Professor David Dernie


Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment

My role and vision

As Dean, it’s my purpose to enhance the core of everything we do at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, and to enhance student and staff experience in line with where the University is trying to go.

Some of my main aims are to continue building an international profile and partnerships, and to gain international perspectives. We will look at environmental design and the big issues, especially climate change – work in areas that will drive forward industry, supporting things like building information modelling and air traffic logistics, while investing in our areas of strength in terms of design in the digital age. 


I have previously been Head of Manchester and Leicester Schools of Architecture. After gaining my degree at the University of Cambridge, I became a Rome Scholar in Architecture and was elected as a Fellow at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge.

As an architect, I have built a range of domestic projects, bespoke furniture and gallery installations, and have designed a number of housing, arts and educational buildings. A key to my work is design, specifically in areas of architectural representation, materials and the environment. I am still writing and producing my own work, drawing and doing creative projects.


I am heavily involved in a major project called Latitude, which is opening doors to students and children from very different parts of the world to work together, share, collaborate and come up with a solution to begin to understand the different environments we live in.

I have also published numerous books and am currently working on the completion of the major research project Material Imagination in Architecture.

External roles

I sit on the RIBA Advisory Panel, I have lectured widely and exhibited internationally, and in 2008 I became a biographee in Black’s Who’s Who for my work in architectural education.

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