[Penny Sparke]


Profession: Design Historian

Date of birth: 6 November 1948
Place of birth: London, UK

Interviewer: Briony Salton
Location of recording: Professor Sparkeís office, Kingston University, Kingston-Upon-Thames, Surrey

Penny Sparke is Pro Vice-Chancellor(Arts) and Professor of Design History at Kingston University, London. She graduated in French Literature from Sussex University in 1971 and was awarded her doctorate, on the subject of British design theory and practice in the 1960s, in 1975. She taught the History of Design from 1972 to 1982 at Brighton Polytechnic and at the Royal College of Art in London from 1982 to 1999. She has published over a dozen books and numerous articles in the field of design history over the last twenty-five years with an emphasis, since the mid 1990s, on the relationship between design and gender. Her books include As Long as Itís Pink: The Sexual Politics of Taste (Pandora, London, 1995) and Elsie de Wolfe: The Birth of Modern Interior Decoration (Acanthus Press, New York, 2005). She is currently writing a book, for Reaktion Press, on the subject of the making of the modern interior. Professor Sparke is a Senior Fellow of the Royal College of Art and a Fellow of the Society of Arts.

Extracts have been selected by Linda Sandino with the consent of Penny Sparke.

19 July 2007
[Sparke Track 1] with audio extract about her background and the formation of the Design History Society
[Sparke Track 2] with audio extract about being a research student and subsequently lecturer at Brighton Polytechnic, now Brighton University
[Sparke Track 3]
[Sparke Track 4] with audio extract about publications while teaching at the Royal College of Arts

24 July 2007
[Sparke Track 5]
[Sparke Track 6]
[Sparke Track 7]
[Sparke Track 8] with audio extract about recent publications

Extracts selected by Linda Sandino

End of recording


Sparke, P., B. Martin, and T. Keeble. (2006). The Modern Period Room: The Construction of the Exhibited Interior, 1870 to 1950. New York: Routledge.
Sparke, P., E. De Wolfe, et al. (2005). Elsie de Wolfe: The Birth of Modern Interior Decoration. New York: Acanthus Press.
Sparke, P. (2004). An Introduction to Design and Culture: 1900 to the present. London: New York, Routledge.
McKellar, S. and P. Sparke (2004).Interior Design and Identity. Manchester [UK] and New York: Manchester University Press
Martin, B. and P. Sparke (2003). Women's Places: Architecture and Design 1860-1960. London and New York: Routledge.
Sparke, P. (2002). A Century of Car Design. Hauppauge, NY: Barron's Educational Series.
Sparke, P. (2001). Design Directory Great Britain. New York, NY: Universe Publishing.
Sparke, P. (2000). Design Lexikon Grossbritannien. KValn: DuMont.
Sparke, P. (1998). A Century of Design. Hauppauge, NY: Barron's Educational Series.
Sparke, P. (1995). As Long as it's Pink : The Sexual Politics of Taste. London: Pandora.
Sparke, P. (1993). The Plastics Age: From Bakelite to Beanbags and Beyond. Woodstock, N.Y., Overlook Press.
Sparke, P. (ed) (1990) The Plastics Age: From Modernity to Post-modernity. London: V&A Publications.
Sparke, P. (1990). Industrial Design or Industrial Aesthetics? American Influence on the Emergence of the Italian Modern Design Movement, 1948-58. The politics of power: Italy in the Cold War, Reading, Washington, DC.
Sparke, P. (1988). Design in Italy: 1870 to the Present. New York: Abbeville Press.
Sparke, P. (1987). Modern Japanese Design. New York: E.P. Dutton.
Sparke, P. (1987). Electrical Appliances: Twentieth-century Design. New York: E.P. Dutton.
Sparke, P. (1987). Design in Context. London, Bloomsbury.
Sparke, P. and Design Council. (1986). Did Britain Make It?: British design in context, 1946-86. London, Design Council.
Sparke, P. (1986). Domestic Furniture. London, Bell & Hyman.
Sparke, P. (1986). An Introduction to Design and Culture in the Twentieth Century. London and Boston: Allen & Unwin.
Sparke, P. (1986). Furniture. London: Bell & Hyman.
Sparke, P. (1986). Design Source Book. London: Macdonald.
Sparke, P. (1983). Consultant Design: The History and Practice of the Designer in Industry. London: Pembridge Press.
Sparke, P. and Design Council. (1982). Ettore Sottsass Jnr. London, Design Council.
Banham, R. (1981). Design by Choice. London: Academy Editions.

