Professor Catherine McDermott
Thursday 19 April 2012 @ 1430hrs
John Kinght Cinema
Professor, School of Communication Design, Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture Kingstons University UK
Prof McDermott has made a major national and international contribution to the contemporary curating of design. She heads the School of Design Masters programme at Kingston University and is an advisory board member of New Design Magazine, the Design Journal and part of the Design Council’s Advisory Group Biennial.
She is the author or co-author of more than 11 books on such topics as the history of design, street style British Design in the 80s, the world’s leading product designers, furniture design and the work of British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood. She describes one of her most influential books, “Made in Britain: tradition and style in contemporary British fashion” as a natural extension of her continuing research into the modern-day British fashion scene. As part of her research Prof McDermott interviewed such fashion design icons as Alexander McQueen, Julian MacDonald and Vivienne Westwood, in an attempt to understand how these designers approach specific activities and practices such as tailoring, fabric selection and use, branding and accessories.
She is a director of the Curating Contemporary Design Research Group and is chair of the university’s prestigious Stanley Picker Gallery. Prof McDermott is also a member of the Design History Society, the Costume History Society, the National Art Collectors Fund and the Museums Association. She has worked as a consultant for, amongst others, the BBC Education Service, the Science Museum, the Design Museum, for the Victoria and Albert’s Twentieth Century Gallery Project and Granada Television (This Morning programme). She has lectured around the world in her subject and curated a number of exhibitions (ranging in content from a celebration of the life and times of Diana, Princess of Wales, through to an exhibition for the French luxury goods company Hermes and an exhibition for the Design Council) as well as regularly writing for a number of design magazines and journals.
She is currently working on a number of projects in China. She has previoulsy won a Bristish Council competition and her project Dreamlab launched in September 2009 to over 20 Chinese universities.
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Photograph credit: Tim Hawkins.