Curating Contemporary Design (in partnership with the Design Museum) MA
Facts about Curating Contemporary Design
|Duration||Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years
|Attendance||Full time: 2 days per week (Tuesday and Wednesday)
Part time: 1 day per week (Tuesday/Wednesday)
|Assessment||Curatorial project briefs; seminar presentations; essays; dissertation
Choose Kingston's Curating Contemporary Design MA
This ground-breaking MA is the only course of its kind. Enabling students to develop the skills to curate, interpret and communicate contemporary design within the museum and cultural sectors, it has gained an international reputation since it was established in 2001. The course attracts students from around the world from a wide range of practice and academic disciplines, a high percentage of whom go on to work at some of the world's most respected cultural institutions.
Taught jointly at Kingston University and the Design Museum by leading curators and designers within the field, the course explores both collecting and curating, and provides you with a unique vision for curating contemporary design in the 21st century. Find out more information from the Design Museum website.
What will you study?
Through the modules taught in the Study Space at the Design Museum, you will gain an excellent grounding in all of the professional aspects of museum practice, as well as firsthand experience in planning and organising design exhibitions, often working on live briefs. This will be supported by modules in history and theory (taught at Kingston), ensuring that you have a thorough knowledge of the ideas and context underpinning the display and curating of contemporary design. A strong emphasis is placed on research skills and presentation, ensuring a high level of professional development.
We work closely with the British Council, Crafts Council, Science Museum, London Transport Museum and the V&A. Students automatically become members of the Design Museum while they are studying – this gives access to exhibitions and private views, and priority booking for talks and events as the Museum. There is also the opportunity to participate in study trips to New York and China.
Deyan Sudjic, director of the Design Museum
"There is nothing else like the Curating Contemporary Design MA. In the setting of a university that has produced many of the most significant designers of their generation, and of a museum that is working toward a move to a new, much larger home, there could be no better time or place to enrol for students looking to develop their skills and understanding of the practice and theory of design curating."
This course is taught by staff in the the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture and the Design Museum.
Find out more...
Teaching staff include:
- Donna Loveday, head of curatorial at the Design Museum
- Catherine McDermott, professor of design history and curating
Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list. Those listed here may also be a mixture of core and optional modules.
Theory of the Object
This course provides an historical framework of collecting and curating design from the mid-19th century onwards. It will:
- identify key models and critical writings - enabling you to understand case studies of the development of Western and American museums;
- explore the complex relationships between theory and practice; and
- enable you to gain a critical evaluation of how the past has informed contemporary collecting practice in museums.
This module provides the professional context for the whole programme. You will:
- develop your understanding of the nature of and the complex inter-relationships between the commercial and public arts markets;
- learn the fundamentals of economic theory and appraisal and investment techniques that underlie valuations of assets, including the use of IT and apply these to identified objects; and
- develop business skills, organisational knowledge and professional conduct and ethics.
You learn through lectures, IT workshops and seminars. Assessment is by:
- a 3,000 word case study;
- two seminar papers; and
- an IT workshop.
Interpreting Contemporary Design
The curating team at the Design Museum teach this module. It brings you into contact with:
- the key elements of exhibition curating;
- team work with designers;
- graphic studios;
- educationalists; and
- fund raising.
Work experience is also an important part of this module. Most students work on an aspect of the Design Museum's programme, but there are also opportunities to work at the Science Museum, Crafts Council, V&A, Museum of London and the Geffrye Museum.
Making of the Modern World
Making Of The Modern World investigates key aspects of design history through the consideration of national identities, design movements, culture and consumption.
Covering such a large period of over 100 years, the module aims to demonstrate the changing processes of design as they occur within the paradigmatic schemes of modernism and postmodernism.
The programme includes curatorial visits around design collections and organisations and two live curatorial briefs set around contemporary design.
Interdisciplinary Practice Research
In this module you participate in an interdisciplinary programme of lectures and seminars addressing:
- specialist professional practice research methods and resources; and
- the integration of theory and practice.
You will initiate your own area of research. Assessment is through seminar presentations and the production of a research dossier.
City Cultures - New York
This course is part of a series of study visits you can take for course credits. It offers a first-hand experience of the visual culture of one of the world's most exciting cities - New York.
The course is divided into three parts:
- part 1 includes introductory talks about the art and design of the city before the visit;
- part 2 consists of five full-days of guided visits to major galleries and museums in New York, plus the opportunity to meet curators and artists working in leading institutions;
- Part 3 consists of seminars and an essay presentation on New York.
We encourage you to develop visual diaries whilst in New York, which you can work up for assessment on return
Please note that students are required to pay for the visit.
This double module is designed to ensure that students can produce a substantial, original body of authoritative work by engaging in both primary and secondary research at masters level. It enables them to achieve a comprehensive understanding and application of the key issues of the subject selected and aims to develop in students a commitment to research and understanding of its likely role in their future careers. Students are supported by tutorials and assessment is by a written dissertation.