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Professor Jane Pavitt

Head of School


I am the Head of the School of Critical Studies and Creative Industries, which is comprised of the Departments in Creative and Cultural Industries, Critical and Historical Studies and Foundation Studies. 

I am a design historian and curator, and my research practice involves the making of exhibitions, as well as a research focus on the social and political contexts for design and architecture since the second world war. 

I joined Kingston in 2017; prior to that I was Dean of Humanities at the Royal College of Art, and RCA head of the V&A/RCA History of Design Programme (2010-2015).

From 1997 to 2010 I was the University of Brighton Principal Research Fellow at the V&A, where I curated exhibitions, including Brand.New (2000); Cold War Modern: Design 1945-70 (2011); and Postmodernism: Style and Subversion 1970-90 (2011). I am currently co-curating an exhibition on High Tech Architecture for the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts (2018).

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

Advisory Board, Journal of Design History

Arts and Humanities Research Council, Peer Review College

 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. I am also co-curating an exhibition on high tech architecture for the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts (SCVA) for 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.


Jump to: Book
Number of items: 2.


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

This list was generated on Sun Jul 22 04:30:23 2018 BST.

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