I was born and educated in Edinburgh and at the universities of Nottingham and Glasgow. My lecturing career began in 1995 at Edinburgh College of Art, and continues, since the merger of the two Architecture schools in 2010, with ESALA. Formerly I was a curator of the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Collection at the University of Glasgow. More recently I curated the historic plaster cast collection at Edinburgh College of Art.
Currently I lecture to first and second year students on a wide range of topics from seventeenth-century French and Scottish to twentieth-century Fascist architecture. My own honours-level course, ‘C.R. Mackintosh: Architecture and Design in Edwardian Scotland’, explores psychoanalysis, Celticism, Symbolist art and poetry, Art Nouveau and the dynamic interaction between these new fields, and emergent Modernist architecture and design in Scotland, Europe and the USA around 1900. In addition to illustrated lectures, we visit buildings in Glasgow and the Hunterian Mackintosh Collection to see original art works by Mackintosh and Margaret and Frances Macdonald. This course was awarded a University of Edinburgh Teaching Award in 2016.
Architecture and landscape design c.1700, art and architecture in Scotland c.1900, the development of Edinburgh in the eighteenth century and the history of neoclassical cast collections are my main research interests. My research outputs to 2017 include the first published monograph on the earl of Mar, ‘The architectural, landscape and constitutional plans of the Earl of Mar, 1700–32 (2016). In collaboration with Animation students at ECA I have developed a short animation of Mar’s architectural plans for the National Trust for Scotland. I am currently researching the evidence of formal landscapes in Scotland in General Roy’s military survey, and researching a documentary film using aerial photography and animation to illustrate formal landscape design to wider non-academic audiences.