History of Design

V&A/RCA History of Design

Heads of programme

Dr Sarah Teasley
Simona Valeriani
Dr Sarah Teasley & Dr Simona Valeriani

The V&A/RCA History of Design programme is internationally recognised as the leading centre for the postgraduate study of the history of design. We teach and research cultural, social, economic, political and technological history through artefacts and our interactions with them, with projects and expertise ranging across global geographies, from the early fifteenth century to the present day.


V&A/RCA History of Design events


Open days

Student info

Programme video

Student stories

  • Juliana Kei

    Juliana Kei

    I’m now in my second year of research at the Royal College of Art, after which I’ll do a transfer exam to move onto PhD. My topic is the British architect Theo Crosby, who co-founded an interdisciplinary design firm called Pentagram. I wanted to do the research within the History of Design programme instead of an architectural history or theory programme, because it allows me to ask questions that are more cross-disciplinary.

  • Hollie Chung

    Hollie Chung

    Before I came to the Royal College of Art, I studied History of Art at the University of York. I’d done specialised modules in Italian Renaissance art history and was unsure what to do next. All the Master’s degrees I was looking into had a very traditional art historical approach – they all seemed a bit old-fashioned and stale. By chance, I came across the V&A/RCA History of Design programme. I’d never heard of it before, so I asked my undergraduate tutors and they told me the programme had a great reputation.

  • Jennifer Wong

    Jennifer Wong, MA History Of Design, 2010-12

    I was always interested in objects but had studied the history of art, which is really only just fine art and paintings and nothing else. Then one of the professors on my BA, Sarah Teasley, had moved to the Royal College of Art. She taught art history but incorporated a history of design method, which I thought was interesting. 

  • Emily Candela

    Emily Candela, PhD History Of Design, 2011-present

    I did two masters degrees – one in fine art and the other in Goldsmithing, Silversmithing and Jewellery, which I continued to do up until several years ago. In between I worked in gallery education and on various art projects. Then I did an MRes London Consortium multi-disciplinary programme.



Our sites


  • History of Design
    Stevens Building
    2-6 Jay Mews
    London SW7 2EU

  • +44 (0)20 7590 4482