Kate Cheyne is the Head of Leicester School of Art, Design & Architecture at De Montfort University, previously leading the architecture programme at the University of Brighton’s School of Architecture and Design. Educated at the Glasgow School of Art and the Bartlett, UCL, she worked in architectural practices in London, Israel and Sri Lanka, predominantly focussing on healthcare and housing projects, before co-founding and jointly directing the female-led, award-winning practice, Architects in Residence (AiR). At AiR, Kate led on innovative off-site construction (winner of the 2007 Wood Awards off-site construction category) and novel material investigations (2009, ‘Structural Pleats’ at Innovate UK, KTN Future Zone). In 2010 Kate worked with Development Workshop France in Haiti, as consultants to Save the Children USA, designing transitional schools that incorporated safer construction methods. Since 2011 she moved her practice knowledge into research and studio-based education, where she uses situated practice to investigate the collective self and gain a deeper understanding of place. The work explores cultural landscapes, rural industries, community networks, traditions, customs and folklore. Through their growth and adaptation, she, and her students, evolve spatial and material innovation for a rural condition with a regional focus on Isle of Portland, East Sussex and more recently, Leicestershire. A particular focus has been with an inter-disciplinary research group evaluating the textile industry and the potential for novel woven materials within the built environment including a proof-of-concept structural health monitoring textile for application to the built environment.
Previously the deputy head for learning and teaching at Brighton’s School of Architecture & Design, the impact of her leadership in teaching was acknowledged by being awarded a Higher Education Academy Senior Fellowship (SFHEA). She retains external practice-based links through involvement with Planning Design Review Panels. She is a member of the Standing Conference of Heads of Schools of Architecture (SCHOSA), a board member of RIBA Validation Boards for UK based and International visits and an invited external examiner at a number of Universities ensuring she remains ahead of academic trends within the subject of Architecture.