Online course

Pioneering Women in Design

Friday 25 February 2022 - Friday 1 April 2022

+44 (0)20 7942 2000

This course explores the significant contribution that women have made to movements in design, including the Arts and Crafts, Modernism, Mid Century Modern, Post Modernism and the pluralism of today.

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V&A Academy Online art history courses bring you all the richness and rigour of the V&A through an easy-to-use platform built with the latest Microsoft technology.

Learn wherever, whenever. With V&A Academy Online, you can log in to view lectures live and pose your questions in the Q&A, or view the recording later in your own time. Download lecture notes, copies of the slides, and additional study materials from our secure learning environment. Then join the conversation: share your perspective with your fellow students, and support each other in your further enquiries outside of class time.

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Dr. Elisabeth Darby

Course Leader Dr. Elisabeth Darby

Lis Darby lectures on 19th, 20th and 21st century decorative arts, design and craft primarily at Sotheby’s Institute of Art where she was formerly Programme Director of the MA in Contemporary Design. Her book 'Re-Issue, Re-Imagine, Re-Make: Appropriation in Contemporary Furniture Design' was published by Lund Humphries in 2020.

I feel very privileged to benefit from such first rate scholarship. Whilst physically more constrained than usual, my mind has been let free to explore another age. Time travel made easy! Previous Online Course Participant

Course Overview

Throughout the twentieth century and into the new millennium, women have successfully navigated the traditionally male-dominated profession of design, working creatively in the fields of furniture, ceramics, glass, metalwork, textiles and interiors. Previously marginalised or disregarded, the contribution of Eileen Gray, Charlotte Perriand, Florence Knoll, Lucienne Day and Lucie Rie and many others is now recognised, just as the work of contemporary women designers such as Hella Jongerius and Zaha Hadid is widely celebrated. Drawing on the rich collections of the V & A and elsewhere, this course explores women’s achievements as designers and makers across a wide spectrum of decorative art and design objects.


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V&A Academy Online courses are built using the latest Microsoft software. Tune in to expert lectures live, or catch up later on demand. Download handouts and presentations. Join the discussion in a secure, closed class environment, wherever you are.

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Online course: Pioneering Women in Design

25 February 2022 - 1 April 2022


Need help enrolling? Talk to the admissions team:

+44 (0)20 7942 2000

Open 9.30 - 17.30, Monday to Sunday (closed 24-26 December)