Learning Conversation

An Evening with Sarah Greenwood and Katie Spencer

Join award winning Production Designer Sarah Greenwood and Set Decorator Katie Spencer in conversation with curator Danielle Thom.

What to expect

Seven-time Oscar nominees Sarah Greenwood and Katie Spencer have worked together on over thirty projects including the much-celebrated set design for the Barbie film. Their creative vision brought delight and magical charm to the world of the fashion doll. They explored the essence of playfulness, toying with scale, perspective, colour and texture to brilliant, absurd effect.

Greenwood and Spencer started work in theatre and TV and have gone on to work on the set design of many stunning films including Pride and Prejudice, Atonement, Anna Karenina and Beauty and the Beast.

They will meet with Design Museum curator Danielle Thom to discuss their impressions of Barbie®: The Exhibition, insights into the design and craft of world-building for cinema, the role of play in their creative process, the secret of sustaining a long-term creative collaboration and much more besides.

This conversation is part of an ongoing series with leading contemporary designers and makers.

Barbie The Movie. Photo by Jaap Buitendijk and Warner Bros

Barbie The Movie. Photo by Jaap Buitendijk and Warner Bros

Pride and Prejudice. Photo by Alex Bailey

Pride and Prejudice. Photo by Alex Bailey

Belles' bedroom. Concept by Karl Simon Gustafsson

Cottage. Concept by Jo Bush

Darkest Hour, Buckingham Palace


Sarah Greenwood

Greenwood is a seven-time Academy Award nominated and eight times BAFTA nominated Stage and Production Designer, nominations that she has shared with her close collaborator Katie Spencer. Recent acknowledgements include their work on Barbie, Darkest Hour and Beauty and the Beast. She has been nominated and awarded for The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Pride and Prejudice, Atonement and Anna Karenina. Sarah worked on Amy Winehouse’s biopic Back to Black and she is an Honorary Fellow of the UAL.

Katie Spencer

Spencer is a British set decorator who has been recognised for her work on a wide range of films. She moved from theatre into television where she met Sarah Greenwood. Together, they were bestowed with the annual Honorary Fellowship by the National Film and Television School. Spencer also serves on the Executive Committee for Production Design at the Academy of Motion Pictures (AMPAS) which will be hosting an exhibition in 2025 showcasing Katie and Sarah’s collaborative history.

Danielle Thom

Thom is a curator, writer, broadcaster, and lecturer with a dual focus on contemporary craft and design, and eighteenth-century sculpture and decorative arts. Currently Curator at the Design Museum and Curator of Barbie®: The Exhibition, Danielle was previously Curator of Making at the Museum of London and an assistant curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum. She is a BBC New Generation Thinker, and the recipient of an Art Fund New Collecting Award.

Booking information

Adult: £20
Concession: £16
Members*: £15

*Please note that this benefit only applies one individual cardholding Member’s ticket and not those of additional guests.

– This event will have British Sign Language interpretation.

– There will be a hearing loop at this event.

Tickets are non-refundable and non-exchangeable. Visit our terms & conditions page for further information.

What's on

Talks, events and workshops

Join our inspiring learning programme to discover more about design from leading experts in the industry.

Background image: Katie Spencer and Sarah Greenwood photographed by Yellow Belly.