Jemma is the Deputy Head of School, Course Director BA (Hons) Design for Future Living and Associate Professor Teaching and Learning. She teaches history and theory of Architecture and Design and coordinates the overall delivery and development of this strand of all the courses in the School, as well as contributing to the development of the School research environment and supervising PhD students.
Jemma completed her Doctoral research Spatial Representations of Memory and Identity in the City in 2018 and is currently pursuing themes from within this project to develop a theoretical context to understand how cultural identities could be traced within city spaces, using the concept of urban cultural topography.
Her research also considers how the findings might also contribute to the broader debate as to how heritage and regeneration successfully connect the past and the present by exploring how post-industrial cities in the UK are spatially transformed through time by the layering of new and existing expressions of cultural identity; in particular as a result of postcolonial migration. Her work seeks to understand the role that the collective memory of post–colonial diasporic communities plays in the formation of the cultural identity of space within UK cities.
Previous research includes an ethnographic study of the everyday life of a Nottingham street, consolidating her interest in urbanism and public space; arguing that the careful examination of social space reveals a richer understanding of the construction of place within urban design whereby the public space of the street functions as a social space as well as an economic one.
Jemma previously taught at Nottingham Trent University’s School of Architecture and worked in architectural practice in the Midlands. Before training in architecture, she ran a number of National homelessness projects and worked in many different roles in the housing and social justice charity sector; this experience and commitment to equality and diversity continues to influence and shape her research interests and pedagogical approach.