Professor Pat Kirkham


I have been working at Kingston since February 2016 as Professor of Design History. I was appointed with a research brief, to work within MIRC and the school, and to help forge links between design and film. I enjoy the role immensely, having researched and written widely on design (including interiors and furniture), gender and film over the years. Before moving to Kingston University, I spent almost twenty years as Professor at the Bard Graduate Center: Design History, Decorative Arts, Material Culture in New York and, prior to that, in excess of twenty years at De Montfort University, Leicester. 

Academic responsibilities

Professor: Design History (0.3)


  • BA Honours History (First Class) University of Leeds
  • PhD History University of London


My  main research interests are in the fields of design, film and gender. I am currently working on a book, Charles and Ray Eames and Hollywood: Design, Film and Friendships, that includes discussion of their films as well as Hollywood films to which they contributed in a variety of ways. I am currently working on a grant application with my KU colleague Stephen Knight that looks at the home studio for crafts (from the dining table or garage to specified spaces for making) in recent years but with a special emphasis on the pandemic period. I am also working on a journal article about the Goddard House, Leicester (1954-55), designed by a woman architect, Brenda Walker (who trained at Kingston School of Architecture in the 1940s) and Fello Atkinson, that covers links between the Architectural Association in London and part-time staff at Kingston School of Art. The pandemic put paid to plans to  curate an exhibition (Saul and Elaine Bass: Design and Film) for Bard Graduate Center, New York, in 2021. I also continue my research interests in William Morris and the Arts and Crafts Movement, World War II, and the relationship between design and music in film title and credit sequences.     

Areas of specialism

  • Design History
  • Film and Television Studies
  • Craft History
  • Gender Studies

Scholarly affiliations

  • Associate Research Fellow, Cinema and Television History Research Institute (CATHI), De Montfort University,
  • Professor Emerita, Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture, New York

Research student supervision

Main supervision

Other supervision