Update you browser

For the best experience, we recommend you update your browser. Visit our accessibility page for a list of supported browsers. Alternatively, you can continue using your current browser by closing this message.

Dr Barbara Brownie is a design theorist who considers the relationship between clothes and the body, most recently concentrating on the dressed body in microgravity.

As Assistant Dean (Education) in the School of Communication, Barbara joined the RCA to implement the new MA model within the School and across the RCA.

Barbara’s research is often interdisciplinary, straddling the disciplines of fashion, product design, film and television, and engineering. She is concerned with the temporal and behavioural aspects of the relationship between the body and designed objects, particularly dress. She also considers how these behaviours are represented on screen.

Her most recent monograph, Spacewear: Weightlessness and the Final Frontier of Fashion, considers the behaviour of clothes and the dressed body in microgravity, and identifies key considerations for design for weightless environments. This research has been the basis for several student/staff collaborations and student projects. Working with the UK Space Agency and Blue Abyss astronaut training teams, Barbara led projects on the theme of microgravity design for students on Fashion, Interior Architecture and Product Design programmes.

Alongside design theory, Barbara also conducts pedagogical research. In 2020, she curated an exhibition entitled Educator/Maker that examined the dual identity of academics in the creative arts as educators and makers, and showcased artefacts produced by lecturers in the process of teaching. She has also explored creative arts students’ approaches to academic reading across several projects including Reading Hacks (2018–19).