Professor Penny Sparke

School: School of Critical Studies and Creative Industries
Position: Acting Dean and Professor of Design History & Director, Modern Interiors Research Centre

Biography

Penny Sparke, a Professor of Design History and Director of the Modern Interiors Research Centre, Kingston University, graduated from the University of Sussex in 1971 with a BA (Hons) in French Literature. She was awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in Education in 1972 and from 1972–1975 she studied for a doctorate at Brighton Polytechnic (awarded 1975). Her thesis was entitled Theory and Design in the Age of Pop.

Since 1975 she has taught the History of Design to undergraduate and postgraduate students at Brighton Polytechnic and, from 1981 to 1999, at the Royal College of Art. She has also, since that time, worked in the field of late nineteenth and twentieth century Design History and has lectured, curated exhibitions, broadcast and published widely in that broad field both in the UK and overseas In addition to her numerous articles and book chapters her single authored books include An Introduction to Design and Culture, 1900 to the present (1986, new editions 2004 and 2013); Japanese Design (1986); Design in Context (1987); and Italian Design (1988). In 1995 she published As Long As It's Pink: The Sexual Politics of Taste. A special interest has been the meaning of design within the context of consumption and its relationship with gender and identity and, from the mid 1990s, she has focused her attention on the subject of the 'interior'. In 2005 she published a monograph entitled, Elsie de Wolfe and the Birth of Modern interior Decoration, and her book, The Modern Interior, was published in June 2008.

Professor Sparke has represented the History of Design on the Arts and Humanities Research Board and has been a member of two AHRC funded research project advisory boards. She also represented the discipline in her role as a member of the History of Art, Architecture and Design sub-panel for the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise and the Art and Design: History, Theory, Practice sub-panel for the 2014 Research Excellence Framework.

She has also supervised and examined research students across a wide range of topics within twentieth-century design and culture.

Professor Sparke is an Honorary Senior Fellow of the Royal College of Art.

Research groups & programmes

Research supervision


Publications

Number of items: 66.

Article

Sparke, Penny (2009) Film Review of 'The Truman Show', Peter Weir (1998). Design and culture: the journal of the Design Studies Forum, 1(2), pp. 231-233. ISSN (print) 1754-7075

Sparke, Penny (2009) Book Review of 'The design culture reader' edited by Ben Highmore. Journal of design history, 22(2), pp. 191-193. ISSN (print) 0952-4649

Sparke, Penny (2009) Exhibition Review of 'Choosing the chintz'. Blueprint, p. 69. ISSN (print) 0268-4926

Sparke, Penny (2008) The modern interior revisited. Journal of Interior Design, 34(1), v-xii. ISSN (print) 1071-7641

Sparke, Penny (2008) Interior decoration and Haute Couture: links between the developments of the two professions in France and the USA in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries - a historiographical analysis. Journal of design history, 21(1), pp. 101-107. ISSN (print) 0952-4649

Sparke, Penny (2008) Mobility history from a design historian's perspective: the T2M conference, 2007. The Journal of Transport History, 29(1), pp. 131-135. ISSN (print) 0022-5266

Sparke, Penny (2008) Book Review of 'Designing liners: a history of interior design afloat' by Anne Wealleans. Studies in the Decorative Arts, 16(1), pp. 156-158. ISSN (print) 1069-8825

Aynsley, Jeremy , Kirkham, Patricia and Sparke, Penny (2008) Issues in interior design history: guest editors' introduction. Studies in the Decorative Arts, 16(1), pp. 3-6. ISSN (print) 1069-8825

Sparke, Penny (2006) Book Review of: 'Frances Elkins: interior design' by Stephen M. Salny. Journal of Design History, 19(3), pp. 263-266. ISSN (print) 0952-4649

Sparke, Penny (2005) Book Review of : 'Le corbusier: architect and feminist' by Flora Samuel. Journal of Design History, 18(2), pp. 216-218. ISSN (print) 0952-4649

Sparke, Penny (2004) Studying the modern home. The Journal of Architecture, 9(4), pp. 413-417. ISSN (print) 1360-2365

Sparke, Penny (2003) The 'ideal' and the 'real' interior in Elsie de Wolfe's The house in good taste of 1913. Journal of design history, 16(1), pp. 63-76. ISSN (print) 0952-4649

Sparke, Penny (2000) Always in good taste: the enduring legacy of Elsie de Wolfe. Harvard Design Magazine(11), pp. 16-20. ISSN (print) 1093-4421

