Fields of Research (FoR)Design history, theory and criticism, European history (excl. British, classical Greek and Roman), Cultural studies, Visual cultures
I am a historian, and at the centre of my research is the design history of Eastern Europe. In particular, I am interested in the political role of design in the 20th and 21st centuries as part of projects of international diplomacy. In 2019 I joined the University of New South Wales in Sydney as a Lecturer (US. Assistant Professor) in Design History and Theory, where, together with Livia Lazzaro Rezende, I have been responsible for a...view more
I am a historian, and at the centre of my research is the design history of Eastern Europe. In particular, I am interested in the political role of design in the 20th and 21st centuries as part of projects of international diplomacy. In 2019 I joined the University of New South Wales in Sydney as a Lecturer (US. Assistant Professor) in Design History and Theory, where, together with Livia Lazzaro Rezende, I have been responsible for a comprehensive programme in the history and theory of design. Before this, I worked as an Associate Lecturer at the University of the Arts, the University of Hertfordshire, and as a Visiting Lecturer at the Royal College of Art, London.
My current book project, tentatively titled Socialist by design. Statecraft, industry, and the national style in Cold War Poland, argues that industrial exhibitions and trade fairs were powerful tools that the state employed to present itself vis-a-vis other countries as a socialist yet distinctly unique country. It expands on my doctoral project (University of Oxford, 2019), which examined the role of design, craft and architecture in imagining ‘modern Poland’ in the three post-war decades.
My scholarly interest in design diplomacy has developed in parallel to my curatorial practice. Over the last fifteen years I collaborated on exhibition projects and public programming with design industry partners, governmental bodies and cultural institutions. I developed thematic exhibitions and temporary displays for the London Design Festival, Milan Design Week, Istanbul Design Week and Victoria and Albert Museum, London. In 2018 I curated Back to Front: Polish Exhibitions on Show, a thematic exhibition for the Triennale Design Museum in Milan which recontextualised historical material to make it relevant for the contemporary audiences.
My new project Coal Nations and Carbon Cultures continues this investigation into the political potential of industrial exhibitions, placing coal at the forefront of this inquiry. By examining the complex relationship between natural resources, industrial products and national identity, the project seeks to explain both Poland’s and Australia’s longstanding reliance on this increasingly problematic material resource.
UNSW The Associate Dean of Research Philanthropic grant, 2021 UNSW Faculty Research Grant, 2019 Design History Society research and conference grants, 2018, 2016, 2015 and 2012 Arts and Humanities Research Council grant for the doctoral research, 2015–17 Student Travel and Research (STAR) Grants, St Antony’s College, 2018 and 2016 The Centre for East European Language-Based Area Studies Internship grant, the National Museum, Warsaw, 2015 Oxford Noble Foundation scholarship, 2014 Polish Culture around the World grant, The Adam Mickiewicz Institute, 2014 and 2012 Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage Scholarship, 2012
University of Oxford, DPhil History, 2019
Kingston University & Design Museum, MA Curating Contemporary Design, 2010
University of Łódź, Poland, MA History of Art, 2008
Associate Fellow of The Higher Education Academy (UK), 2017
My Research Supervision
Areas of supervision
I am available for supervision and welcome applications from MA and PhD candidates interested in design history, theory and criticism; Cold War culture; history of Eastern Europe; exhibitions histories.
I have collaborated with design festivals, museums and galleries on developing public engagement programmes such as presentations, gallery talks, educational activities etc. I also curated several thematic exhibitions and contributed to accompanying publications. You can read more about my curatorial outputs in the Publication section on the right.
National Design Histories, BA DDES1200
Global Design Discourses, BA DDES1201
Positions in Design, BA DDES2200
Making of Design Culture, BA DDES3200
Design History and theory, MA SAHT9143