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Professor Pat Kirkham

Professor: Design History (0.3)


I have been working at Kingston since February 2016 as Professor of Design History with a brief to work within MIRC and the school, and to help forge links between design and film; a role I enjoy immensely.

I have written widely on design, gender and film and, before moving to Kingston University, I spent almost twenty years 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. 

Areas of specialism

  • History of Design and Architecture
  • Interiors
  • Film and Media Studies
  • Cultural Studies
  • Material Culture
  • Visual Culture in Britain
  • Gender Studies
  • Hollywood and Design


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

Professional membership

Design History Society;  College Art Association; 


My  main research interests are in the fields of design, film and gender. I am currently working on a book on Charles and Ray Eames and Hollywood, and articles about architect Brenda Walker (who trained at Kingston School of Architecture in the 1940s), the postwar British Modernist house, The Goddard House (1955), Leicester, designed by Fello Atkinson and Brenda Walker,  Design, Gender and  Colour in the film Raintree County, and Love and the Luxury Hotel in the films Pretty Women and Maid in Manhattan. I am on rack to curate an exhibition (Saul and Elaine Bass: Design and Film) for Bard Graduate Center, New York, in 2021, and 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.     

Research student supervision


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