Personal profile


Driven by design, energised by the outdoors and motivated by spontaneous decisions, Julie has hybrid experience derived from a former career as a hospital doctor/ Wellcome Trust Research Fellow and a career change in 2003 to commercial interior design. Having worked on national and international interior and architectural projects in industry, this experience supported her transition to teaching when she joined Northumbria in 2009. Her roles since have included international admissions tutor, final year tutor and programme leader with collaborative research providing a healthy inquisitive balance with increasing significance. Drawing from her dual background, Julie’s initial research interests focused on spatial and architectural solutions to improve not only health outcomes and efficiency, but how our designs can also support compassion, dignity and empathy when designing for our final days. More recently, having co-run the Open Studio Programme at the Bauhaus, Dessau in 2018 and 2020, this has prompted an interest in pedagogical research, looking specifically at proxemics for learning. Julie is currently collaborating with the research academy at the Bauhaus to develop this strand of research further.

Research interests

Julie has had varied, yet interconnected research interests. In earlier collaborations with JDDK Architects, they set out to identify, evaluate and disseminate good evidence-based practice in hospice design, presenting 'Designing with care: Hospice design since 1980' at Professional Practices in the Built Environment, Reading (2017), which in turn supported her involvement with the EPSRC-funded research project “Ongoingness” in which digital practices were explored that enable a continued sense of connection between someone bereaved and a person who has died. In collaboration with Open Lab, Newcastle University, Julie has also advised on the use of smart materials for designing interactive interiors in 'Interioractive: Smart Materials in the Hands of Designers and Architects for Designing Interactive Interiors'. 

Where possible Julie brings the research into the studio with innovative workshops, which more recently, has stimulated a firm interest in the pedagogy of learning environments. Having co-ran the Open Studio Newcastle Programme at the Bauhaus, Dessau in 2018, which explored proxemics of teaching and learning, this was further developed in a workshop at Virginia Tech, entitled the “Neue Sehen (New Vision) of Future Design Education”. Returning to the Bauhaus in 2020 to run a second Open Studio series of workshops, with delivery of a keynote lecture, has led to a collaboration with the research academy. The current project prompted by Julie’s sabbatical explores student anticipation and engagement when working online with iconic institutions, using digital ethnographic techniques as part of the evaluation process.

Education/Academic qualification

Interior Design, BA (Hons)

1 Jul 2006

Award Date: 1 Jul 2006

Medicine, MRCPCH(UK)

1 Oct 1997

Award Date: 1 Oct 1997

Medicine, MBChB(Hons)

4 Jul 1993

Award Date: 4 Jul 1993


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