Dr Elizabeth Darling

Reader in Architectural History

School of Education, Humanities and Languages

Elizabeth Darling


Elizabeth Darling works on 20th century British architectural history with a particular interest in inter-war modernism, social housing, and gender.

She has published on the nature of authorship in the design process; the innovative practices of the inter-war voluntary housing sector; the housing consultant Elizabeth Denby; the relationship between citizenship and the reform of domestic space in inter-war Britain, and sexuality, domesticity and modernism in 1920s Cambridge.

Her book on British architectural modernism, Re-forming Britain: Narratives of Modernity before Reconstruction, was published by Routledge in early 2007 while an edited volume (with Lesley Whitworth), Women and the Making of Built Space in England, 1870-1950 was published by Ashgate in autumn 2007. Her most recent publication is Wells Coates (RIBA Publishing, 2012).

Forthcoming work includes a discussion of Modernism and the Neo-Georgian in 1930s England, and the introduction to a new edition of Elizabeth Denby's 1938 book Europe Rehoused.

Teaching and supervision



  • Museums and Society
  • Art and Modernity, 1917-1939
  • Curatorial Practice
  • Advanced Seminar: This Changing World: Culture and Modernity in 1930s England
  • Dissertation supervision

Research Students

Name Thesis title Completed
Alex Banister Designing the Domestic: Women’s Writing on Architecture and Design in Interwar Britain Active


Current research focuses on three main areas :

  • the link between urban renewal and social (especially child welfare) reform in the slums of Edinburgh in the early 20th century (with funding from the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland)
  • the arena in which progressive ideas about design and space were developed and disseminated in 1920s Britain and
  • an in-depth study of the work and life of the architect-engineer Wells Wintemute Coates, which research is supported by funding from the Paul Mellon Centre for the Study of British Art and the RIBA Research Trust.



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