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Grace Lees-Maffei

Reader in Design History, University of Hertfordshire

Grace Lees-Maffei is Reader in Design History in the School of Creative Arts at the University of Hertfordshire where she leads the TVAD Research Group in its work on relationships between text, narrative and image, Programme Director for the Professional Doctorate in Heritage (DHeritage) in the School of Humanities and Chair of the University's Researcher Development Working Group. She is Managing Editor of the Journal of Design History, Advisory Board member for AIS/Design Storia e Ricerche, Journal of the AIS/Design (Associazione italiana degli storici del design) and for The Poster (Intellect) and Series Editor for Writing Visual Culture and a member of the AHRC's Peer Review College.

Lees-Maffei was Visiting Professor of Design History and Theory for the MA Design Cultures, Vrije University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands and Visiting Professor of Design and Culture, Doctoral Program on Design, IADE-U Institute of Art Design and Enterprise – University, Lisbon, Portugal.

Her books are Designing Worlds: National Design Histories in an Age of Globalization (Berghahn 2016); Made in Italy: Rethinking a Century of Italian Design (Bloomsbury Academic 2014); Design at Home: Domestic Advice Books in Britain and the USA since 1945 (Routledge 2014); Iconic Designs: 50 Stories about 50 Things (Bloomsbury 2014); Writing Design: Words and Objects (Berg 2012) and The Design History Reader (Berg 2010). Her research is published in journals including Design Issues, Design and Culture, Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, Women's History Review, Modern Italy and the Journal of Design History.


  • –present
    Reader in Design History, University of Hertfordshire


  • 2005 
    University of Portsmouth, PhD Design History