Rachel Simmonds is a qualified Architect who studied at Scott Sutherland School of Architecture, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen and the Ecole d'Architecture de Clermont Ferrand, France. In 2013, following several years working at a senior level for award winning architectural practices in Edinburgh, she established Studio Bof, a design practice focusing on conservation architecture, interior design and art commissioning.
She started lecturing in 1998 at Scott Sutherland School of Architecture, and joined Edinburgh College of Art in 2008 as a part time tutor, becoming a full time lecturer in 2016. She teaches both undergraduate and postgraduate courses at ECA, and has been involved in teaching internationally, as part of an international exchange programme. In 2014 she created the Fashion Interior Courses as part of the Shanghai College of Fashion programme, and was the first Flying Academic to go and teach these courses in Shanghai. In January 2017 she became Programme Director for Undergraduate and Postgraduate Interior Design. Since May 2017 she has also been the Director of Outreach for the School of Design, with a remit for making connections between external agencies and the university.
In relation to research, her architectural experience has influenced a variety of investigations around historic and future office design, conservation strategies in the UK and China and collaborations between architects and artists. She also uses her industry experience to support her research into the design of future interior spaces, with an emphasis on places of creative working and learning.
Rachel is Programme Director for the Undergraduate and Post Graduate Interior Design Programme. She is Course Organiser and lecturer for fourth year undergraduate courses and part of the MA Interior Design programme. In 2013 she qualified with a PgCert in Academic Practice and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
As well as teaching in leading Scottish Universities, she has been taught internationally, at institutions in Germany, Switzerland and Turkey, as part of an international Interior Architecture programme.
Rachel has been external examiner for BA Hons Interior Design Course at Glasgow Caledonian University, and was the international moderator for Greenside Design College, Johannesburg. She is currently external examiner for the MA Interior and Spatial Design Course at University of the Arts London, Chelsea School of Art. She is involved in Interior Educators, a charity established by academics representing well established Interior programmes from across the UK.
Rachel's research is based around her extensive architectural and interior experience. She is interested in the relationship of people within buildings and the wider urban context. Currently she is progressing a series of investigations into the working environments of modernist architects, and has given a series of papers at international conferences on the topic. She is also developing work on the future of creative workplaces and teaching environments, and the links between the two. In 2019 some of this work was included in Interior Futures, published by Crucible.
She has set up the Scotinavian research project, which is looking at links between Scottish and Scandinavian architects in the mid 20th century, to define and catalogue their design influence on the other.
PhD Supervision Topics
Would consider PhD applicants as a second supervisor.