for the Humanities and Social Sciences, 2nd Rev. Edn., Lanham MD: AltaMira Press
Journals: Oral History, The Oral History Review, Memory.
Andrews, M. et al, (2008) Doing Narrative Research, London: Sage.
Atkinson, R. (1998) The Life Story Interview, Qualitative Research Methods
vol. 44, Thousand Oaks CA: Sage.
Brockmeier, J. and Carbaugh, D. (Eds) (2001) Narrative and Identity, Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
Bruner, J. S. (1990) Acts of Meaning, Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.
Clandinin, D. J. (2006) Handbook of Narrative Inquiry: Mapping a Methodology, Thousand Oaks CA: Sage.
Freeman, M. (1993) Rewriting the Self: History, Memory, Narrative, London and New York: Routledge.
Freeman, M. (2010) Hindsight: The Promise and Perils of Looking Backwards, Oxford: Oxford University Press
Holstein, J. and J. Gubrium (1999) The self we live by: Narrative identity in a postmodern world, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Holstein J. and J. Gubrium (2003) Inside Interviewing: New Lenses, New Concerns, Thousand Oaks CA and London: Sage.
Georgakopoulou, A. (2008) Small Stories, Interactions and Identities, Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
Josselson, R. ruthellenjosselson.com/?page_id=37 Important articles on narrative research, ethics, and memory.
McAdams, D., Josselson, R. & Lieblich A. (Eds) (2006) Identity and Story: Creating the Self in Narrative, Washingon DC and London: American Psychological Association.
McCracken, G. (1988) The Long Interview, London and Thousand Oaks CA: Sage.
McQuillan, M. (Ed) (2000) The Narrative Reader, London and New York: Routledge.
Mishler Elliot G. (1999) Storylines : Craftsartists' Narrative of Identity, Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.
Olney, J. (1999) Memory and Narrative: The Weave of Life-Writing, Chicago ILL: University of Chicago Press.
Plummer, K. (2001) Documents of Life 2: An Invitation to Critical Humanism, London: Sage.
Riessman, C. (2008) Narrative Methods for the Human Sciences, Thousand Oaks CA and London: Sage.
Sandino, L. (2010) 'Artists-in-progress: Narrative identity of the self as another' in Beyond Narrative Coherence (eds) M. Hyvärinen et al, Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
Tamboukou, M. (2010) In the Fold between Power and Desire: Women Artists' Narratives, Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Press.
Tamboukou, M. (2010) Nomadic Narratives, Visual Forces: Gwen John's Letters and Paintings, New York and London: Peter Lang Publishing.
Journals: Narrative Inquiry,
Narrative Works w3.stu.ca/stu/sites/cirn/narrative_works.aspx