Dr Catharine Rossi

About

I am a design historian interested in researching, teaching and communicating about design past and present for a wide range of communities. Since joining Kingston University in 2013, I have served a number of leadership & management roles: Director of Research in the School of Critical Studies and Creative Industries (2017-2021); Unit Coordinator for REF 2021 UoA 32: Art & Design: History, Practice and Theory (2019-2021); Course Leader for BA (Hons) Art & Design History and Practice (2016-2018); Faculty Personal Tutor Lead (2016-2017). 

I am interested in socially and politically engaged approaches to design and its histories, an impulse which connects design subjects past and present including craft, nightclubs, architecture, sustainability, gender and post-war Italy. In 2011, I completed an AHRC CDA at the RCA/V&A, which I developed into Crafting Design in Italy: from Post-war to Postmodernism (MUP, 2015). In 2016, I led an AHRC project on China's maker culture. I am currently working with Alex Coles on co-editing Post-Craft (Sternberg, 2022). I enjoy engaging with different audiences: I have written for academic journals as well as magazines and newspapers such as Architectural Review, Crafts, Disegno, Domus and the Financial Times, regularly take part in public events, and have appeared on BBC Radio 4 and several arts podcasts. 

Following curatorial projects on nightclubs at the Venice Architecture Biennale (2014) and London's Institute of Contemporary Arts (2015-2016), I co-curated Night Fever: Designing Club Culture 1960 to Today, which opened at Vitra Design Museum in 2018 and has toured to ADAM Design Museum Brussels, Centro Pecci (Prato, Italy), Designmuseum Denmark, V&A Dundee and HOTA Gold Coast (Brisbane, Australia, 2022-23). I am currently co-curating with Professor Penny Sparke and Dr Jana Scholze At Home: Panorama de nos vies domestiques for the Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Étienne 2022.

Academic responsibilities

Associate Professor of Design History

Qualifications

  • Senior Fellow Higher Education Academy, 2016
  • PhD, AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award 'Modern Craft: History, Theory and Practice', Royal College of Art/V&A Museum, London, 2011
  • MA History of Design and Material Culture (Distinction), University of Brighton, 2006
  • BA Hons Italian and Design (First Class Degree), University College London, 2005

Teaching and learning

 I have over 15 years' experience of designing and delivering UG and PG art & design history and theory teaching & learning at Higher Education institutions including Kingston School of Art (KSA, 2013 - present), Edinburgh College of Art (2011 - 2013) and the University of Brighton (2006 - 2011). This includes the development and leadership of BA (Hons) Art & Design History and Practice (2015 - 2018) at KSA. The collaboratively designed employability-focused curriculum combined academic and project-based learning that maximised the University's resources, including the Stanley Picker Gallery (SPG) and Dorich House Museum (DHM), to prepare students for a range of arts careers. My teaching expertise is recognised by my Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (2016). It is also internationally recognised: in 2015 I was the only British academic invited to contribute to the National Endowment of the Humanities Summer Institute at Drexel University, Philadelphia. Entitled "Teaching the History of Modern Design", I was invited to speak about my research and teaching on Italy's Radical Design Movement. In 2014 I was interviewed about my socio-politically imbued pedagogic practice for the edited publication About Learning and Design (Bolzano University Press, 2014).

I have contributed to portfolio development at UG and PG level at Kingston and external HE institutions, where I have also served as external examiner.

Undergraduate courses taught

Research

I am an active researcher with a portfolio of publication and practice-based outputs in subjects including Italian design and architecture, club culture, contemporary design, and craft.

My research outputs include: 4 national and international curated exhibitions, primarily focused on design, architecture and club culture as well as the domestic interior; 5 monographs and co-edited publications; 7 peer reviewed journal articles for publications including AA Files, The Journal of Design History and Digital Culture and Society; over 15 book chapters and over 30 reviews and articles. My research has been included in both REF2014 and REF2021.

 I currently have 3 live research projects with a range of collaborators and institutions: co-editing Post Craft (Sternberg Press, 2022); co-curating At Home (2022 Biennale Internationale Design de Saint-Étienne), an exhibition focused on the domestic interior; and contributing to the Cambridge Companion to Electronic Dance Music (Cambridge UP, 2024). I also curated the 2021 Craft Scotland online Craft & Cultural Conversations programme.

Areas of specialism

  • Design
  • Italian design
  • Craft
  • Arrchitecture
  • Contemporary design

Research student supervision

Main supervision

Other supervision

Publications

Number of items: 61.

