Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Sugg Ryan
University of Portsmouth
Website URL
home, ideal home, Ideal Home Exhibition, Ideal Home Show, history of home, housing, history of housing, house history, home of the future, house of the future, suburbia, history of suburbia, kitchens, kitchen history, smart kitchens, food history, domestic design, interior design, pageants, pageantry, historical pageants, local pageants, national pageants, trade exhibitions, trade shows, commercial exhibitions, vintage fashion, vintage style, vintage brands, vintage subcultures, retro, retro fashion, retro style
Additional Contact Information
Please contact me by email or DM on Twitter

Personal Info

About Me

I am Professor of Design History and Theory and Associate Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries, University of Portsmouth. An experienced consultant and broadcaster for radio and television, I am series consultant and on-screen expert for the hit 2018 BBC2 series A House Through Time, whose second series will be broadcast in 2019 (

I am well-known for my work on the history of the design and decoration of the twentieth century home and am the recognised expert on the history of the Ideal Home show. I was on the editorial board of Adam Matthew Digital’s Trade Catalogues and the American Home ( I am currently writing a book on the history and future of the kitchen in Europe and the United States from 1850.

Having started my career as a curator for London’s Victoria & Albert Museum, I curated Ideal Homes for London’s Design Museum in 1992 and was on the advisory board for the V&A’s British Design, 1948-2012: Innovation in the Modern Age (2012) and have written a catalogue essay for the V&A’s forthcoming exhibition, Food (opens May, 2019) (

I have also written extensively on the history of historical pageants in Britain, the British Empire and north America.

My personal passion is vintage fashion, particularly from the 1940s and 1950s. I am a member of the panel of experts for Vintage Life magazine ( and I have a large collection of vintage clothes that I wear in my everyday life.


Recent Publications

‘From Smart Kitchen to Kitchenism’, in Food: Eating Tomorrow, ed. by C. Flood & May Rosenthal (V&A Publishing, forthcoming)

Ideal Homes, 1918-39: Domestic Design and Suburban Modernism (Manchester University Press, 2018)

‘The American kitchen, 1850-1950: from workroom to heart of the home’, Trade Catalogues and the American Home (Adam Matthew Digital, 2017)

‘Workshop of the World? Manufacturing the British Product’, in British Design from 1948: Innovation in the Modern Age, ed. by C. Breward & G. Wood (V&A Publishing, 2012)

‘Spectacle, the Public and the Crowd: Pageants and Exhibitions in 1908’, in  The Edwardian Sense: Art, Design and Spectacle in Britain, 1901-1910, ed. by M. Hatt, M. O’Neill, M. (Yale University Press, 2010)

Media Coverage
Laurence Llewellyn Bowen's History of Home (BBC Radio 4, 2008); Business Boomers: Hot Property, BBC Business for BBC2 (2014); A House Through Time, Twenty Twenty TV for BBC2 (series 1, 2018; series 2, currently in production)
Country Focus
United Kingdom
Expertise by Geography
British Isles, England, Ireland, North America, United Kingdom, Western Europe
Expertise by Chronology
19th century, Modern, 20th century, 21st century
Expertise by Topic
Art & Architectural History, Food History, Gender, Material Culture, Public History, Women, World War II