The Festival

The Design Film Festival is part of a collaborative programme between HEAD-Genève, Parsons The New School and Kingston School of Art, led by Alexandra Midal, Ulrich Lehmann and Jana Scholze. The online festival consists of a platform that is jointly hosted by the Design Museum and the Institut Français du Royaume-Uni starting on 11 September 2020. We are also grateful for the support from the Embassy of Switzerland. The Design Film Festival is intended for creative practitioners across art and design practice, who are interested in storytelling, conceptual thinking, visual and material studies.

Our Team

The Design Film Festival is curated by the students from MA Curating Contemporary Design, Kingston University in partnership with the Design Museum, London. 

MA Curating
Contemporary Design

Film Festival Format Group
(Research/ Festival Structure/ Programme/ UX)

  • Misato Ehara
  • PinChieh Pan (Patina)
  • Jongkyun Kim
  • Mufan Zhang (Cobalt)

Film Festival Exhibition Group
(Research/ Conceptualize/ Structure/ Exhibition Design)

  • Weihan Chen
  • Shilpa Sivaraman
  • Haiyan Zhou (Chloe)
  • Sophie James
  • Jiaying Ke (Jo)
  • Zekun Wang (Chris)
  • Meilin Wang (May)

Film Festival Public Programme Group
(Research/ Programme/ Organization/ Execution)

  • Carmel Wilkinson-Ayre
  • Rosalita Baldassin
  • Lara Machado
  • Virgilio Paricio De Castro 

Project Manager
(Task Management/ Time Management/ Budgeting)

  • Ruth Mitchell

Film Festival Marketing Group
(Research/ Organization/ Content Design/ Execution)

  • Carmel Wilkinson-Ayre
  • Haiyan Zhou (Chloe)
  • Mufan Zhang (Cobalt)
  • Rosalita Baldassin
  • Lara Machado

Website Designers
(Backend Programming /Visual Design)

  • Trojans Collective

Course Leader

  • Dr Jana  Scholze
  • Dr Donna Loveday

Pre-selection committee

Donna Loveday
Donna Loveday is Course Leader for MA Curating Contemporary Design at the Design Museum, London and an independent curator. Formerly Head of Curatorial at the Design Museum, Donna has over twenty years’ experience curating headline exhibitions and creative programmes. In 2013 she curated the acclaimed exhibition, Hello, My Name is Paul Smith, which has since toured to twelve international museum venues, and co-authored the accompanying book. Before joining the Design Museum, Donna was Exhibitions Manager at the British Film Institute and Exhibition Organiser at Barbican Art Gallery. In January 2019 Donna was awarded a PhD from Kingston University for a thesis entitled: Curating Design: Context, Culture and Reflective Practice, 1980 – 2018. She is currently working on a book exploring the practice of curating design, to be published by Bloomsbury in 2021.

Ulrich Lehmann
Ulrich Lehmann studied philosophy, sociology and the history of art in Frankfurt am Main, Paris and London. His research interests can be grouped in a couple of areas: the histories of ideas and of material culture in Europe from the 1780s to 1850, and the meaning and materiality of contemporary design. His role as Associate Professor in Design Practice and Theory at The New School connects projects, disciplines and approaches across departments and develops inclusive models for contemporary art and design practice and research.

Misato Ehara
Misato Ehara is a former Gensler Strategist, graduating with a master’s degree in Curating Contemporary Design with a focus on theatrical approaches to engage audience in both an online and offline setting. Misato is a member of the pre-selection committee of the Design Film Festival (TDFF) and in charge of designing User Experience for the TDFF’s website and the festival.

Jana Scholze
Jana Scholze is a design curator. She is Associate Professor at the Kingston School of Art in London heading the MA Curating Contemporary Design in collaboration with the Design Museum. She is a Fellow at the Victoria and Albert Museum where she has been previously the Curator of Contemporary and Modern Furniture and Product Design working on acquisitions and exhibitions, such as ‘What is Luxury?’ (2015). Her transdisciplinary research covers questions around formats of interaction and contemporary design practice engaging with society, technology and the environment. She is a member of the AHRC’ Peer Review College, and a member of the board of the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg and the Stanley Picker Gallery in London.