Article

Rossi, Catharine (2020) Book Review of: 'Powering the nation : images of the Shannon Scheme and electricity in Ireland' by Sorcha O'Brien. Journal of Design History, 33(4), pp. 359-360. ISSN (print) 0952-4649

Marshall, Justin and Rossi, Catharine (2017) Making with China : craft-based participatory research methods for investigating Shenzhen's Maker Movement. Digital Culture & Society, 3(1), pp. 127-138. ISSN (print) 2364-2114

Rossi, Catharine (2017) Selling craft. The Architectural Review, 1438, pp. 6-11. ISSN (print) 0003-861X

Rossi, Catharine (2017) The Crusoe condition : making within limits and the critical possibilities of fiction. The Journal of Modern Craft, 10(1), pp. 19-35. ISSN (print) 1749-6772

Rossi, Catharine [Reviewer] (2016) Book Review of: ' Craft and the creative economy ' by Susan Luckman. International Journal of Cultural Policy, 22(3), pp. 473-480. ISSN (print) 1028-6632

Rossi, Catharine (2016) Under the hammer. Disegno, 11, pp. 113-126. ISSN (print) 2048-7770

Rossi, Catharine [Reviewer] (2015) Book Review of: "Il Design Italiano Oltre le Crisi: Autarchia, Austerita, Autoproduzione = Italian Design Beyond the Crisis: Autarky, Austerity, Autonomy" edited by Finessi Beppe and Miglio Cristina. Journal of Design History, 28(3), pp. 327-328. ISSN (print) 0952-4649

Rossi, Catharine (2015) A manmade material. Disegno, 9, pp. 180-189.

Rossi, Catharine (2015) The numbers game. Collect 2015 Catalogue, pp. 8-13.

Rossi, Catharine (2014) Architecture goes disco. AA Files(69), pp. 138-145.

Rossi, Catharine (2014) Giorgio Casali: photographer/Domus 1951–1983 - architecture, design and art in Italy. Journal of Modern Craft, 7(1), pp. 99-102. ISSN (print) 1749-6772

Rossi, Catharine (2014) Primary text: commentary and interview. Journal of Modern Craft, 7(1), pp. 75-80. ISSN (print) 1749-6772

Rossi, Catharine (2013) Design and jewellery. Disegno(4), pp. 92-109.

Rossi, Catharine [Reviewer] (2013) Book Review of: 'Makers: a history of American studio craft' by Janet Koplos and Bruce Metcalf. Journal of Modern Craft, 6(1), pp. 119-121. ISSN (print) 1749-6772

Rossi, Catharine (2013) Bricolage, hybridity, circularity: crafting production strategies in critical and conceptual design. Design and culture, 5(1), pp. 69-87. ISSN (print) 1754-7075

Rossi, Catharine (2011) How Memphis was made. Crafts(232), pp. 60-63. ISSN (print) 0306-610X

Rossi, Catharine [Reviewer] (2010) Book Review of: 'Italian design' (MoMA Design Series) by Giampiero Bosoni. Design and Culture, 2(3), pp. 366-367. ISSN (print) 1754-7075

Rossi, Catharine (2010) Commentary. Journal of Modern Craft, 3(2), pp. 225-226. ISSN (print) 1749-6772

Rossi, Catharine [Reviewer] (2010) Book Review of: 'Craft, space and interior design, 1855-2005' edited by Sandra Alfoldy and Janice Helland. Design and Culture, 2(1), pp. 115-117. ISSN (print) 1754-7075

Rossi, Catharine (2010) An Enquiry on Handicrafts "Points of View: An Enquiry on Handicrafts (Où en sommes-nous avec l'artisanat?)," Zodiac no. 4/5, 1959. The Journal of Modern Craft, 3(2), pp. 227-251. ISSN (print) 1749-6772

Rossi, Catharine (2009) Furniture, feminism and the feminine: women designers in post-war Italy, 1945 to 1970. Journal of Design History, 22(3), pp. 243-257. ISSN (print) 0952-4649

Book

Kries, Mateo , Eisenbrand, Jochen and Rossi, Catharine, eds. (2018) Night fever : designing club culture, 1960-today. Weil am Rhein, Germany : Vitra Design Museum. 399p. ISBN 9783945852248

Rossi, Catharine (2015) Crafting design in Italy : from post-war to postmodernism. Manchester, U.K. : Manchester University Press. 304p. (Studies in Design) ISBN 9780719089404

Coles, Alex and Rossi, Catharine, eds. (2013) The Italian avant-garde: 1968 - 1976. Berlin, Germany : Sternberg Press. 224p. (EP, 1) ISBN 9783943365498

Book Section

Rossi, Catharine (2018) The maker 2.0 : a craft-based approach to understanding a new creative identity. In: Armstrong, Leah and McDowell, Felice, (eds.) Fashioning professionals : identity and representation at work in the creative industries. London, U.K. : Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 181-201. ISBN 9781350001848

