This paper considers ephemerality and permanence within design history, design objects and designers themselves. In situations of conflict and uncertainty, a forced entanglement of loss might ask the question: how does impermanence challenge preservation, collection and documentation? Taking the current situation in Ukraine as a case study to explore intersections with design and transience, this highlights critical questions of immediacy. With the destruction of sites and cultural artefacts as targeted forms of political control, seeking to erase memory of tangible and intangible heritage, design and its circulation are in peril. How might design (historians) respond to the challenges of destruction, absence and impermanence?
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