Sparke, Penny (1998) The straw donkey: tourist kitsch or proto-design? Craft and design in Italy, 1945-1960. Journal of Design History, 11(1), pp. 59-69. ISSN (print) 0952-4649

Massey, Anne and Sparke, Penny (1985) The myth of the Independent Group. Block(10), pp. 48-56. ISSN (print) 0143-3245

Book

Massey, Anne and Sparke, Penny, eds. (2013) Biography, identity and the modern interior. Farnham, U.K. : Ashgate. 216p. ISBN 9781409439448

Black, Jonathan , Falkner, David , Fisher, Fiona , Lloyd, Fran , Preston, Rebecca and Sparke, Penny, eds. (2013) Picker House and collection: a late 1960s home for art and design. London, U.K. : Philip Wilson. 211p. ISBN 9781781300053

Sparke, Penny , Massey, Anne , Keeble, Trevor and Martin, Brenda, eds. (2009) Designing the modern interior: from the Victorians to today. Oxford, U.K. : Berg. 311p. ISBN 9781847882882

Miller, R. Craig , Sparke, Penny and Mcdermott, Catherine (2009) European design since 1985: shaping the new century. London, U.K. : Merrell Publishers Ltd. 271p. ISBN 9781858943404

Sparke, Penny (2009) Japanese design. New York, U.S.A. : Museum of Modern Art. 144p. (MoMA Design Series) ISBN 9788874394920

Sparke, Penny (2009) The genius of design. London, U.K. : Quadrille Publishing Limited. 256p. ISBN 9781844007530

Sparke, Penny (2008) The modern interior. London, U.K. : Reaktion Books. 240p. ISBN 9781861893727

Sparke, Penny , Martin, Brenda and Keeble, Trevor, eds. (2006) The modern period room : the construction of the exhibited interior 1870 to 1950. London : Routledge. 196p. ISBN 9780415374705

Sparke, Penny (2005) Elsie de Wolfe: the birth of modern interior decoration. New York, USA : Acanthus Press. 372p. ISBN 0926494279

McKellar, Susie and Sparke, Penny, eds. (2004) Interior design and identity. Manchester, UK : Manchester University Press. 218p. ISBN 0719067294

Sparke, Penny (2004) An introduction to design and culture: 1900 to the present. 2nd ed. London, UK : Routledge. 280p. ISBN 0415263352

Martin, Brenda and Sparke, Penny, eds. (2003) Women's places: architecture and design 1860-1960. London, UK : Routledge. 178p. ISBN 0415284481

Sparke, Penny (2002) A century of car design. London, UK : Mitchell Beazley. 256p. ISBN 1840004037

Sparke, Penny (1995) As long as it's pink: the sexual politics of taste. London, U.K. : Pandora. 275p. ISBN 0044409230

Book Section

Sparke, Penny (2014) Ettore Sottsass and critical design in Italy, 1965-1985. In: Lees-Maffei, Grace, (ed.) Made in Italy: rethinking a century of Italian design. Bloomsbury Academic. ISBN 9780857853882

Sparke, Penny (2013) The Picker House interior. In: Black, Jonathan , Falkner, David , Fisher, Fiona , Lloyd, Fran , Preston, Rebecca and Sparke, Penny, (eds.) The Picker House and collection: a late 1960's home for art and design. London, U.K. : Philip Wilson. pp. 47-70. ISBN 9781781300053

Penner, Barbara and Rice, Charles (2013) The many lives of Red House. In: Massey, Anne and Sparke, Penny, (eds.) Biography, identity and the modern interior. Farnham, U.K. : Ashgate Publishing Ltd. pp. 23-35. ISBN 9781409439448

Black, Jonathan , Fisher, Fiona and Sparke, Penny (2012) Leisure interiors in the work of the Camden Town Group. In: Bonett, Helena , Holt, Ysanne and Munday, Jennifer, (eds.) The Camden Town Group in context. London, U.K. : Tate.