Rossi, Catharine (2018) In the media: Italy's radical pipers in the 1960s and 1970s. In: Kries, Mateo , Eisenbrand, Jochen and Rossi, Catharine, (eds.) Night fever: designing club culture, 1960-today. Weil am Rhein, Germany : Vitra Design Museum. pp. 24-39. ISBN 9783945852248

Rossi, Catharine and Eisenbrand, Jochen (2018) Introduction. In: Kries, Mateo , Eisenbrand, Jochen and Rossi, Catharine, (eds.) Night fever: designing club culture, 1960-today. Weil am Rhein, Germany : Vitra Design Museum. pp. 14-23. ISBN 9783945852248

Rossi, Catharine (2017) Design after dark: the radicals and the architecture of discos. In: Didero, Maria Cristina, (ed.) Superdesign: Italian radical design, 1965-75. New York, U.S. : The Monacelli Press. pp. 86-93. ISBN 9781580934954

Rossi, Catharine (2017) Ettore Sottsass, India and ceramics as tools for meditation. In: Schenini, Elio, (ed.) On the paths of enlightenment: the myth of India in Western culture, 1808-2017. Milan, Italy : Skira. pp. 522-545. ISBN 9788857236667

Rossi, Catharine (2016) Compasso D'Oro. In: Edwards, Clive, (ed.) The Bloomsbury encyclopedia of design. London, U.K. : Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 274. 1 ISBN 9781472521545

Rossi, Catharine (2016) Domus (1928-). In: Edwards, Clive, (ed.) The Bloomsbury encyclopedia of design. London. U.K. : Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 431-431. 1 ISBN 9781472521545

Rossi, Catharine (2016) ENAPI Ente Nazionale Dell'Artigianato e Delle Piccole Industrie (National organization for craft and small industries) (1928-78). In: Edwards, Clive, (ed.) The Bloomsbury encyclopedia of design. London. U.K. : Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 473-473. 1 ISBN 9781472521545

Rossi, Catharine (2016) Memphis. In: Edwards, Clive, (ed.) The Bloomsbury encyclopedia of design. London. U.K. : Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 372-374. 2 ISBN 9781472521552

Rossi, Catharine (2016) Politecnico di Milano (Milan Polytechnic) (1863-). In: Edwards, Clive, (ed.) The Bloomsbury encyclopedia of design. London, U.K. : Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 61. 3 ISBN 9781472521569

Rossi, Catharine (2016) Postmodernism and design. In: Edwards, Clive, (ed.) The Bloomsbury encyclopedia of design. London, U.K. : Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 78-84. 3 ISBN 9781472521569

Rossi, Catharine (2016) SWID Powell. In: Edwards, Clive, (ed.) The Bloomsbury encyclopedia of design. London, U.K. : Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 288-289. 3 ISBN 9781472521569

Rossi, Catharine (2016) Squaring up to Superstudio: grids, modularity and utopianism in Italian Radical Design. In: Meltzer, Burkhard and von Oppeln, Tido, (eds.) Rethinking the modular. London, U.K. : Thames & Hudston. pp. 126-153. ISBN 9780500292358

Rossi, Catharine, du Pasquier, Nathalie, Scarponi, Antonio and Seymour, Jerszy (2016) There is always an alternative: systems and production. In: Meltzer, Burkhard and Von Oppeln, Tido, (eds.) Rethinking the modular. London, U.K. : Thames & Hudson. pp. 44-57. ISBN 9780500292358

Rossi, Catharine (2015) Abitare (1961-). In: Edwards, Clive , Atkinson, Harriet , Bhagat, Dipti , Kettley, Sarah , O'Brien, Sorcha , Raizman, David and Willis, Anne-Marie, (eds.) The Bloomsbury encyclopedia of design. London, U.K. : Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 4. 1 ISBN 9781472521545

Rossi, Catharine (2015) From East to West, and back again : Utopianism in Italian Radical Design. In: Blauvelt, Andrew, (ed.) Hippie Modernism: the struggle for Utopia. Minneapolis, U.S. : Walker Art Center. ISBN 9781935963097

Dalla Mura, Maddalena [Interviewer] and Rossi, Catharine [Interviewee] (2014) Learning between past and present: Interview with Catharine Rossi by Maddalena Dalla Mura. In: Camuffo, Giorgio , Dalla Mura, Maddalena and Mattozzi, Alvise, (eds.) About learning and design. Bolzano, Italy : Bozen-Bolzano University Press. pp. 81-86. ISBN 9788860460677

Rossi, Catharine (2014) A history of socially engaged craft. In: UNSPECIFIED, (ed.) Hidden agenda: socially conscious craft. Crafts Council.

