Whiskey section at Farm and Factory Exhibition, Northern Ireland. Festival of Britain 1951.
Dr Harriet Atkinson joined the Design Archives as Faculty Fellow in 2010. As the first Fellow to be nominated by the Design Archives, her expertise and research profile achieves a strong fit with a range of research interests across the Faculty and with the resources of the University of Brighton Design Archives particularly.
Dr Atkinson’s AHRC-funded doctoral research was completed at the Royal College of Art and Victoria & Albert Museum’s joint history of design department and entitled: Imaginative Reconstruction: Designing Place at the Festival of Britain, 1951. Supervised by Professor Jeremy Aynsley and Professor David Crowley, and examined by Professor David Matless and Professor Barry Curtis, the doctorate was awarded in 2007. She is in the final stages of writing a book entitled: The Festival of Britain: a land and its people (with a foreword by Mary Banham, to be published by IB Tauris in 2012), which draws extensively on the holdings of the Design Archives. She is contributing one of ten essays to Townscapes of Modernity, edited by John Pendlebury, Erdem Erten and Peter Larkham (Routledge, forthcoming).
Recently, she has acted as consultant curator to the South Bank Centre on the ‘Museum of 1951’, an exhibition marking the 60th anniversary of the Festival of Britain. She is organizing a study day on the Festival to be held at the Royal Festival Hall on Sunday 4th September 2011. She will give the paper ‘”All through the land”? The topographies of the Festival of Britain’ at The 1951 Festival of Britain in the Regions and Nations in Huddersfield on 15th September 2011.
Dr Atkinson has written articles and reviews for a range of publications, including Midcentury magazine and Design and Culture and has contributed to a BBC Radio 3 documentary on the Festival to be broadcast in June. She presented a paper about Design Research Unit
at a recent seminar at Tate St Ives.
She is part of the interview team for the Viva Voices
oral history project.