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Personal profile

Research and Innovation interests

Lara has twenty years professional experience working internationally across many art and design disciplines. This extensive cross-disciplinary professional experience directly informs Lara’s teaching, with a primary interest in developing new pedagogic approaches to non-discipline specific problem solving. Lara’s research interests have emerged directly from her professional practice and academic experience within Higher Education. Her PhD study explored evolving design practice and design education in the 21st Century. The study examined the processes of internationally renowned UK design studios and the implications for design education and support policy. Studios included Ron Arad Associates, Heatherwick Studio, Punchdrunk, Jason Bruges Studio and Assemble. She is Course Director for the new Art and Design with Creative Technologies course at Birmingham City University.

Lara has worked within a wide range of design studios, as well as running her own studio and working as a freelance designer. Projects range from experimental devised theatre to multi-million pound events. Studios include Imagination, Event Communications and DEGW Architects. Clients include The Imperial War Museum, V&A Museum, The Field Museum (Chicago), Eureka! Children’s Museum, Ten Chimneys Foundation (Wisconsin), Ericsson, Barclays, BBC, Coca Cola, Schweppes and Grosvenor Estate Holdings. Award-winning and high profile projects include: ‘The Half - Photographs of Actors by Simon Annand’ for The Theatre Museum (V&A Museum) awarded ‘Best Exhibition on a Limited Budget’ at the Museums & Heritage Awards in 2006, and ‘Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne: A Life on Stage’ at the Ten Chimneys Foundation awarded National Historic Landmark status. Alongside her commercial design work, Lara has designed over 20 theatre productions. Starting as resident designer for Cook County Theatre Department in Chicago, Lara has gone on to design in a wide range of theatres including The Performing Garage (New York), The Goodman Theatre (Chicago), Chapter Arts (Cardiff), Battersea Arts Centre and The Gate (London). In 2000 Lara was nominated for an Arts Foundation Fellowship in Theatre Design by Simon McBurney.


Education/Academic qualification

Doctorial Degree, PhD, Beyond Discipline: Positioning Design Practice and Education for the 21st Century

1 Sept 201431 Mar 2020

Award Date: 31 Mar 2020

Supervised by
  • Green, Lawrence

Masters of Fine Arts, 7.5: Masters Degree - Taught (Non-EU Institution), School of the Art Institute of Chicago

1 Sept 199230 Jun 1994

Award Date: 30 Jun 1994

Bachelors Degree, BA (Hons), Three Dimensional Design, Manchester Metropolitan University

Award Date: 30 Jun 1992


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