Dr Elizabeth Darling

Reader in Architectural History

School of History, Philosophy and Culture

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.


Projects as Principal Investigator, or Lead Academic if project is led by another Institution

  • Other Stories: Towards a Re-reading of the V&A + RIBA Architecture Gallery (01/09/2021 - 30/06/2022), funded by: Royal Insitute of British Architects, funding amount received by Brookes: £5,000


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