About me




I am a design historian and broadcaster, specialist in exploring how design, and visual and material culture expand understanding of cultural history. I was consultant/curator to the National Treasures Project which culminated in a 4-part TV series for RTE1 and an exhibition at the National Museum of Ireland (2018) https://nationaltreasures.ie

Areas of expertise

My current research interests focus on the history of Irish design, graphic design, the visual culture of aviation and travel, and Irish philanthropic architecture.


design, graphic design, design history, cultural history, social history, design theory, tourism, aviation, material culture, visual culture, architecture, philanthropy,

Member Details

Full Name

Linda King (Professional Historian)

Membership Type

Professional Historian



- PhD: Dublin City University (DCU), Design History/Irish Studies, Thesis Title: 'Traditions and Modernities – Aer Lingus and the Visualisation of Irish Identities 1951-1961'
- MA: National College of Art and Design (NCAD), Architectural / Social History, Thesis Title: 'Progressive Housing – the Development of Philanthropic Architecture in Ireland'
- BA: NCAD, Visual Communication Design / Art and Design History


I lecture in Design History and Visual Culture at IADT, Dublin (1999-), where I am also the co-Programme Chair of the BA (Hons) in Visual Communication Design (2013-).

I am currently a Visiting Scholar at the School of Irish Studies, Concordia University, Montreal and was previously a researcher and assistant curator at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, New York.

Consultancy work

I am/have been a design and historical consultant for a number of national and international organisations including:
- 2017-: Consultant/curator (Design and Social History): National Treasures (RTE1/NMI/EZ Films).
- 2017-: Consultant (Philanthropic Architecture): National Archives (UK).
- 2017-: External Examiner (Design History): School of Humanities, Royal College of Art, London.
- 2015: Contributor/Consultant (Design History): Designing Ireland (4-part TV programme), Newgrange Pictures/RTE.
- 2015: Advisor/Consultant (Design History and Education): Year of Design 2015 / Design and Crafts Council of Ireland.
- 2014-2018: External Examiner (Cultural and Critical Studies): University of Brighton.
- 2011-14: External Examiner (Design History and Visual Culture): NCAD.
- 2010-11: Consultant/Researcher (Design History and Education): to PIVOT (Dublin City’s bid for World Design Capital designation), Dublin City Council (Architect's Office).
- 2005-: Contributor (Design and Social History): RTE 1 (TV, Designing Ireland series); RTE Radio 1 (including The Business (Conor Brophy/Richard Curran); Countrywide (Damien O'Reilly), Inside Culture (Fionn Davenport); Arts Tonight (Vincent Woods); The History Show (Myles Dungan); Culture File (Luke Clancy); and the Marian Finucane Show).

Management & Administrative experience

I have over 25 years experience in design education. My current role includes the academic management and oversight of a highly successful undergraduate design programme that has been internationally praised and recognised. I have extensive experience in curriculum development and validation including the successful completion of programmatic and institutional reviews.


Undergraduate and Postgraduate: design history, visual and material cultures, regional modernisms, design professionalisation, contemporary design practices (all with a particular emphasis on Ireland and North America), philanthropic architecture (with a particular emphasis on Dublin).

Outreach activities

I regularly give public or invited lectures or conduct interviews. National lectures have included those at: the National Museum of Ireland; the Royal Irish Academy (for RTE’s Reflecting the Rising commemoration); the Royal Dublin Society (for the Irish Museums Association Annual Conference); the National Library of Ireland; the National Gallery of Ireland; the National Print Museum; the National Craft Gallery, Kilkenny; Dublin City Gallery; the Irish Museum of Modern Art; the Royal Institute of Architects in Ireland; Temple Bar Studios and Gallery; the Guinness Storehouse (for Heritage Week); Parnell Summer School; Dublin City University; National University of Ireland, Maynooth; Trinity College Dublin; the National College of Art and Design; Dublin Institute of Technology; Cork Institute of Technology; the Bord Gais Energy Theatre (for the Offset annual creative festival).
International lectures have included those at: Concordia University, Montreal; the School of Visual Arts, New York; Aalborg University, Denmark; the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice, Poland; the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City.

Committees & Associations

- Member of the Board of the National Museum of Ireland (NMI)
- Chair of the Strategy and Development Committee (NMI),
- Member of the Canadian Association of Irish Studies
- Member of Editorial Board of the Canadian Journal of Irish Studies.
- Member Institute of Designers in Ireland (IDI).
- Member of the Kilkenny Design Workshops Legacy Committee.
- Member of AICA, the International Association of Art Critics (UNESCO affliate).
- Former member of the Editorial Board of Artefact (the journal of the Irish Association of Art Historians).
- Former member of the Editorial Board of Iterations (the journal of the IDI).


- 2018: Visiting Scholar, School of Irish Studies, Concordia University, Montreal
- 2011: IDI Eye, Award for Outstanding Contribution to Irish Design
- 2010: Publications Award, Design History Society

Other activities

Conference and symposium organisation include:
2017: Transdisciplinary Practice (collaborations across design, architecture and art), Oonagh Young Gallery, Dublin.
2013-: Under-graduate Research Symposium, IADT, Dublin.
2012: Small Histories (design history), National Library.
2011: Wolfgang Weingart (design practitioner and educator), Dun Laoghaire.
- : Rick Poynor (design critic and historian), IADT.
2003: On The Edge? Design and Material Culture In and Of Ireland, conference, IADT.
- : Art Spiegelman (graphic novelist), Liberty Hall.