Sparke, P. (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): 101-107.
Sparke, P. (2008). "Mobility History from a Design Historian's Perspective: The T^2M conference, 2007." Journal of Transport History 29: 131-135.
Sparke, P. (2004). "Studying the Modern Home." Journal of Architecture 9(4): 413-18.
Sparke, P. (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): 63-76.
Sparke, P. (2002). "Amelia Peck and Carol Irish, Candace Wheeler: The Art and Enterprise of American Design, 1875-1900." Technology and Culture 43(4): 797.
Sparke, P. (2001). "Regina Lee Blaszczyk, Imagining Consumers: Design and Innovation from Wedgwood to Corning." Technology and Culture 42(2): 345-46.
Sparke, P. (1998). "The Straw Donkey: Tourist Kitsch or Proto-design? Craft and Design in Italy, 1945-1960." Journal of Design History 11(1): 59-69.
Sparke, P., O. Fillon, et al. (1997). "London, Paris, Milan." Domus 93-99.
Sparke, P. (1997). "London." Domus 792(April 1997): 94.
Sparke, P. (1996). "London design." Domus 782(May 1996): 49-53.
Sparke, P. (1995). "At the Margins of Modernism: The Cut-Crystal Object in the Twentieth Century." Bulletin- John Rylands University Library of Manchester 77(1): 31.
Sparke, P. (1991). "Michael English." Graphis 47(March/April): 48-57.
Sparke, P. (1991). "Attraction of opposites." Design Magazine 513(September 1991): 22-4.
Sparke, P. (1991). "Product Semantics and Visual Semiotics in Design." Design Magazine 515(November 1991): 66.
Sparke, P. (1986). "Casting from Nature." Crafts 79(March/April 1986): 39-41.
Sparke, P. (1985). "Breaking New Ground." Crafts 77(November/December 1985): 22-5.
Sparke, P. (1984). "In the Land of the Pink Microwave." Design Magazine 427(July 1984): 48-9.
Sparke, P. (1984). "Tokyo's Trendiest Chairs." Design Magazine 427(July 1984): 13.
Sparke, P. (1984). "Venturi's Unashamed Eclecticism." Design Magazine 430(October 1984): 11.

Sparke, P. (2006). "Frances Elkins (Book Review)." Journal of Design History 19(3): 263-6.
Sparke, P. (2005). "Le Corbusier (Book Review)." Journal of Design History 18(2): 216-8.
Sparke, P. (2003). "Henry James and the Art of Power (Book Review)." Fashion Theory 7(3/4): 429-431.
Sparke, P. (2002). "Ponti, a Janus-faced designer (Exhibition Review)." Domus 849(June 2002): 18-9.
Sparke, P. (2002). "Candace Wheeler (Book Review)." Technology and Culture 43(4): 797-8.
Sparke, P. (2001). "Design and Feminism: Re-Visioning Spaces, Places and Everyday Things (Book Review)." Feminist Theory 2(2): 255-256.
Sparke, P. (2001). "Imagining consumers (Book Review)." Technology and Culture 42(2): 345-6.
Sparke, P. (1999). "Designs on Modernity: Exhibiting the city in 1920s Paris (Book Review)." Art History 22(2): 324.
Sparke, P. (1997). "American Plastic: A Cultural History (Book Review)." Studies in the Decorative Arts 4(2): 110-11.
Sparke, P. (1994). "Moving Through Design: 15th Annual Conference of the Design History Society (Conference Review)." Design Magazine 542(February 1994): 46-7.
Sparke, P. (1994). "Women Designing: Redefining Design in Britain between the Wars (Exhibition Review)." Design Magazine 545(May 1994): 58.
Sparke, P. (1993). "Christopher Dresser (Book Review)." Design Magazine 534(June 1993): 46.
Sparke, P. (1992). "Ettore Sottsass (Book Review)." Design Magazine 517(January 1992): 52.
Sparke, P. (1990). "Designed in Germany since 1949 (Book Review)." Design Magazine 500(August 1990): 85.
Sparke, P. (1987). "Never mind the quality . . .? (Exhibition Review)." Design Magazine 465(September 1987): 62.
Sparke, P. r. (1986). "Pierre Chareau, Architect and Craftsman, 1883-1950 (Book Review)." Design Magazine 452
(August 1986): 42.
Sparke, P. (1985). "Chicago Furniture (Book Review)." Design Magazine 433(January 1985): 9.
Sparke, P. (1984). "Home-psych: The Social Psychology of Home and Decoration (Book Review)." Design Magazine 426
(June 1984): 19.
Sparke, P. (1984). "Machines to Make Wonder (Exhibition Review)." Design Magazine 429(September 1984): 13.
Sparke, P. (1984). "Cranbrook: A Vision Dimmed (Exhibition Review)." Design Magazine 431(November 1984): 23.