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Professor Graeme Brooker


  • Graeme Brooker is a practising interior designer and Head of Interior Design at the Royal College of Art.
  • Biography

  • Graeme Brooker has practised and studied Interior Design in both London and Manchester, receiving his Master's Degree with distinction in Interior Design from Manchester Metropolitan University for the project ‘The Room and the City’. He has extensive teaching and programme leadership experience. 

    Between 1997 and 2004 Brooker taught Interior Architecture at Cardiff, before moving to Manchester where, between 2004 and 2010, he was programme leader of both the BA and MA Interior programmes as well as leader of the Centre for Design Research. In 2010 he was a principal lecturer in Interior Architecture at the University of Brighton, before becoming head of the Department of Fashion and Interiors at Middlesex University in 2013.

    Graeme has taught and lectured in various institutions in America, Europe and the Far East. Between 2010 and 2013 he was a visiting professor in Antwerp, and since 2014 is a visiting professor at Milan Polytechnic. In 2015 he co-developed the Creative Campus project in Rio, Brazil, with Philip Nutley and the UKTI, and was awarded a DAIWA scholarship for travel to Japan to study building reuse. For the academic year 2015/16 he is a recipient of a National Teaching Fellow award (NTFS).

    Graeme Brooker’s research interests are focused on the design of interior space and – in particular – the cultural, historical and philosophical implications of reusing existing buildings. 

    Brooker has published widely on many aspects of the interior. Recent publications include Adaptations (Bloomsbury, due 2016) and Key Interiors Since 1900 (Laurence King, 2013). He has co-edited (with Sally Stone) seven books on the interior including the highly acclaimed Rereading’s, (RIBA, 2005). He recently edited (with Lois Weinthal) The Handbook of Interior Architecture + Design (Bloomsbury, 2013). He is a commissioning editor for the publisher Ashgate, and he is a member of the editorial advisory board of the journals Interiors: Design: Architecture: Culture (Bloomsbury), I.D.E.A. and A.M.P.S. (Architecture, Media, Politics, Society). 

    Graeme is also the founder and director of the trustees for the charity Interior Educators (IE), the national subject association for all interior courses in the UK. 

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  • External collaborations

  • Professional Bodies 
    2006 –Present: Founder and Director of Interior Educators (IE)

    IE is the subject association group representing Interiors courses across the UK. It is a registered Charity with an annual turnover of £70,000, 53 member courses, and represents 4,000 higher education students. For more information visit

    Editorial boards
    2015 – Present: Inner – The Interior Architecture magazine. (Turin)

    2012 – Present: Architecture – Media – Politics – Society Journal (New York)

    2011 – Present: IDEA Journal. (Australia/NZ)

    2009 – Present: Interiors: Design: Architecture: Culture. Bloomsbury.

    2008 – 2013: Commissioning Editor. Interior Architecture and Design series, Ashgate Publishing.

    External Examiner
    2012 – Present BA (Hons) Interior Design, Glasgow School of Art (Chief Examiner); BA (Hons) Interior Design GSA in Singapore

    2011–15 BA + MA Interior Design, Lincoln University

    2011–14 BA (Hons) Interior Design, Leeds College of Art and Design

    2009–11 Diploma Interior Design, Temasek University, Singapore

    2007–10 BA (Hons) Interior Architecture, Brighton University. (Chief Examiner)

    2007–11 MA Product and Space, Kingston University, London

    2005–09 I.D.E.A. (Interior Design Environmental Architectures) Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication, London

    PhD Supervision/Examining
    2014: 'An Accessory Becomes Protagonist: The New Materiality of Sound In Spatial Design’, Lorenzo Beretta.,Birmingham City University, (Viva examiner)

    2014: 'Living The Event: Temporary Housing Models for Large Events', Laura Galluzzo, Milan Polytechnic, Italy, (PHD Supervisor)

    2014: 'Retail-Reuse: An Interior View on Adaptive Reuse of Buildings Bie Plevoets', University Hasselt, Belgium (Viva examiner)

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  • Publications, exhibitions and other outcomes

  • Publications: Books
    Brooker, G. (2013) Key Interiors Since 1900, Laurence King Publishers

    Brooker, G. & Weinthal, L. (2013) The Handbook of Interior Architecture + Design

    (Co-Author Bloomsbury Publishers 

    Brooker,G. & Stone. S., (2012) From Organisation to Decoration: An Interiors Reader, Routledge/Taylor/Francis

    Brooker,G. & Stone. S., (2010) What is Interior Design? Rotovision Publishers.

