About: Deborah Sugg Ryan

Design & cultural historian

Professor Deborah Sugg Ryan (University of Portsmouth) joined the university in 2016 as Professor of Design History and Theory and Associate Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries.

Her current research focuses on houses, interiors and domestic design. She is an experienced broadcaster for television and radio, and is series onscreen contributor and historical consultant for the BBC Two television series A House Through Time, on which she advises and presents segments on the history of the domestic interior and material culture.

She wrote and presented the 5-part series Trading Spaces (Whistledown Productions) for BBC Radio 4 in 2021.

Deborah is currently researching the past, present and future of the kitchen, which will result in a monograph contracted to Reaktion Books.

Her monograph Ideal Homes, 1918-39: Domestic Design and Suburban Modernism (Manchester University Press, 2018) was awarded the 2020 Historians of British Art Book Prize for Exemplary Scholarship in the Period after 1800 and was also shortlisted for the 2019 Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain Alice Davis Hitchcock Medallion. It was republished in a new trade edition in 2020 as Ideal Homes: Understanding the Design and History of the Interwar House with a new introduction on researching house history.

House History Show presentations

On Saturday 15 May at 10.15 am series consultant Prof Deborah Sugg Ryan from the BBC TV series A House Through Time will be co-presenting the keynote with research consultant Melanie Backe-Hansen: ‘Keynote: A House Through Time’.

Deborah will also be participating in the chats and plenary Q&A through the Saturday.

On Thursday 10 June, 6.30 pm, design & cultural historian Prof Deborah Sugg Ryan will present ‘The Interwar House: From Tenant to Home Owner’, a presentation in the summer lecture series.

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Find Deborah Sugg Ryan online

Deborah Sugg Ryan's books

Deborah's titles include:

Ideal homes: Uncovering the history and design of the interwar house


Ideal Homes, 1918–39: Domestic Design and Suburban Modernism (Studies in Design and Material Culture)

@HouseHistoryHr – tune in to #HouseHistoryHour every Thursday at 7pm GMT/BST, co-hosted by Deborah and a group of fellow leading house historians for House History news, advice & information.