Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Design

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Christine Atha

Lecturer in Art, Design and Cultural History

0113 343 3800

Room 1.75, Clothworkers’ Central

Office hours: Tuesday

BA, Hull; MA, Royal College of Art; PhD, Royal College of Art

I am a lecturer, researcher and curator in the fields of contemporary art and design, material culture and aesthetics.

My research explores working class taste, the discourses of value and improvement in British design culture and the relationship between politics, class and taste.The work looks at the aesthetic and social assumptions that underpin the promotional and interpellative literature of design reform in its address to ‘the indiscriminating public’. My PhD dealt with approaches to the aesthetic education of the working class in the UK during the period 1937 – 1947 and was entitled “Coals in the Bath: Taste, the Working Class and the Literature of Design Reform in Britain, 1937 – 1947”.

Before joining the School I was Tutor in Critical and Historical Studies in the Humanities Department at the Royal College of Art, and before that was Associate Professor of Design History at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Prior to moving to Chicago  I was Senior Lecturer in Cultural Studies at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design.

In addition to my employment in Higher Education I have also worked in a number of museums including Tate Britain, the Design Museum and the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. I am also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA).

Biography

 

I am a lecturer, researcher and curator in the fields of contemporary art and design, material culture and aesthetics.

My research explores working class taste, the discourses of value and improvement in British design culture and the relationship between politics, class and taste.The work looks at the aesthetic and social assumptions that underpin the promotional and interpellative literature of design reform in its address to ‘the indiscriminating public’. My PhD dealt with approaches to the aesthetic education of the working class in the UK during the period 1937 – 1947 and was entitled “Coals in the Bath: Taste, the Working Class and the Literature of Design Reform in Britain, 1937 – 1947”.

Before joining the School I was Tutor in Critical and Historical Studies in the Humanities Department at the Royal College of Art, and before that was Associate Professor of Design History at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Prior to moving to Chicago  I was Senior Lecturer in Cultural Studies at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design.

In addition to my employment in Higher Education I have also worked in a number of museums including Tate Britain, the Design Museum and the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. I am also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA).

Teaching

DESN1820 Design History: 1900 to the Present day

DESN1815 Material Culture and Mass Consumption

DESN2285 &2295 Research Methods 1 and 2

DESN2465 Class, Taste and Society: Interpreting Designed Objects

DESN2475 The Condition of Things: Curating, Critical Writing and Designed Objects

 

Responsibilities

Deputy Director of Student Education

Publications

Conference papers

  • Atha CO (2015) Shopping in the Design Museum: curating, collecting and shopping for design. Retailing and Distribution History

  • Atha CO (2015) The Aroma of Bad Taste: the atmosphere of the Working Class home and its representation in the Literature of Design Reform.. Atmospheres

  • Atha CO (2015) Representing Everyday British Leisure Lives. Recording Leisure Lives: Places and Spaces of Leisure in 20th Century Britain

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