    Brooker,G. & Stone. S., (2009) Elements and Objects – Occupying Space, AVA Publications

    Brooker,G. Stone. S., & Coates, M., (2008) The Visual Dictionary Of Interior Architecture, AVA Publications

    Brooker,G. & Stone. S., (2008) Context and Environment: Site and Ideas, AVA Publications

    Brooker,G. & Stone. S., (2007) Form and Structure: The Organisation Of Interior Space, AVA Publications

    (This title was short listed for the R.I.B.A. Interior Design book of the year).

    Brooker,G. & Stone. S., (2004) Re-Readings-Interior Architecture and the Design Principles of Remodeling Existing Buildings, R.I.B.A. Enterprises

    (In Print)

    Brooker, G. (2016) Adaptations: Interior Architecture + Design Strategies, Bloomsbury

    Publications: Book Chapters
    Brooker, G. (2013) ‘Wastespace’ in Cairns, G. (ed.), Reinventing Architecture and Interiors: A Socio-Political View of Building Adaptation, Libri Publishing

    Brooker, G. (2013) ‘In-Habit: Occupation and Decoration’ in Meade, T. (ed), Occupation: Negotiations with Constructed Space, University of Brighton

    Brooker, G. (2012) ‘Interior Educators, The Past, A Present and Some Futures’ in Rogers, P. (ed), Interiors Education, Futures, Libri Publishing

    Brooker, G. (2012) ‘Shifting Spaces’ in Massey, A. & Avermaete, T. (eds), Hotel Lobbies: Anonymous Domesticity + Public Discretion, Routledge

    Brooker, G. (2012) ‘Spolia’ in Hollis, E. et al (eds) Interior Tools Interior Tactics: Debates in Interiors Theory and Practice, Libri Publishing

    Brooker, G. and Stone. S. (2007) ‘From Organisation to Decoration’ in Thinking Inside the Box: A Reader in Interiors for the 21st Century, Middlesex University Press

    (In print)

    Brooker, G. (2016) ‘The Dialectics of Appropriation’ in Marinic, G. (ed) The Interior Architecture Theory Reader, Routledge

    Publications: Journal Articles (Selected)
    Brooker, G. (July, 2014) ‘The Body + Space: Kaarina Kaikkonen’s The Blue Route Textile’, The Journal of Cloth and Culture, Volume 12, Issue 2

    Brooker, G. (2014 & 15) ‘Mood: Bored’, ‘The Embellished Surface’, ‘The Farrell Retort’, ‘Fundamentalism’, ‘Future Heritages: A Letter from Rio’. Five articles for the online design magazine Edge Condition 

    Brooker, G.,& Stone, S. (June, 2009) ‘Off the Peg: The Bespoke Interiors of Ben Kelly’ in Preston, J. (ed), Interior Atmospheres Architectural Design Magazine 

    Brooker, G., &  Dr Northey, E. (May, 2009) ‘Framing Space: Agenda and Content in the Architectural Photograph’, The Journal of Architecture, Taylor and Francis/Routledge – VELUX/EAAE Prize for Writing in Architecture. (2nd Place award) 

    Brooker, G., (June, 2007) ‘Infected Interiors: Remodeling Contaminated Buildings’, Interior Design Educators Journal, (I.D.E.A.) Australia

    Brooker, G., (June, 2006) ‘Spolia: (In)Appropriate Appropriations’ in Stone, S. & Dunn, Ni. (eds), Interventions, Artemide

    Conference Keynotes
    2015 May, ‘The Interior Condition: Impact and Agency’, Tallin, Estonia

    2014 (February), ‘Ambiguous Spaces: Interior Terrains’, Parsons: The New School. New York. ‘Aftertaste’ seminar series

    2012 (April), ‘Wastespace’, Ravensbourne University, London, Interior Educators Conference ‘Past:Present:Future’ 

    2010 (September), ‘Walls are Talking - What is Interior Design?’, Walls are Talking Exhibition, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester

    2007 (November), ‘Spolia: (In)appropriate Appropriations’ ‘Gli Interni Nel Progetto Sull Esistente’, Venice School of Architecture annual conference. Published in Gli Interni Nel Progetto sull'esistente Volume 3

    2007 (February), ‘From Organisation to Decoration’ in ‘Thinking Inside the Box’, Interiors Forum Scotland (IFS), Lighthouse Glasgow

    Visiting Lectures / Guest critic
    2014 Ambiguous Spaces: Interior Terrains. Pratt Institute. New York.

