A multi-disciplined career within the design sector as a company director, designer, lecturer, design PR consultant and education project manager have provided a context for Emma’s teaching career in Higher Education. Emma established the first contemporary furniture design store in the North East, domus, and secured exclusive regional contracts for furniture and design with international designers and manufacturers including Vitra, Driade, E15, Alessi, Isokon Plus, Rosenthal and LSA (to name but a few), operating both as a retail facility and design service for architects and interior designers.
As Education Manager for a National Architecture Centre, the main premise for Emma’s work was primary research, concentrating on education and professional skills development within the built environment and design sector and developing projects which explored the value of engagement and participation in informing the live design process spanning architecture, interiors, urban and landscape design. Emma has taught at HE level since 2007, is currently employed as a full-time Senior Lecturer in Interior Design at Northumbria University and is studying for a PhD.
Whilst managing practice and research based education projects, Emma joined Northumbria University as a visiting lecturer in October 2013. She became a full time Senior Lecturer in April 2014. Emma’s main engagement is with Year 1 students, focusing on the initial development and application of key skills and design understanding. Emma teaches across all 3 undergraduate year groups, is Year 1 tutor and has responsibility for Admissions. Emma’s particular interest lies with the effective use of innovative research methodologies in driving design learning, education and projects.
Emma’s research has focused on the value of engagement and participation in the spatial design process – designing and trialing social science and spatial analysis methodologies to enhance the potential for people to inform design and for decision making professionals to better respond to the needs of the end user.
Emma is also interested in Design Higher Education advocacy and has designed and delivered cross-curricular education workshops across the region in both formal and informal settings, developing innovative projects to encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to explore architecture, design and the built environment through creativity, debate and events to embellish the national curriculum, develop industry recognised design skills and introduce young people to design careers, education and industry. This work has formed the premise of her PhD studies where she is exploring the transition of students from secondary school to Design Higher Education.