Sparke, Penny (2012) At home with modernity: the new domestic scene. In: Breward, Christopher and Wood, Ghislaine, (eds.) British design from 1948: innovation in the modern age. London, U.K. : V&A Publishing. pp. 120-137. ISBN 9781851776740

Sparke, Penny (2012) The international impact of Finnish design, 1945-67. In: Savolainen, Jukka and Svenskberg, Aila, (eds.) Builders of the future: Finnish design 1945-67. Helsinki, Finland : Designmuseo. pp. 8-19. ISBN 9789529878802

Sparke, Penny (2011) Furnishing the aesthetic interior: manuals and theories. In: Galloway, Stephen and Orr, Lynn Federle, (eds.) The cult of beauty: the aesthetic movement 1860-1900. London, U.K. : V&A Publishing. pp. 124-133. ISBN 9781851776283

Sparke, Penny (2011) Taste and the interior designer. In: Kleinman, Kent, (ed.) After taste: expanded practice in interior design. New York, U.S.A. : Princeton Architectural Press. ISBN 9781616890261

Sparke, Penny (2010) Designing 'taste': domestic consumption, modernism and modernity. In: Mattsson, Helena and Wallenstein, Sven-Olov, (eds.) Swedish modernism: architecture, consumption and the welfare state. London, U.K. : Black Dog Publishing Limited. pp. 112-121. ISBN 9781906155988

Sparke, Penny (2010) Framing the modern woman: Elsie de Wolfe, from clothes horse to interior decorator. In: Myzelev, Alla and Potvin, John, (eds.) Fashion, interior design and the contours of modern identity. London, U.K. : Ashgate Publishing Limited. pp. 205-224. ISBN 9780754669159

Sparke, Penny (2009) From production to consumption in twentieth-century design. In: Aynsley, Jeremy and Atkinson, Harriet, (eds.) The Banham lectures: essays on designing the future. Oxford, U.K. : Berg. pp. 127-141. ISBN 9781847883025

Sparke, Penny (2009) General introduction. In: Sparke, Penny , Massey, Anne , Keeble, Trevor and Martin, Brenda, (eds.) Designing the modern interior: from the Victorians to today. Oxford, U.K. : Berg. pp. 1-10. ISBN 9781847882882

Sparke, Penny (2009) Introduction. In: Sparke, Penny , Massey, Anne , Keeble, Trevor and Martin, Brenda, (eds.) Designing the modern interior: from the Victorians to today. Oxford, U.K. : Berg. pp. 67-78. ISBN 9781847882882

Sparke, Penny (2009) Introduction. In: Sparke, Penny , Massey, Anne , Keeble, Trevor and Martin, Brenda, (eds.) Designing the modern interior: from the Victorians to today. Oxford, U.K. : Berg. pp. 146-158. ISBN 9781847882882

Sparke, Penny (2009) Italy's new domestic landscape, 1945-1972. In: Sparke, Penny , Massey, Anne , Keeble, Trevor and Martin, Brenda, (eds.) Designing the modern interior: from the Victorians to today. Oxford, U.K. : Berg. pp. 183-193. ISBN 9781847882882

Sparke, Penny (2009) The LC4 chaise longue by Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand, 1928. In: Candlin, Fiona and Guins, Raiford, (eds.) The object reader. London, U.K. : Routledge. pp. 480-482. ISBN 9780415452304

Sparke, Penny (2008) The crafted interior: Elsie de Wolfe and the construction of gendered identity. In: Alfoldy, Sandra and Helland, Janice, (eds.) Craft, space and interior design, 1855-2005. Aldershot, U.K. : Ashgate Publishing Limited. pp. 123-138. ISBN 9780754657064

Sparke, Penny (2008) A modern decorator in the French tradition. In: Black, Jonathan and Martin, Brenda, (eds.) Dora Gordine; sculptor, artist, designer. London, UK : Philip Wilson. pp. 145-161. ISBN 9780856676444

Sparke, Penny (2006) Ettore Sottsass, a modern Italian designer. In: Labaco, Ronald T., (ed.) Ettore Sottsass: architect and designer. London, UK : Merrell Publishers. pp. 11-31. ISBN 1858943205

Sparke, Penny (2004) The domestic interior and the construction of self: the New York homes of Elsie de Wolfe. In: McKellar, Susie and Sparke, Penny, (eds.) Interior design and identity. Manchester, UK : Manchester University Press. pp. 72-91. (Studies in design) ISBN 0719067286

Sparke, Penny (2003) Elsie de Wolfe and her female clients, 1905-15: gender, class and the professional interior decorator. In: Martin, Brenda and Sparke, Penny, (eds.) Women's places: architecture and design 1860-1960. London, U.K. : Routledge. pp. 47-68. ISBN 0415284481

Sparke, Penny (2003) Introduction. In: Martin, Brenda and Sparke, Penny, (eds.) Women’s places: architecture and design 1860-1960. London, U.K. : Routledge. pp. ix-xx. ISBN 041528449x

