Design through cinema: A cinethnographic approach to the practice and discourse of product design


Guim Espelt

Directed by

David Casacuberta, Ramon Faura

Published by

Elisava, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona



Design and cinema can be considered two creative disciplines that generate cultural products, but they have not always been studied. This thesis proposes to bring these two areas closer through an analysis of the representation in the cinema of the practice and discourse of product design from films in which a designer is represented, a design company or an experience. design related. When they represent the field of design, films become case studies for ‘cinetnography’ and are likely to be integrated into its historiography. Through the analysis of a hundred films, this research offers a vision of the image that is given in the cinema about the design process —dealing with aspects such as conceptualization, production or marketing—, about the profile of who designs —their attitude, ideology, gender or affiliations—, on the agents involved and with an impact on the process, on the discourses —verbalized or implicit—, or on the policies that prevail in the sector.

Likewise, the thesis provides a discussion on the cinematographic representation of the identity of the designer and on the role of women in the design sector. To the written volume is added ‘To the design room! A cinematic design collage’, an audiovisual piece that reconstructs the design process from fragments of the films used for this research, from the ideation to the launch of a product to society.

Click in the following link and read the full PhD thesis.