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Personal profile


Francesca Lanz is Assistant Professor of Interior Architecture at the Department of Architecture and the Built Environment.
She joined Northumbria in September 2022. Before this Francesca was Senior Lecturer of Interior Architecture and Design at the University of Lincoln (2021-2022), Lecturer of Interior Architecture and Exhibition Design at Politecnico di Milano (2015-2020) and she held research posts at Newcastle University (Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellow, 2019-2022) and at the Politecnico di Milano (Research Fellow, 2010-2015). She has been guest lecturer and visiting scholar at different European Universities including Newcastle University School of Arts and Cultures (Visiting Researcher, 2022-2023) and at the University of Amsterdam School for Heritage, Memory and Material Culture (Visiting Scholar 2017-2018). Francesca holds a MSc in Architecture and PhD in Interior Architecture and Exhibition Design both awarded magna cum laude by Politecnico di Milano and the Italian National Scientific Qualification as Associate Professor of Architecture / Interior Architecture awarded by ANVUR (National Agency for the Evaluation of University and Research) in 2018.

Research interests

My background is in architecture, characterised by primary expertise in interior studies. My academic expertise lies at the intersection of different fields, ranging from interior architecture, museum and exhibition design, to museum and heritage studies, with a particular interest on the potential intertwinements between different disciplinary approaches, theories and practices. My research activity develops across these areas, and it notably revolves around the role of the built environment and museums in contemporary societies, with key attention to neglected heritages and difficult memories and stories as evident in my interest in cities, museums and migration and the adaptive reuse of sites of difficult history including prisons and asylums.

On these topics, I have a wide track record of publications, international research funding success, impact, and collaborative working. I have over a decade of experience in developing and working on cutting-edge funded research projects in the field of architecture and heritage. Among these I contributed as Co-Investigator and Dissemination Leader for the the collaborative research projects MeLa (EU-FP7, 2011–2015) on museums and migration, and TRACES (EU-H2020, 2016-2019) on contentious heritage and creative co-productions; I have been Co-Principal Investigator for the collaborative research project en/counter/points (HERA, 2019–22) on public spaces in a time of migrations, and Principal Investigator for the research project ReMIND (MSCA-IF, 2019–22)  an interdisciplinary study on the adaptive reuse of former asylums into "mind museums".
Alongside these and other funded research programmes, I have been involved in several design-based research projects, and I have been appointed for scientific consultancies developing research-informed solutions to real-world problems, engaging with external stakeholders and contributing to stakeholder-focused knowledge exchange. These include a consultancy for the adaptive reuse and musealisation of the former prison at Fornelli for the Parco Nazionale dell'Asinara (2018-2019); a scientific consultancy on the "City museums global mapping and definition" special project by CAMOC, the International Council of Museums committee for city museums (2020-2023); the participation as a designer in a pilot study supported by the Milan Municipality and UNICEF for the refurbishing of a primary school in Milan (2017-2018); and the design contribution in the project for the musealisation and adaptive reuse of the Marchiondi Institute in Milan, funded by the bank foundation CARIPLO (2009-2010). 

Further Information

I am a passionate and engaging teacher and I enjoy teaching both design and theory module across undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Over the past twelve years, I have led and developed studio- and lecture-based interior architecture modules at bachelors and masters level focusing in particular on adaptive reuse and housing spaces at the School of Architecture, Urban Planning, Construction, Engineering of the Politecnio di Milano and at the School of Design of the University of Lincoln University, and as guest lecturer at different European Universities. At Northumbria I contribute to teaching in theory modules and design studio for BA(Hons) in Interior Architecture Y1 and Y2.
I am member of the board of researchers of the Architectural Urban Interior Design doctoral programme (AUID) of Politecnico di Milano. I am used to supervising undergraduate and postgraduate students for dissertations and internships, post-doctoral research fellows and research associates within externally-funded research projects and I enjoy mentoring PhD Students.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

Education/Academic qualification

Architecture, Other Qualification, Italian Scientific Qualification as Associate Professor of Interior Architecture and Exhibition Design, ANVUR

Award Date: 8 Oct 2018

Architecture, PhD

30 Apr 200931 Dec 2099

Award Date: 30 Apr 2009

Architecture, MSc, Politecnico di Milano

Award Date: 14 Jul 2005

External positions

Newcastle University

May 2022May 2023


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