Artdesigncafe maintains a growing archive of writings (mainly on contemporary art and design, art and design publicity, art and design business, and English for Art and Design). Artdesigncafe also acts as a project platform (currently for Design Meriden and Tremaine / Miller Co. art & design) and is a copywriting and communications supplier.
Since 2016, Design Meriden has led a greater appreciation and understanding of the historical design in the area, both nationally and internationally, through documentation recovery efforts and unique, highly visible, online compilations showing designs in collections and documentation at multiple international sites. The goal has been to make detailed information about the design and designers far easier to find and access for researchers and enthusiasts. As of 2021, over 120,000 international visitors visit the micro-site to quickly learn more regarding their interests about historical Meriden area design.
In this vein, Design Meriden has also pro-actively lobbied a number of CT non-profit organizations— with object holdings and rare documentation of the design— to improve their access and visibility. Interestingly, data shows that the interest in the design is dispersed largely among specialists nationally and internationally, without a concentration in the state which produced the designs.
With unique influence, Design Meriden encourages innovative funders and sponsors to make contact to invest in the key source that continues to drive the renewed interest in the area design. Unique, impactful opportunities are available.
Artdesigncafe was started in 2009 by R. J. Preece [Tulane University, New Orleans then Tyler School of Art / Temple University, Philadelphia: BA (Distinction), Art history with economics, study abroad Tyler in Rome; Temple University, MEd; Birmingham Institute of Art and Design, England: MA (Distinction), Design history / discourse with critical media / communications analysis]. He is an international art and design journalist, communications / copywriting consultant, media advisor, and project organizer. To date, he has published over 350 texts in magazines and books, and many interviews and writings are cited in museum and biennial catalogues and books globally. Preece has also been a Contributing Editor, NW Europe, of Sculpture magazine since 1999.
His interdisciplinary work also includes extensive experience copywriting and consulting on communications texts related to product design, technology, and innovation for multi-national companies. Regarding media relations, Preece has consulted clients appearing on international news outlets such as Al-Jazeera and the BBC as well as engaging extensively with international newspapers and multiple, global wire services. Other clients have participated in noted international art, design and technology exhibitions and events.
Originally from the USA, Preece taught at the Parsons School of Design affiliate in Kanazawa, Japan and Hong Kong Poly’s School of Design in the mid-1990s, and then later settled in the Netherlands and NW Europe twenty years ago. Over the years, he has given numerous guest lectures in Western Europe and East Asia concerning language, marketing and media / communications, and art and design.
Preece’s current passion has taken him from communicating the contemporary to the historical, with his Design Meriden and Tremaine / Miller Co. art & design projects. He has a personal connection to both. "Like too many growing up in the Meriden area in the post-industrial 1980s, I knew almost nothing about the area’s significant design achievements until much later in life," explains Preece. "The DM project has been about applying the skills that I have developed over the years for the benefit of the historical design, the designers and entrepreneurs. Still underneath layers of historical dust, their work is being unearthed."
"Their magic and significant impact are becoming more clearly visible," continues Preece. "And their work, recognized by influential historical design specialists, is receiving considerably more attention, which it greatly deserves."