Sarah Britten-Jones

PhD Candidate, Royal College of Art (completion due 2025); MFA Ceramic Art, New York State College of Ceramics, 2007; PGCE, Post-compulsory Education University of Greenwich, 2012; BA (Hons) Ceramics with Glass, Bucks New University

Senior Lecturer in Design

School of Arts


As a Senior Lecturer in Design on the UAL Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, I help students develop the confidence to experiment and improve their material and spatial literacy in a safe space. I support those students interested in further study within design and three-dimensional subjects such as architecture, interior architecture, set design, product design and sculpture.

Teaching and supervision


Modules taught

Units 1,2, and 4 on the UAL Foundation Diploma in Art and Design as well as academic advising a group of students each year.

As a Senior Lecturer in Design and previously a Teaching Fellow at Oxford Brookes since 2017, I teach Foundation Diploma in Art and Design students. I previously taught as a 3D Lecturer at Thames Valley University (now University of West London) and Activate Learning, 2008 - 2017 and as an Adjunct Lecturer, Instructor of Merit, and Graduate Teaching Assistant at Alfred University, New York (New York State College of Ceramics), 2005 - 2008. My teaching specialisms include ceramics, sculpture, fine art, appropriation, 3D design, spatial design, service design, speculative design, systems mapping, performance, drawing and contextual studies across levels 3-6.


My creative practice is concerned with using design methods to facilitate institutional self awareness and continuous improvement. Previous work responded to site and material, using performance, appropriation and collaboration to creatively examine, reveal, and imagine alternative institutional structures.

Research grants, awards and residencies

  • In search of biscuit city, shortlisted for the Station Hill functional sculpture series with collaborator Jon Lockhart, managed by developers MGT, FutureCity, and Reading Borough Council, runner up, 2023
  • Three-minute thesis competition, runner up, Royal College of Art Research, 2022
  • Domain public art project, St. Retail of Reading, with Jon Lockhart, 2022 
  • Brookes Teaching Innovation Project fund, OBU, 2021-2022
  • REME Museum, Big Boy, permanent collection, 2014
  • B&B Project Space Folkstone, artist residency, Hipster Replacement, Sept 2013
  • LV21 Lightship, Residency with Figure Ground, Lightvessel Historical Society (collaborative performance with props) Gillingham, Mar – May 2011
  • South Hill Park, Bracknell, Residency, May – Dec 2008
  • Scholes Library Collection, New York State College of Ceramics, USA, 2008
  • Glory Hole Collection, Schein-Joseph International Museum of Ceramic Art, NY
  • Full Tuition MFA Fellowship, Alfred University New York, 2005-07
  • International Study Scholarship, Kutztown university PA, USA and Bucks New University, 1999

Research projects

I am currently studying at the Royal College of Art (RCA) as a PhD/MPhil Candidate. The title of my research is, The University Otherwise. See my RCA Research Student page for more information.

Universities are centres of knowledge generation and learning, yet paradoxically they have very little self-knowledge. They are structured to learn about topics external to themselves, but have limited mechanisms to absorb knowledge of themselves. Institutional self-awareness and the ability of an organisation to know itself from diverse and multiple perspectives are essential capabilities in our increasingly dynamic, complex and unpredictable world.

This research seeks to understand how a university might learn about and change itself in response to the multi-faceted experiences and knowledge of its people. It will investigate and reimagine the mechanisms used to gather, process and act on stakeholder feedback to develop institutional metacognition and continuous improvement. Using a multi-method methodology including ethnographic, co-speculative design and systemic design methods, I aim to collaboratively visualise existing stakeholder feedback action cycles, and reimagine them for a preferred future state.

Research impact

This research explores the potential of other knowledges in envisioning alternative structures and systems for continuous and inclusive organisation design of the university. This will allow the university to understand itself differently and develop mechanisms for the effective application of diverse knowledge to reshape itself (otherwise) to thrive in a rapidly changing world.