Rossi, Catharine (2014) Craft and 'Made in Italy'. In: Stanfill, Sonnet, (ed.) The glamour of Italian fashion since 1945. London, U.K. : V&A Publishing. pp. 94-103. ISBN 9781851777761

Rossi, Catharine (2014) Crafting a design counterculture: the pastoral and the primitive in Italian radical design, 1972-1976. In: Lees-Maffei, Grace and Fallan, Kjetil, (eds.) Made in Italy: rethinking a century of Italian design. London, U.K. : Bloomsbury Academic. ISBN 9780857853882

Rossi, Catharine (2014) Swiss army knife, Switzerland (Karl Elsener, Victorinox, 1891). In: Lees-Maffei, Grace, (ed.) Iconic designs: 50 stories about 50 things. London, U.K. : Bloomsbury Visual Arts. pp. 206-209. ISBN 9780857853523

Rossi, Catharine (2014) A new domestic landscape. Catharine Rossi on the environments of Joe Colombo and Superstudio. In: Grima, Joseph , Bagnato, Andrea and Shafrir, Tamar, (eds.) sqm: the quantified home. Zurich, Switzerland : Lars Müller. pp. 50-59. ISBN 9783037784532

Rossi, Catharine (2013) Between the nomadic and the impossible: radical architecture and the Cavart Group. In: Coles, Alex and Rossi, Catharine, (eds.) The Italian avant-garde. Berlin, Germany : Sternberg Press. pp. 43-66. (EP, 1) ISBN 9783943365498

Rossi, Catharine (2013) Craft: the future in the making. In: Held, Peter and Sealy Lineberry, Heather, (eds.) Crafting a continuum: rethinking contemporary craft. Santa Barbara : Perpetua Press. pp. 173-174. ISBN 9781469612805

Rossi, Catharine (2013) From Mari to Memphis: the role of prototypes in Italian radical and Postmodern design. In: Valentine, Louise, (ed.) Prototype: design and craft in the 21st Century. London, U.K. : Bloomsbury Academic. ISBN 9780857856821

Rossi, Catharine (2011) Making Memphis: 'Glue culture' and postmodern production strategies. In: Adamson, Glenn and Pavitt, Jane, (eds.) Postmodernism: style and subversion, 1970-1990. London, U.K. : V&A Publishing. pp. 160-165. ISBN 9781851776597

Rossi, Catharine (2010) Foreword. In: UNSPECIFIED, (ed.) Pallet project. United Kingdom : Studiomama. pp. 5-7.

Conference or Workshop Item

Rossi, Catharine (2015) Imagining island making. In: "How We Live, and How We Might Live": Design and the Spirit of Critical Utopianism; 11-13 Sep 2015, San Francisco, U.S.. (Unpublished)

Rossi, Catharine (2015) Italian design and the American counterculture. In: "How We Live, and How We Might Live": Design and the Spirit of Critical Utopianism; 11-13 Sep 2015, San Francisco, U.S.. (Unpublished)

Rossi, Cat [Organizer of meeting] and Ungley, Portia [Organizer of meeting] (2015) What is tomorrow today? In: Tomorrow Today: Design, Fiction and Social Responsibility; 11 Jun 2015, London, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Coles, Alex [Organizer of meeting] and Rossi, Catharine [Organizer of meeting] (2015) Welcome. In: Post-Craft: Towards New Economies of Making; 06 May 2015, London, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Rossi, Catharine (2014) Made in Italy 2.0: the prominence of craftsmanship in contemporary Italian furniture design. In: Current issues in global furniture; 20 Nov 2013, Great Missenden, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Rossi, Catharine (2014) Utopian and dystopian domesticiites: the home on film in 1970s Italian radical design. In: Domestic imaginaries: homes in film, literature and popular culture symposium; 21 Jan 2014, Nottingham, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Rossi, Catharine (2013) Paper utopias: image-making in 1970s Italian radical design. In: Iconic images in modern Italy: politics, culture and society; 22-23 Nov 2013, London, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Exhibition

Eisenbrand, Jochen [Curator], Rossi, Catharine [Curator] and Serelus, Katarina [Curator] (2018) Night fever : designing club culture 1960 - Today. .

Rossi, Catharine [Curator] and Upham, Sumitra [Curator] (2015) Radical disco: architecture and nightlife in Italy, 1965-1975. Radical disco: architecture and nightlife in Italy, 1965-1975. .

Rossi, Catharine [Curator], Kelly, Ben [Designer] and Fisher, Fiona [Research team member] (2014) Space Electronic : Then and Now. 14th International Architecture Exhibition. .

This list was generated on Thu Jun 30 06:54:15 2022 BST.

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