The professionalisation of floral design in London 1935 to 1960
Kingston University, London
Year of enrolment: 2019
While there has been some examination of the cultural use of cut flowers, and the trade networks and relationships within the contemporary cut flower trade from harvest to vase, there has been no in-depth research undertaken on the development of commercial or amateur floral design.
This project will examine the process of professionalisation within floral design particularly in London from 1935 to 1960. In doing so it will explore the relationship between commercial floral design and amateur flower arranging in terms of gender, and the material culture of floral design, within the changing contexts of war and peacetime economies, technological developments, and changes in employment and education.
Using the primary sources of trade publications, photographs, instruction manuals and novels, geographical references, organisational archives, and my knowledge of floristry practice, this research project seeks to show the importance of this overlooked field in terms of design history.
The period includes the development of competing florists’ delivery networks, the emergence of the first female florist to be a household name, the establishment of formal floristry qualifications, the implications of war on floristry personnel and supply chains, post war innovations in the material culture of floristry and the development of formally regulated recreational flower arranging clubs.