Gareth Williams is Head of the Department of Design in the School of Art and Design and Professor of Design, appointed in January 2016. His teaching and research interests are in contemporary design practices (mostly related to furniture and related product design), and particularly how they are represented in museums.
Gareth graduated from Hull University with a Drama and English BA Hons degree, followed by a Russian Studies MA from Sussex University. In 2016 he gained his PhD from Kingston University with the title 'Towards a Theory of Performative Design, writing about design and designers since 1990'.
He began his career as a curator of twentieth century and contemporary furniture and product design at the Victoria and Albert Museum where he curated several innovative contemporary design exhibitions and published extensively about aspects of contemporary design.
In 2009 Gareth moved to the Royal College of Art as Senior Tutor in the world-renowned Design Products programme, and from 2013 as Reader in Design Curating.
Since 2011 Gareth has been a trustee of the Gabo Trust for Sculpture Conservation, and from 2016 a member of the advisory board for MoDA, the Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture at Middlesex University.
Senior Tutor, Design Products and Reader in Design Curating
Royal College of Art
Curator, Department of Furniture, Textiles and Fashion
Victoria and Albert Museum, London
I am particularly interested in the ways in which new design practices emerge from higher education and how they are received and represented by cultural arbiters, for example in museums, or act as agents of cultural diplomacy. In 2010 I co-authored a successful bid for two research studentships to the AHRC around this subject, Emerging Design Practice, paradigms and parameters.
With colleagues at Kingston University I am engaged with an ongoing research project about the future of graduate art and design exhibitions (degree shows); who they are for, how they serve their stakeholders, and how new art and design disciplines are represented.
I submitted four outputs for the REF2014; two monographs, a chapter and an exhibition. I am part of the supervision team for various research students examining aspects of contemporary design practice and design history.