Sparke, Penny (2001) A modern identity for a new nation: design in Italy since 1860. In: Baranski, Zygmunt G. and West, Rebecca J., (eds.) The Cambridge companion to modern Italian culture. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press. pp. 265-281. (Cambridge companions to literature) ISBN 9780521550345

Sparke, Penny (2000) Arco lamp: Achille Castiglioni, 1962. In: Albus, Volker , Kras, Reyer and Woodham, Jonathan M., (eds.) Icons of design!: the 20th century. Munich, Germany : Prestel Verlag. pp. 130-131. ISBN 3791323067

Sparke, Penny (2000) Brionvega radio TS-502: Marco Zanuso and Richard Sapper, 1964. In: Albus, Volker , Kras, Reyer and Woodham, Jonathan M., (eds.) Icons of design!: the 20th century. Munich, Germany : Prestel Verlag. pp. 134-135. ISBN 3791323067

Sparke, Penny (2000) Cookware to cocktail shakers: the domestication of the aluminium object in the United States, 1900-1939. In: Nichols, Sarah, (ed.) Aluminum by design. Pittsburgh, U.S. : Carnegie Museum of Art. pp. 112-139. ISBN 0810967219

Sparke, Penny (2000) Hill House chair: Charles Rennie Mackintosh, 1904-08. In: Albus, Volker , Kras, Reyer and Woodham, Jonathan M., (eds.) Icons of design!: the 20th century. Munich, Germany : Prestel Verlag. pp. 16-17. ISBN 3791323067

Sparke, Penny (2000) Mr Chair: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, 1927. In: Albus, Volker , Kras, Reyer and Woodham, Jonathan M., (eds.) Icons of design!: the 20th century. Germany, Muich : Prestel Verlag. pp. 44-45. ISBN 3791323067

Sparke, Penny (2000) Tizio table lamp: Richard Sapper, 1972. In: Albus, Volker , Kras , Reyer and Woodham, Jonathan M., (eds.) Icons of design!: the 20th century. Munich, Germany : Prestel Verlag. pp. 144-145. ISBN 3791323067

Sparke, Penny (2000) Vespa motor scooter: Corradino d'Ascanio, 1946. In: Albus, Volker , Kras, Reyer and Woodham, Jonathan M., (eds.) Icons of design!: the 20th century. Munich, Germany : Prestel Verlag. pp. 88-89. ISBN 3791323067

Kirkham, Pat and Sparke, Penny (2000) "A woman's place..."?: women interior designers 1900-1950. In: Kirkham, Pat, (ed.) Women designers in the USA 1900-2000; diversity and difference. New Haven, USA : Yale University Press. pp. 305-316. ISBN 0300093314

Sparke, Penny A (1996) Convenience and pleasantness: Josef Frank and the Swedish modern movement in design. In: Stritzler-Levine, Nina, (ed.) Josef Frank, architect and designer: an alternative vision of the modern home. New York, U.S.A : Yale University Press. pp. 118-127. ISBN 0300068999

Conference or Workshop Item

Sparke, Penny (2014) Elsie de Wolfe: a professional interior decorator. In: Society of Architectural Historians 67th Annual Conference; 09-13 Apr 2014, Austin, Texas, U.S.. (Unpublished)

Sparke, Penny (2009) Design and its history: from modernism to postmodernism. In: Design for the future - the future of design; 03 - 04 Jun 2009, Umea, Sweden. (Unpublished)

Sparke, Penny (2008) Domesticity in post 1945 England and the role of sculpture in the home. In: Sculpture in the home; 05 Dec 2008, Leeds, U.K..

Sparke, Penny and Simmons, Paul (2008) Lampshades, curtains, atoms and insects. In: From atoms to patterns; 24 Apr-10 Aug 2008, London, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Sparke, Penny and Mom, Gijs (2007) The female touch in mobility design and its history. In: 5th jubilee conference on the history of transport, traffic & mobility: heritage & design; 25-28 Oct 2007, Helmond, The Netherlands. (Unpublished)

This list was generated on Tue Jan 10 04:22:41 2017 GMT.
Penny_Sparke_4C20841.jpg
Front cover British design from 1948: innovation in the modern age (London, U.K.: V&A Publishing, 2012)
Penny_Sparke_3RK0750.jpg
Front cover Fashion, interior design and the contours of modern identity (London, U.K.: Ashgate Publishing Ltd, 2010)
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Front cover Designing the Modern Interior: from the Victorians to today (Oxford, U.K.: Berg, 2009)