Dr Ro Spankie is a Principal Lecturer and Subject Lead for Interior Architecture.
I trained as an architect at University College London and have a City and Guilds in Cabinet Making. My expertise is interior architecture, a discipline focusing on the alteration and adaptation of existing buildings, concerned not just with physical intervention but also with how space is understood and occupied as well as the role of memory in how we construct the world around us. I have exhibited and published work related to the interior both in the UK and abroad.
I am a Founder member of Interior Educators, a UK forum for Interior Architecture and Interior Design Educators. http://interioreducators.co.uk/ and am Editor of the international journal: Interiors: Design, Architecture, Culture (Taylor & Francis).
For description of recent research projects see interview at: The Order of Multitudes a Mellon Sawyer Seminar 2020/21 at Yale University.
For curatorial practice see: Travelling Companions an exhibition of the work of Fay Ballard and Judy Goldhill at ARBart; CRASSH, University of Cambridge 2020-21 including an online exhibition.
I am convenor of ArCCAT – the School of Architecture+Cities Climate Action Task Force. This has involved embedding discipline specific sustainable course statements across the school and running a university wide monthly Reading Group to increase climate literacy. Other initiatives include greening the campus and organising events such as ‘Architecture Acts a Climate Performance in Three Acts’ which was part of the 2022 London Festival of Architecture. (See link)
· External Examiner of PhD Thesis, Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh. 2018
· External Examiner for MDes Interior Design, Glasgow School of Art. 2019-23
· External Examiner for BDes (Hons) Interior & Environmental Design, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, University of Dundee. 2018-21
· External Examiner for the Graduate School of Architecture, (GSA), University of Johannesburg. 2016-18
· External Examiner for BA (Hons) Interior Architecture and Design, Leeds Beckett University. 2015-19
· External Examiner for Interior Design MA, University of Brighton. 2013-17
· External Examiner for BA (Hons) Interior Design LASALLE College of Arts Singapore. 2011-14
Following a Masters in Computing and Design (UEL) I developed fascination for the role of the drawing in the design process that combines with research into the interior. In 2018 I was awarded a PhD in Architectural Design from UCL. My thesis, ‘Thinking through Drawing’ is focused on the role of the drawing as an investigative tool in relation to three case study interiors.
Recent publications include: ‘Revisiting Sigmund Freud’s Diagrams of the Mind’ in Social Analysis, the International Journal of Anthropology, special issue entitled Working with Diagrams, (New York, Oxford: Berghahn Journals 2019), ‘Within the Cimeras: Spaces of Imagination’ in Production Sites: Resituating the Culture of Architectural Knowledge, Sophia Psarra (ed.), (London: Routledge, 2018) An Anecdotal Guide to Sigmund Freud’s Desk (Freud Museum, London, 2015), 'The Art of Borrowing' in The Handbook of Interior Architecture and Design (Bloomsbury, 2013), Basics Interiors 03: Drawing Out the Interior (AVA Academia, 2009)
Recent conference presentations include: Co-presenting an ‘New Ideas’ session at the Anticipation Conference at Oslo School of Architecture, 2019. (Fellow presenters include a cognitive scientist, philosopher, polar historian and a medievalist.) Presenting a paper ‘Shadow Space’ at the 2019 multidisciplinary conference Darkness, organised by Island Dynamics and held in 24 hour darkness in Svalbard, presenting a paper ‘Revisiting Sigmund Freud’s Diagrams of the Mind’ at the 2016 conference, Diagrammatic: Beyond Inscription? CRASSH Centre For Research In The Arts, Social Sciences And Humanities, University of Cambridge, and presenting a paper ‘Within the Cimeras: Spaces of Imagination’ at the 2015 conference Production Sites: Resituating the Culture of Architectural Knowledge, Bartlett School of Architecture UCL.