University of Brighton Design Archives

Collections • Collaboration • Research

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Doctoral Research

Thinking about doctoral study in an area related to Design Archives’ resources and staff expertise? We welcome enquiries about joining the distinctive student cohort currently supervised by Design Archives’ academics whose unique approach integrates design and art historical scholarship, archival and curatorial practice, and professional engagement. The rich seams of design resources available to inspire cross-disciplinary research relate to a wide range of topics:

International and national design organisations and the representation of the professions; museum and exhibition display; design practice and collaborative design processes; émigré designers and designer networks; communication design; design education, criticism and journalism; archives in contemporary culture; design curatorship; design and business history; archives and the digital humanities.

Lesley Whitworth and Sue Breakell supervise doctoral projects, working closely with other staff within the School of Arts & Humanities, across the University and cross-sector. Please get in touch if you would like to discuss a project idea with us

Current and recent projects

Martha Beard

Cross-Community Oral History, Post-Conflict Geography and Conflict Resolution at West Belfast Interfaces

Liz Bruchet

Archives and Curatorial Practices: Mapping their Entanglements

Supervisors:    Sue Breakell     Annebella Pollen     Catherine Moriarty

Dora Souza Diaz

Representing the graphic design profession on the world stage: a history of the International Council of Graphic Design Associations

Tania Messell

Promoting Industrial Design on the World Stage: The International Council of Societies of Industrial Design, 1957-1980

Supervisors:  Prof Jeremy Aynsley    Dr Lesley Whitworth

Tom Wilson

Design Strategies and the Representation of the Commonwealth: From Institute to Museum

Supervisors:  Dr Catherine Moriarty – University of Brighton,  Dr Helen Charman – Design Museum,  Dr Anita Rupprecht – University of Brighton,  Donna Loveday – Design Museum

Louise Dennis

A Matter of Material: Plastics in museums in the 21st century

Supervisors: Dr Louise Purbrick     Dr Lesley Whitworth

Jane Shepard

Discourses in Design Education: perspectives on design and the secondary school curriculum, 1988-2012

Supervisors: Dr Lesley Whitworth    Prof Avril Loveless

Jonathan Brown


The retailing, promotion and reception of modern Scandinavian furnishings, 1955-1975, in ten British locations

Supervisors: Dr Lesley Whitworth    Prof Jonathan Woodham

Leah Armstrong


Designing a Profession: The Structure, Image and Identity of the Design Profession in Britain, 1930-2010

Supervisors:  Catherine Moriarty   Prof Jonathan Woodham    Frank Peters, CEO, Chartered Society of Designers

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