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Professor Jane Pavitt

Head of Impact, Directorate of Research, Business and Innovation

Jane Pavitt



I am the University's Head of Impact, based in the Directorate of Research, Business and Innovation. My role is to direct the University's strategy and approach to the societal impact of its work. I am the University lead for REF2021. 

I am also Professor of design and architectural history and a curator of exhibitions on art, architecture and design. I am a member of AHRC Peer Review College, the UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship Panel College; a panellist for REF2021 (UoA 32: Art and Design History, Theory, Practice) and on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Design History. 

Prior to my current role I was Head of the School of Critical Studies and Creative Industries (Kingston School of Art). Before joining Kingston in 2017, I was Dean of Humanities at the Royal College of Art (2010-17) and Research Fellow at the V&A Museum/Brighton University (1997-2010).

Areas of specialism

  • Design History & Material Culture
  • Architectural History
  • Modernism in art, architecture and design
  • post-war design and society
  • museums and galleries
  • curatorial practice and research
  • exhibition studies


  • 1991 MA (RCA) History of Design, V&A Museum/Royal College of Art
  • 1989 BA (Hons) History of Art/English Literature, Oxford Polytechnic

Professional membership

Editorial Board, Journal of Design History

Arts and Humanities Research Council, Peer Review College

Panel Member UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship Scheme

Panel Member, Portuguese Research Council (FCT)


My research is focussed on the social, cultural and political contexts for design and architecture since the second world war, building on work undertaken for 2 major exhibition research projects for the V&A Museum: Cold War Modern: Design 1945-70 (2008) and Postmodernism: Style and Subversion 1970-90 (2011). Cold War Modern was co-curated with David Crowley (RCA/NCAD) and toured to museums venues in Italy and Lithuania. Postmodernism was co-curated with Glenn Adamson (V&A) and toured to Italy and Switzerland. My current research interests include the role of design and architecture within the Welfare State in Britain, and the practice and theory of curating, specifically in relation to architecture and design. My most recent exhibition was 'Superstructures: The New Architecture 1960-90, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, 2018, to mark the 40th anniversary of its Norman Foster building. I supervise post-graduate and research students in all areas related to the above interests.

Research student supervision


Jump to: Book | Exhibition
Number of items: 4.


Pavitt, Jane and Thomas, Abraham (2018) Superstructure: the making of the Sainsbury Centre. Norwich : University of East Anglia. 112p. ISBN 9780946009732

Pavitt, Jane (2008) Fear and fashion in the Cold War. London, U.K. : V&A Publishing. 128p. ISBN 9781851775446

Pavitt, Jane (2004) Brilliant: lights & lighting. London, U.K. : V&A Publications. 128p. ISBN 9781851774081


Pavitt, Jane [Curator of an exhibition] and Thomas, Abraham [Curator of an exhibition] (2018) Superstructures: The new architecture 1960-1990. Superstructures: The New Architecture 1960-1990. .

This list was generated on Sun Oct 13 05:02:38 2019 BST.
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