- Linda King and Oonagh Young (eds.) Transdisciplinary Practice: Images, objects and discourse across creative contexts (Dublin, 2017).
- Linda King and Elaine Sisson, Ireland, Design and Visual Culture; Negotiating Modernity, 1922-1992 (Cork, 2011).

Book Chapters

- '(Re)imagining communities: cara magazine and negotiation of Irish identity, 1997–2017', in Gisela Holfter, Bettina Migge (eds), Ireland in the European Eye, Royal Irish Academy (Dublin, 2019).
- Art + Industry = Design in Linda King and Oonagh Young (eds.) Transdisciplinary Practice: Images, objects and discourse across creative contexts, Oonagh Young Gallery (Dublin, 2017).
- 'Particles of Meaning’: The Modernist Afterlife in Irish Design in Paige Reynolds (ed.), Modernist Afterlives in Irish Literature and Culture, Anthem Press (London/New York, 2016).
- 1953 – Cloak and gown, by Sybil Connolly in Fintan O'Toole (ed.) Modern Ireland in 100 Artworks, Royal Irish Academy (Dublin, 2016).
- 1955 – Aer Lingus summer timetable, by Guus Melai in Fintan O'Toole (ed.) Modern Ireland in 100 Artworks, Royal Irish Academy (Dublin, 2016).
- A Sense of Place: Icons as Wayfinding in Adrian Shaughnessy, Lance Wyman: The Monograph, Unit Editions (London, 2015).
- Design professionalization, political economy and educational reform (1940–79)' and Evolving and emergent forms (1980–2000) in Design and Material Culture in Twentieth Century, Vol. V, The Art and Architecture of Ireland (Yale/Dublin, 2014).
- Philanthropic Industrial Housing in Architecture 1600-2000, Vol. IV, The Art and Architecture of Ireland (Yale/Dublin, 2014).
- ‘‘Guinness is Good for You”: Experiments in Workers’ Housing and Public Amenities by the Guinness Brewery and Guinness/Iveagh Trust, 1872-1915 in Laurence M Geary and Oonagh Walsh and (eds.), Philanthropy in Nineteenth-Century Ireland (Dublin, 2015).
- Lance Wyman: Visual Poet in Ekaterina Alvarez Romero (ed.), Lance Wyman: Mexico, Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo/Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (México City, 2014).
- (De)Constructing the Tourist’s Gaze: Dutch Influences on Aer Lingus Tourism Posters, 1951-61 in King and Sisson (eds.) Ireland, Design and Visual Culture: Negotiating Modernity 1922-1992 (Cork, 2011).
- Materiality, Modernity and the Shaping of Identity (with Elaine Sisson) in King and Sisson (eds.) Ireland, Design and Visual Culture: Negotiating Modernity 1922-1992 (Cork, 2011).
- Irish Design: History, Context and Possibilities, 1900-2011 in Pivot, Dublin City Council (Dublin, 2011).

Peer Reviewed Journals

- ‘''A Sense of Ireland”: reflecting and refracting modernity in Irish culture’, in Gerry Smyth and Deaglán Ó Donghaile (eds.), Marginal Irish Modernisms, a special edition of the Irish Studies Review (Oxford, 2018).
- ‘Visual Shrapnel'​: Rethinking Irish Studies Through Visual Culture and Design Studies (with Elaine Sisson) in The Canadian Journal of Irish Studies, Vol. 38, Nos 1+2 (Montreal, 2015).
- Saints, Shamrocks and Signifying Practices: Aer Lingus and the Materialisation of Irish Catholic Identity in Eire/Ireland (Boston, 2011)

Other Journals

- Reform and Advocacy: The legacy of the Kilkenny Design Workshops (1963-1988) in Vernacular, Design and Crafts Council of Ireland (Kilkenny, 2013).

Published reports

- Karen Hennessy (ed.) Irish Design 2015: Making Design Matter, Design and Crafts Council of Ireland (Kilkenny, 2016).
- Dublin City Council (ed.), Pivot: Dublin's Bid for World Design Capital Designation (Dublin, 2011).

Electronic Publications

- ‘National Treasures: on Ireland's design history’, RTE Culture (online at: https://www.rte.ie/culture/2018/0410/953478-national-treasures-linda-king-on-irelands-design-history/ (2018)


- Eileen Gray: Her Life and Her Work (book review), Canadian Journal of Irish Studies (2017).
- Futurismo 1909-2009: Velocità + Arte + Azione and F.T. Marinetti = Futurism (exhibition reviews), Design and Culture, 2:3, 343-348, Berg (2011).
- Airworld: Design and Architecture for Air Travel (book review), Design Issues, 26:2, Spring, MIT Press (2010).

- I am also a peer reviewer for many Irish and international publishers on design history, art history, visual and material cultures and education. I have also extensive experience as an editor for academic publications.