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Dr Julie Trueman

Senior Lecturer

Department: Northumbria School of Design

Julie Trueman BA Interior Design Northumbria Uni.jpg

Senior academic, researcher and practicing interior designer at the School of Design, Northumbria University since 2009.




I have a unique hybrid background derived from a former career as a hospital doctor/Wellcome Trust Research Fellow and my re-incarnation in 2003 as an interior designer, graduating with a BA(Hons) First Class. My subsequent commercial practice at Colin Williams Design and Faulknerbrowns Architects covered a wide range of projects, from retail to museum to leisure, with large-scale schemes including Chill Factore Indoor Ski Centre, Manchester and Hamdan Sports Complex, Dubai. Keen to draw from the experience gained in practice, I began teaching in 2009 on the Interior Design BA(Hons) programme, yet have still maintained links with commercial practice. With this mixed career involving practice and research spanning 30 years, my aim is to utilise my knowledge both tacit and explicit, to contribute to future thinking in research, informing and providing the best experience of education that we can offer our undergraduates. I was awarded the Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy in 2017 and Fellowship of the RSA in 2018. Aside of work, my interests lie in the outdoors: sailing, kayaking, hiking and cycling with a love of the National Parks of the Lake District and America which embody them all.



Programme Input

My main engagement is primarily with final year students, where I embrace seeing the coalition of intellectual and practical skills, with the desire for self-initiated learning at a higher academic level. Successful design can grow from either a subtle or truly ingenious concept which if used wisely, can take the design process in an innovative direction, contributing to the individuality of a project which is key to our programme. It is also the reason we seek from the outset to maintain the personal attributes that a student brings with them in first year, or develop throughout their studentship. I am highly focused on the employability of our graduates and maintain ongoing links with our alumni. Our excellent employment rate is reflective of our commitment to both this and the highly-qualified graduates that exit our programme. I have also been the lead designer and curator of several exhibitions of undergraduate work shown across a range of venues including The Toffee Factory, Dance City, Live Theatre and the annual degree show, Free Range at Truman Brewery, London.




I have varied, yet interconnected research interest. In a collaborative project with JDDK Architects, we set out to identify, evaluate and disseminate good evidence-based practice in hospice design, presenting 'Designing with care: Hospice design since 1980' at Professional Practices in the Built Environment, Reading (2017). This in turn has supported my involvement with the EPSRC-funded research project “Ongoingness” in which digital practices are being explored that enable a continued sense of connection between someone bereaved and a person who has died. Early experimental work will be shown at the Research Through Design Conference, in Delft: ‘Blueprints’ physical to digital: curation of media to support Ongoingness' (2019). In collaboration with Open Lab, Newcastle University, I have also advised on the use of smart materials for designing interactive interiors 'Interioractive: Smart Materials in the Hands of Designers and Architects for Designing Interactive Interiors'. Where possible I bring the research into the studio with innovative workshops, tying in with my interest in the pedagogy of learning environments. This was supported by the delivery of a two-day workshop as part of the prestigious Open Studio Programme at The Bauhaus, Dessau in October 2018, exploring the proxemics of learning. The work has been shown as an exhibition at Northumbria University and as a paper 'Learning Power: The Impact of space to inform, perform and reform design scholarship' to be presented at ICPES, Vienna in June 2019.

Campus Address

School of Design
Northumbria University, City Campus East 2
Newcastle upon Tyne
Ne1 8ST


  • Interior Design BA (Hons) July 01 2006
  • Medicine MRCPCH(UK) October 01 1997
  • Medicine MBChB(Hons) July 04 1993
  • Fellow (FHEA) Higher Education Academy (HEA) 2017
  • Affilate Member Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) 2016
  • Member Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) 1997

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