Clarke (BA, MA, PhD) is Senior Tutor in the School of Humanities at
the Royal College of Art and Visiting Professor in Design History and Theory
at the University of Applied Arts, Vienna. After studying design history
at first degree level, she went on to gain a Distinction at MA level on
the V&A/RCA course in the History of Design. Subsequently, she received
her doctorate in Social Anthropology from the Department of Anthropology,
University College London working under the supervision of Professor Daniel
Miller. After holding positions as Senior Lecturer at the University of
Brighton and University of Southampton, she joined the V&A/RCA course
team in 1999. Alison's special area of interest revolves around material
culture and consumption, with a particular focus on commodity cultures and
product design. Her sole authored book, Tupperware: The Promise of Plastic
in 1950s America (Smithsonian Institution Press, 1999), based on research
conducted during her tenure as a Smithsonian Fellow, charts the design process
and mass consumption of an everyday artefact in the context of the cultural
politics of post-war America. She has contributed to several edited volumes
in the fields of material culture and consumption studies (including Home
Possessions: Material Culture Behind Closed Doors (Berg 2001), ed. D.
Miller and Consuming Motherhood (Rutgers 2002) ed. L. Layne and J. Taylor,
as well as numerous conferences.
She is a member of the editorial boards for Journal of Visual Culture
in Britain and the Journal of Consumer Culture. As a contributing
scholar to the Centre, she will conduct the focused Study Setting up
Home - An Investigation into the Contemporary Construction of the Domestic.