Dr Kasia Jezowska

Dr Kasia Jezowska

University of Oxford, DPhil History, 2019

Kingston University & Design Museum, MA Curating Contemporary Design, 2010

University of Łódź, Poland, MA History of Art, 2008

Associate Fellow of The Higher Education Academy (UK), 2017

Arts,Design & Architecture
School of Art & Design

I am a historian, and at the centre of my research is the design history of Eastern Europe. In particular, I am interested in the political role of design in the 20th and 21st centuries as part of projects of international diplomacy. In 2019 I joined the University of New South Wales in Sydney as a Lecturer (US. Assistant Professor) in Design History and Theory, where, together with Livia Lazzaro Rezende, I have been responsible for a comprehensive programme in the history and theory of design. Before this, I worked as an Associate Lecturer at the University of the Arts, the University of Hertfordshire, and as a Visiting Lecturer at the Royal College of Art, London.

My current book project, tentatively titled Socialist by design. Statecraft, industry, and the national style in Cold War Poland, argues that industrial exhibitions and trade fairs were powerful tools that the state employed to present itself vis-a-vis other countries as a socialist yet distinctly unique country. It expands on my doctoral project (University of Oxford, 2019), which examined the role of design, craft and architecture in imagining ‘modern Poland’ in the three post-war decades.

My scholarly interest in design diplomacy has developed in parallel to my curatorial practice. Over the last fifteen years I collaborated on exhibition projects and public programming with design industry partners, governmental bodies and cultural institutions. I developed thematic exhibitions and temporary displays for the London Design Festival, Milan Design Week, Istanbul Design Week and Victoria and Albert Museum, London. In 2018 I curated Back to Front: Polish Exhibitions on Show, a thematic exhibition for the Triennale Design Museum in Milan which recontextualised historical material to make it relevant for the contemporary audiences.

My new project Coal Nations and Carbon Cultures continues this investigation into the political potential of industrial exhibitions, placing coal at the forefront of this inquiry. By examining the complex relationship between natural resources, industrial products and national identity, the project seeks to explain both Poland’s and Australia’s longstanding reliance on this increasingly problematic material resource.

UNSW Art &Design Arts, Design & Architecture Office F218F Paddington Campus Crn Oxford Street & Greens Road Sydney NSW 2021
  • Book Chapters | 2018
    Jezowska K, 2018, 'News from Elsewhere. The reception of Polish design abroad after 1989', in Frejlich C (ed.), Z drugiej strony rzeczy : polski dizajn po roku 1989 = The other side of things : polish design after 1989, Kraków Muzeum Narodowe w Krakowie, Kraków, pp. 92 - 102, http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/1038456116
  • Journal articles | 2022
    Jeżowska K, 2022, 'Book Review: Designing One Nation: The Politics of Economic Culture and Trade in Divided Germany by Katrin Schreiter', Journal of Contemporary History, vol. 57, pp. 832 - 834, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/00220094221083479e
    Journal articles | 2018
    Jezowska K, 2018, '‘The Optimum Imperative: Czech Architecture for the Socialist Lifestyle, 1938-1968’ by Ana Miljacki', Journal of Design History, vol. 31, pp. 298 - 300, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jdh/epy025

UNSW The Associate Dean of Research Philanthropic grant, 2021 UNSW Faculty Research Grant, 2019 Design History Society research and conference grants, 2018, 2016, 2015 and 2012 Arts and Humanities Research Council grant for the doctoral research, 2015–17 Student Travel and Research (STAR) Grants, St Antony’s College, 2018 and 2016 The Centre for East European Language-Based Area Studies Internship grant, the National Museum, Warsaw, 2015 Oxford Noble Foundation scholarship, 2014 Polish Culture around the World grant, The Adam Mickiewicz Institute, 2014 and 2012 Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage Scholarship, 2012

I have collaborated with design festivals, museums and galleries on developing public engagement programmes such as presentations, gallery talks, educational activities etc. I also curated several thematic exhibitions and contributed to accompanying publications. You can read more about my curatorial outputs in the Publication section on the right.


National Design Histories, BA DDES1200

Global Design Discourses, BA DDES1201

Positions in Design, BA DDES2200

Making of Design Culture, BA DDES3200

Design History and theory, MA SAHT9143