My research and research supervision focuses on 19th & 20th Century design, architecture and material culture. As a founding member of the Modern Interiors Research Centre (Kingston University), I contributed to a number of international conferences and publications including Fashion, Performance and the Modern Interior (Bloomsbury, 2011), Designing the Modern Interior (Berg, 2008), & The Modern Period Room (Routledge, 2006). Recent publications have explored the relationship between objects, narrative and homemaking, the rise of Victorian Furnishers and Furniture shops, and furniture design since 1900.
Prior to joining the University of Portsmouth as Dean of Creative & Cultural Industries and Professor of Design, I was Executive Dean (Learning, Teaching & Research) at the University for the Creative Arts, UK. Prior to this I held a number of positions in the Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture at Kingston University, London. These included Head of the School of Art & Design History, and Associate Dean (Academic).
I studied practice-based art & design at Portsmouth College of Art & Design. This led me to study for a BA(Hons) Interior Architecture at the University of Brighton. With the support of the Oliver Ford Scholarship, I then studied on the MA History of Design programme run jointly by the Victoria & Albert Museum, and the Royal College of Art. I was awarded a PhD, for a thesis entitled The Domestic Moment: Design, Taste & Identity in the Late Victorian Interior, by the Royal College of Art in 2005.
I have taught on many undergraduate and postgraduate design courses and supervised 15 PhDs to successful completion. These have included studies on 19th and 20th Century domestic and public design and architecture, 19th Century steamships, the history of mechanical writing and the typewriter, women’s sex shops, contemporary home-making practices, and two AHRC funded studies of the history and use of Hampton Court Palace.