Dr Ian Waites

Ian studied History of Art and Design at Leicester Polytechnic, and has taught at the School of Art and Design in Lincoln since 1995. For several years he was programme leader of an honours degree course in History of Art and Design and is now module leader for the BA (Hons) Graphic Design Contextualising Visual Practice modules, which aim to inform students on the history and cultural contexts of twentieth and twenty-first century Graphic Design.

His research interests centre on landscape, sense of place and memory.

Ian is the author of a book on the artistic representation of common land, which was published in 2012. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, common land was persistently viewed by the upper classes as being outmoded and unsightly. Despite this, many British landscape painters of the time — including Constable, Gainsborough and Turner — resolutely continued to depict this type of landscape. This book is the first full study of how and why they did this.


The theme of discredited environments similarly emerges in his current research on the history and meaning of a 1960s English council estate where he grew up. Above is a photograph of his house that was taken sometime in 1975. Ian’s research on this council estate is deliberately multi-faceted, in that it examines the original design and planning of the estate in relation to the more phenomenological concerns of spatiality, sense of place and everyday life. The research is particularly defined by his childhood and teenage memories of the estate during the 1960s and 70s, in an attempt to regain a sense of what it ‘felt like’ to live there. Ian keeps a blog, Instances of a Changed Society that chronicles his research and thinking on the post-WW2 council estate, which you can read here: http://instancesofachangedsociety.blogspot.co.uk/

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