Personal profile

Research interests

My work utilises drawing as critical mediator in the development of commercial design practice, through the development and delivery of programmes of study that shape industry. Primarily this is evidenced through solid design processes and particularly the importance of drawing in the dialogues of idea generation, development, materiality and communication.

‘Drawing Dialogues’ - Every day we all pick up some form of mark making instrument, often it is to document our own thoughts or memories to ensure that we carry out tasks. Better still, we document creative thoughts that may be useful to us and others and act as necessary dialogue or mediation with ourselves. 

As a creative academic we have discussions with students on a daily basis - briefings, tutorials, through to final presentations of design schemes / artefacts. The generally recognised term for this is ‘feedback’ (although the term ‘feed-forward’ is perhaps becoming a more reflective and useful description of this process). The term ‘Drawing Dialogues’ starts to think around how and what we communicate with students pertinent to our subject specialisms.

“And I now began with a sketch, rather than a technical drawing – which was important in helping me to visualise the eventual effect in three dimensions – however rough the sketch. It is something to do with the way my mind works.” Ken Adam


Director of Education in the School of Design at Northumbria University and Programme Leader of BA(Hons) Interior Design, teaching across all levels of the Programme, I am passionate about all areas of the subject and delivery. Working as part of the staff team, it is important that we continually question our offer to ensure that we deliver highly respected and successful programmes of study. I particularly enjoy the close working relationships developed with our students that continue into their future design careers in industry. Qualified in both Design and Architecture, I am particularly interested in creativity and individuality within designed environments, and how they are meticulously executed with an attention to detail and user experience.

Education/Academic qualification

Architecture, MA

5 Dec 201431 Dec 2099

Award Date: 5 Dec 2014

Academic Studies in Education, PCAPL

26 Jun 200831 Dec 2099

Award Date: 26 Jun 2008

Design Studies, BA (Hons)

30 Jun 200031 Dec 2099

Award Date: 30 Jun 2000

BTEC Foundation

1 Sept 199531 Dec 2099

Award Date: 1 Sept 1995


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    Thomas, J. & Wakenshaw, S., 25 Jun 2021, (Unpublished).

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  • Border control

    Wakenshaw, S., 2012, Interiors education futures: contemporary insights. Rodgers, P. (ed.). Faringdon, UK: Libri, p. 185-192 202 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review