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Professional information

Memberships of professional bodies


Conference and research papers presented

  • Oxford Brookes Learning and Teaching Conference, Oxford Brookes feedback systems soft-wear: a speculative approach to developing systems literacy and empathy, June 2024
  • Jelly Gallery, The tale of In search of biscuit city - a postmortem of a public art proposal, artist talk, January 2024
  • Art Sauce, Oxford, Artist talk, Otherwise, March 2023
  • University of Brighton, Really Sayin Something: Participatory practices in art, design, and architecture, Knowing the knower, May 2022
  • BLTC, OBU, Interdisciplinarity Special Interest Group, co-presenter with lucy Turner, June 2021
  • Royal College of Art, School of Design Post Graduate Research Conference, presenter, June 2021, December 2020, 2019, 2018 and 2017
  • Royal College of Art, Designing learning to design for the unthinkable world, co-presenter with Orla Farey and Nouran Kamel, July 2020,
  • BLTC, OBU, Redesign the University in an hour, Workshop, June 2019
  • Performance Philosophy, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Artists in decision-making spaces, paper presentation, March 2019
  • BLTC, OBU, Exploring the space between institutional and learner anxieties, paper presentation with Louise Williams, June 2018
  • Contemporary Arts Research Unit (CARU) and OBU Arts re-Search Conference, paper presentation, The artist in the boardroom, Dec 2017
  • Cohen Gallery, New York, Places, Group discussion with Q&A, Nov 2015
  • Open Hand Open Space, Artspeak, Useless, artist talk, Dec 2012
  • Performance Art Bergen, Norway, Chaired panel discussion of Meeting Point at Stiftelsen 3,14 Gallery, August 2012


  • The Glass Tank Gallery, Oxford Brookes, Brookes systems empathy wearables, Feb 2025
  • RSD11 Conference Brighton, Wearable systems artefact exhibited, 2022
  • Reading Museum and Town Hall, In search of biscuit city, collaboration with Jon Lockhart, 2023
  • Domain, St. Retail of Reading, Weldale Street Reading, collaboration with Jon Lockhart, 2022
  • 571 Gallery, Reading, Wearable feedback systems, 2022
  • Triangulations, OHOS Gallery, Reading, 2019
  • Work in Progress (WIP), RCA, London, 2019 & 2018
  • The Failure Institute, Activate Learning, Oxford, 2015-2017
  • Dog Show, The Radiant Gallery, Plymouth, 2016
  • Engage, South Hill Park, Bracknell, 2016
  • Places, The Cohen Gallery, New York, 2015
  • Seven Counties Open, OVADA, Oxford, 2015
  • Vernacular Habitation, Folkestone Triennial Fringe, 2014
  • New Grounds, REME Museum, Arborfield, Big Boy, 2014
  • Constellation, Whitley Arts Festival, Reading, Soul Trader, 2013
  • Bomb and Shield, Performance Art Bergen, Norway, 2013
  • Boundaries and Beyond, Gallery@49, Bracknell, 2012
  • Insight, New Greenham Arts, Newbury, 2012
  • Figure Ground on LV21 Lightship, collaboration, The Lightvessel Historical Society, Gillingham, 2011
  • Open, Salisbury Arts Centre, 2010
  • Parcel Fever, Nuit Blanche, Reading, 2010
  • Observations, Reorsa, Bracknell, 2008
  • 13th Annual International Women's Exhibition, Soho20, New York, Geriatric Minaitures, 2007
  • Southern Tier Biennial, Olean Public Library, New York, Spoons, 2007
  • Three Months Work, Schien Joseph International Museum of Ceramic Art, New York, 2007
  • What the Papers Say, Turner Gallery, New York, 2006
  • Alfred Mugs, Scholes Library, New York, 2006; Ceramic Art London, Henry Moore Gallery, RCA, London, 2005
  • Joy of Kitsch, Oriel Myrddin Gallery, Carmarthen, 2003
  • National Eisteddfod of Wales, North Wales, 2000

Further details