Dr. Nicolas P. Maffei

Dr. Nicolas P. Maffei is a design historian specialising in graphic design, modernism, and American design. He has written extensively about American design of the 1930s, including streamlining, as a cultural expression combining avant-garde and popular elements. This grew out of his PhD on the American industrial design pioneer, Norman Bel Geddes, and resulted in his book Norman Bel Geddes: American Design Visionary (Bloomsbury). Subsequent research has focused on the branding of the post-WWII American steel industry, exploring the imagery and rhetoric of shininess to promote ‘big steel’ as modern and progressive. Maffei’s recent book, Reading Graphic Design in Cultural Context ​(Bloomsbury) focuses on the impact of digital technology on traditional graphic design forms, including the book, the poster and data visualisation.