Alexandra Midal
Professor in design at HEAD – Geneva, Alexandra Midal combines a curating and research activity in design and visual culture. Among others, she has curated: Tomorrow Now: When Design meets Science-Fiction, Pop-Corn: Film & Design, Eames in Hollywood, etc. in museums worldwide. Since 2009, she makes experimental films : Hocus Pocus: Twilight in My Mind, Politique-Fiction, Villa Frankenstein ; Domestic Psycho, Possessed, etc. and in 2019, she had her first solo show at CAPC, Museum of Contemporary art, Bordeaux (France). She is currently making a film about the shakers cult and feminism. 

She is the director of the Invisible Film Festival, an International festival of experimental films by designers occurring in a different city every two years: NY, Geneva, Istanbul,… 

Her last book Design by Accident: For a New History of Design  (Sternberg Press) explores the expanded nature of design, and she is currently working on her next book on Films & Design. 

For more , see


Sumitra Upham
Sumitra Upham is a London-based curator working at the intersection of art, design and technology. She was appointed Curator of Programmes for the 5th Istanbul Design Biennial titled Empathy Re-Visited: Designs for more than one opening in October 2020, led by Mariana Pestana, with Billie Muraben. She is currently Senior Curator of Public Programmes at the Design Museum in London where she is responsible for programming, residencies and temporary projects. Previously, Sumitra was Associate Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, where she curated educational projects and exhibitions including Radical Disco: Architecture and Nightlife in Italy, 1965 – 1975 in collaboration with Dr Catharine Rossi, See Red Women’s Workshop and Shout Out! UK Pirate Radio in the 1980s. Prior to this, Sumitra was part of the exhibitions team at White Cube, London.

Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme
Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme work together across a range of sound, image, text, installation and performance practices. Their practice is engaged in the intersections between performativity, political imaginaries, the body and virtuality. Across their works they probe a contemporary landscape marked by seemingly perpetual crisis and an endless ‘present’, one that is shaped by a politics of desire and disaster. They have been developing a body of work that questions this suspension of the present and searches for ways in which an altogether different imaginary and language can emerge that is not bound within colonial/capitalist narrative and discourse. In their projects, they find themselves excavating, activating and inventing incidental narratives, figures, gestures and sites as material for re-imagining the possibilities of the present. Often reflecting on ideas of non-linearity in the form of returns, amnesia and deja vu, and in the process unfolding the slippages between actuality and projection (fiction, myth, wish), what is and what could be. Largely their approach has been one of sampling materials both existing and self-authored in the form of sound, image, text, objects and recasting them into altogether new ‘scripts’. The result is a practice that investigates the political, visceral, material possibilities of sound, image, text and site, taking on the form of multimedia installations and live sound/image performances.

Matali Crasset
matali crasset is an industrial designer who triggers the norms and social codes that rule everyday life, as with her iconic object the “Column of hospitality”, also called “When Jim Goes to Paris”. To give more freedom and experimentation to the users of her designs, she has developed a set of new typologies articulated around several key-notions such as modularity, re-appropriation and flexibility and has conceived objects and environments that reject the form for its own sake. Her design comes from ongoing research that relies on hypotheses and experimentations. She collaborates with various artists and creative industries, from handicraft to electronic music, from scenography to furniture, and from graphic design to interior architecture, and architecture. Her work has gained worldwide recognition since the 1990’s.


The Design Museum
The Design Museum is the world’s leading museum devoted to contemporary architecture and design. Its work encompasses all elements of design, including fashion, product and graphic design. Since it opened its doors in 1989 the museum has displayed everything from an AK-47 to high heels designed by Christian Louboutin. It has staged over 100 exhibitions, welcomed over five million visitors and showcased the work of some of the world’s most celebrated designers and architects including Paul Smith, Zaha Hadid, Jonathan Ive, Frank Gehry, Eileen Gray and Dieter Rams. On 24 November 2016, The Design Museum relocated to Kensington, west London. Leading architect John Pawson converted the interior of a 1960s modernist building to create a new era for the Design Museum.

About the Institut français du Royaume-Uni
Part of a worldwide network, the Institut français du Royaume-Uni promotes the best of French culture and language. Founded in 1910 and based in South Kensington in London, it comprises a Language Centre, two cinemas, a multi-media library, and a restaurant. In addition, the Institute presents and supports external events throughout the UK, in collaboration with British partners, particularly in the realms of creative industries, visual and performing arts. Among a UK-wide French network comprising an Institute in Edinburgh and 11 Alliances Françaises, it develops Franco-British educational and cultural projects throughout the country.