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With a BA (Hons) degree in Interior Design from Manchester Metropolitan University, and a Master of Fine Arts from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Lara has 20 years' professional experience working across many art and design disciplines throughout the UK, Europe and the USA, including sculpture, installation, interior, architecture, exhibition, event and scenography.
Lara has worked within a wide range of design studios as well as running her own studio and working as freelance designer, and projects range from experimental devised theatre to multi-million pound events.
Studios include Imagination, Event Communications and DEGW Architects. Clients include The Imperial War Museum, V&A Museum, The Field Museum (Chicago), Eureka! Children’s Museum, Ten Chimneys Foundation (Wisconsin), Ericsson, Barclays, BBC, Coca Cola, Schweppes and Grosvenor Estate Holdings.
Award-winning and high-profile projects include: ‘The Half - Photographs of Actors by Simon Annand’ for The Theatre Museum (V&A Museum) awarded ‘Best Exhibition on a Limited Budget’ at the Museums & Heritage Awards in 2006, and ‘Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne: A Life on Stage’ at the Ten Chimneys Foundation awarded National Historic Landmark status.
Alongside her commercial design work, Lara has designed over 20 theatre productions. Starting as resident designer for Cook County Theatre Department in Chicago, she has gone on to design for a wide range of theatres including The Performing Garage, New York and The Gate, London. In 2000 she was nominated for an Arts Foundation Fellowship in Theatre Design by Simon McBurney.
Lara’s research interests have emerged directly from her art and design practice, as well as her current experience as an academic within Higher Education. Her PhD study examines the processes of 21st Century design studios which do not define themselves by discipline.
Lara is a full-time lecturer in Theatre, Performance and Event Design and a part-time PhD researcher.
Society of British Theatre Designers (SBTD) – Corporate membership
Association of Courses in Theatre Design (ACTD) – Corporate membership
PhD study – Estimated completion 2018
Title: Defying Classification? Examining the Processes of 21 Century Design Studios
PhD Study (ongoing)
Furniss, L. (2012) Watching the Sunset with Einstein on the Beach. Blue Pages – Journal for the Society of British Theatre Designers, July 2012.