Job title: Programme Director, Interior Design; Flying Academic

Role: Director of Outreach (School of Design)

Tel: +44 (0)131 651 5752


Research outputs: Rachel Simmonds on Edinburgh Research Explorer

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 also holds an RIAS Accreditation in Conservation Architecture.

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. She has been involved in teaching Interiors in Universities in Istanbul, Stuttgart and Lugano, 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 housing typology, art interventions and collaborative teaching. 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 also Course Organiser for second and fourth year undergraduate courses, and contributes to the teaching of the MA Interior Design course.

In 2013 she qualified with a PgCert in Academic Practice and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Rachel is currently external examiner for the BA Hons Interior Design Course at Glasgow Caledonian University and the MA Interior and Spatial Design Course at University of the Arts London, Chelsea School of Art. She is also involved in Interior Educators, an organisation established by academics representing well established Interior programmes from across the UK.

Rachel's research is based around her extensive architectural and interior experience in industry. She is interested in the relationship of people within buildings and the wider urban context. She has used her experiences in China to support research into the comparators between historic housing typologies and conservation policies in Shanghai and Edinburgh. Her work is currently focused on the future of creative workplaces and teaching environments, and the links between the two.

She is also interested in the use of art within the architectural context of historic buildings and public spaces, having managed several high profile projects in Scotland with renowned artists.