About the Speaker:
Jane Pavitt is the Dean of the School of Humanities at the Royal College of Art in London. She is a design historian with a specific interest in post-1945 architecture, design and politics. She is also a design curator, and was Principal Research Fellow at the V&A Museum until 2010, where she co-curated a series of exhibitions including Cold War Modern: Design 1945-70 and Postmodernism: Style and Subversion 1970-90. She is currently working on the role of design in the state sector in Britain, and in particular on Cold War cultures of expertise in science, technology and design.
This lecture will examine the ways in which design and architecture were utilised in the creation of the British Welfare State after 1945, and through the period of political consensus until the 1970s. It will explore how far ideas of scientific rationalism, technocracy and ‘systems thinking’ underpinned design in the service of health, housing and education during this period; what forms of ‘experimental’ thinking were applied, and to what end. In particular, it will consider how architecture and design interacted with the cultures of expertise (in planning, policy and science, for example) shaping the postwar public realm.
**** All interested are welcome ****