Lorraine Farrelly


Farrelly built her career in architecture, working with interior designers in multidisciplinary environments across London and the South East of England before taking up a career as a lecturer. Her academic career involves teaching in a number of institutions across Europe, including those in Oslo, Vienna and Crete. She is a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

After setting up her own practice together with her husband she has worked on a wide range of projects, including bars and restaurants as well as schools, public spaces and private houses. Her interest in urban design is frequently expressed in her work and Farrelly is a member of the South East Regional Design Panel, giving advice and directions on urban and regional development. “Good design is an important aspect of our city and our aim is to improve the design quality across the county.” she says.   

Recently, her focus has been on teaching architecture, interior design, freehand drawing and representational techniques as well as pursuing her own research, such as the internationally renowned The Fictional City project, developed in collaboration with her students. The Fictional City project has taken place in a number of European cities, including Venice and Rotterdam, and explores the idea of the city and its design through aspects of its art, literature and culture.


Farrelly stresses that team work and originality are important components in the development of architectural and interior design. “The best design comes from collaborative practices and I always work as a part of a team of architects and designers. The more you work collaboratively, the more able you are to make your design accessible.”


While saying that design should be created with a sense of purpose, that its aim should be to improve quality of life for a group or an individual, Farrelly warns that when the desire for practicality is allowed to dominate it could prove a limitation to experimental creativity. Far more important is originality. “When we’re looking at the idea of design, we are looking at processes. We refer to masters of different disciplines for inspiration, but originality is when you can see the history of the discipline and evolve and change it. It then becomes very inspirational for new generations.” She describes how the latest contributions to Scandinavian design, while keeping the internationally acclaimed high quality of materials, is far from traditional. “Particularly in the current world of sustainability, be it sustainable materials or sustainable living, I think the Scandinavian approach is becoming more and more relevant.”       


Recent publications include Interior Structures: Bars and Restaurants, Fundamentals of Architecture and Representation Techniques.

The article was published in the Forum AID Awards Supplement 2008


”Because of my background, I’m impressed by design that is accessible, that people can understand and connect to, whether it’s urban design or a piece of furniture.” says Lorraine Farrelly, the Deputy Head of the School of Architecture at Portsmouth University, UK.