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This course introduces the unique challenges and possibilities of curating contemporary design, craft, and architecture.

It includes the perspectives of those who research and curate for some of the world’s leading institutions of architecture and design, as well as the designer-makers of the objects under interrogation and display.

The course will take both a practical and theoretical approach in order to provide students with the necessary tools to take their next steps in the field. Keynote speakers each day will be followed by facilitated discussion with workshop sessions. Students will pursue their own small research and curation project for the duration of the course, presenting their conclusions at the last session.

In addition to hearing from experts working in public institutions such as the V&A and the historic houses of the National Trust, the course will include sessions with those working in commercial environments and alternative settings such as the Venice Design Biennial or making the most of digital platforms. The course will also explore the role curation can play in addressing cutting-edge issues such as sustainability, diversity and representation.

This Intensive Course consists of live-streamed lectures and discussions. Recordings of the live sessions are accessible anytime during the course via our online learning platform, Canvas.

Students will learn:

  • The theoretical and practical concerns of contemporary curating
  • Approaches to curating contemporary design, craft and architecture
  • The different contexts within which curators work and the ecosystem of public and commercial institutions
  • How to work directly with designer-makers
  • To research and select objects for display with a defined set of objectives
The Details
  • Course Dates & Fees

    Course Dates & Fees

    April 7 - 16, 2021
    5:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. GMT
    (12:30 p.m. ET / 9:30 a.m. PT)
    Week 1: Wed-Fri
    Week 2: Mon-Fri
    Course Fee: £795.00 (£715, if registered by March 2, 2020)
    All online Intensive Courses are developed in London by Sotheby's Institute faculty, programming staff, and industry experts.
  • How It Works

    How It Works

    Our online Intensive Courses are designed to enrich and deepen your understanding of a specific art world subject in an accelerated and dynamic format. The courses are ideal for undergraduates, career changers, art professionals, and art lovers seeking to learn more about art and cultural history or to acquire specific knowledge/skills.
    Led by art professionals drawn from our global faculty, these courses provide participants with expert insight and practical skills through a combination of livestreamed lectures and group discussion. Course materials and lecture recordings can be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, via Sotheby’s Institute’s learning platform – Canvas. Canvas is an intuitive, self-contained environment that requires no additional software.
    Once you successfully complete the course, you will receive a verified Certificate of Completion from Sotheby’s Institute of Art. Our digital certificates allow you to share new skills with various social media platforms, including LinkedIn.
  • Who Is This Course For?

    Who Is This Course For?

    This course is designed for those who are looking to move into curation or have already undertaken some curatorial activity within a public or commercial setting and are looking to expand their knowledge and build their professional network.
  • Key Skills

    Key Skills

    Participants in this course will develop skills in the following areas:

    • Curatorial strategies

    • Collaboration

    • Creativity

    • Research and critical skills

    • Art Market debates

  • Faculty


    Matilda Pye is curator at the Queen’s House, Royal Museums Greenwich and a Paul Mellon, V & A Research Institute Public Engagement Fellow. She studied Fine Art, at the Ruskin School at the University of Oxford and the Jan Van Eyck Akedemie in Maastricht. She has worked with museums and galleries for over 15 years, including with Tate Britain, Tate Modern, the V & A and the National Portrait Gallery. Matilda has worked on a number of international projects with the British Council, building networks and collaborations with artists, curators, producers and cultural institutions in the Middle East, China, Russia and Uzbekistan. She co-edited with Dr. Linda Sandino, Artists Work in Museums: Histories, Interventions and Subjectivities (Wunderkammer Press, 2013).
    Joe Watson is Director of Professional Development Programs at Sotheby’s Institute of Art. In previous roles at the V&A and as Creative Director for the National Trust he commissioned and curated a number of interventions across locations including the modernist house 2 Willow Road, William Morris’s Red House and off-site, working with partners including the Royal College of Art, the Southbank Centre, UCL Slade and others to develop innovative strategies for presenting social histories and histories of architecture and design. He studied the History of Design at the University of Oxford and is a regular lecturer and occasional broadcaster.
  • Register


    Click here to register.

    This course is listed under the Intensive Course option in the online application. Online Intensive Courses are open to anyone 18 years of age and older. Registration takes approximately 5 minutes to complete.
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