    2014 Interiority: Site + Sense. CUNY. New York.

    2014 Rereadings. Ryerson University, Toronto. Canada

    2015 Interiority: Site + Sense. Leeds Beckett University

    2014 The Dialectics of the Interior. (IN:Arch) Indonesia

    2014 Key Interiors Since 1900. RCA: six lectures.

    2014 The Dialectics of the interior. Athens lectures: Milan Polytechnic

    2013 Rereadings. Griffith University College, Dublin.

    2012  Guest critic. Interior Design. American Intercontinental University. (AIU)

    2011 Interiors: A Model for Research. University of Ulster. Invited convener of Research Day.

    2011 Guest critic. BA (Hons) interior Architecture. University of Creative Arts, Canterbury.

    2010 What is Interior Design? Westminster University.

    2010 What is Interior Design? In-side-Out lecture series. Leeds Metropolitan University.

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  • Awards and Grants

  • Research Income/ KE/Awards 

    2015 May: HEA National Teaching Fellowship

    2015 May: DAIWA Small awards fund. Travel to Japan

    2015 March: UKTI/GREAT Brazil. Creative Campus Rio, Brazil

    2014 September: ADRI Conference Funding, Middlesex University

    2011 September: Brighton Sabbatical award


Research interests

Graeme Brooker has written extensively on the interior and in particular the philosophical and theoretical implications of reworking of existing spaces and buildings. This includes the subjects of waste and redundancy. Other work includes the exploration of the numerous narratives that underpin the history of the interior and the ambiguity of the subject field and the impact of this condition on the discipline through its research, education, practice and the agents undertaking it.

Brooker has worked on a number of key publications in the field, including The Handbook of Interior Architecture and Design (2013, Bloomsbury, co-edited with Lois Weinthal) and From Organisation to Decoration: An Interior Design Reader (2013, Routledge, co-edited with Sally Stone). 

Current and recent research

Adaptations: Interior Strategies

Book to be published in 2016 by Bloomsbury

The design of the interior is reliant upon the understanding of what is already present. Whether a drawing on a page or computer screen, or the enclosure of an existing building, interior architecture, design and decoration are the disciplines that are based upon the understanding of what already exists in order to then create something new. 

Adaptations: Interior Strategies, outlines a number of different approaches utilised when designing the interior. The book proposes that there are a series of very particular processes that are based upon the responses to a space that is or has been outlined for new occupation. These processes are exemplified by a series of strategies, employed by the designer, in an attempt to filter and synthesise a mixture of information, ideas and resources, in order to form a new, clear and meaningful spatial design. These procedures require a specific sensibility; an awareness and responsiveness to existing contexts and a willingness to accept, edit and reform existing or about to exist space. This book will summarize the unique and innovative strategies that respond to what is already present to make something new.

Adaptations outlines a number of primary reuse strategies in order to act as a primer for the subject. It will introduce readers to recombinant cultures, methods and processes that will explore the importance of context in both its site specific and cultural meaning. It will examine a number of approaches that will show how the adaptation of the existing, and in particular old buildings, as opposed too new-build, can provide unique and unusual transformative solutions for the historic and contemporary built environment. It will use the images and drawings of a series of case studies of recent and contemporary projects in order to demonstrate each strategy. Each strategy will be contextualised with an introduction explaining exemplary or key developments in other creative and spatially related fields such as installation art, painting, sculpture and furniture design.

'The Dialectics of Appropriation'  

Chapter in the Interior Architecture Theory Reader, to be published by Routledge, 2016

The diverse processes of appropriation inform the basis of the descriptions of the discipline of Interior Architecture. These are explanations that often ascribe the subject a slippery status (Hildebrandt 2004: Gigli 2007: Edwards 2011: Rogers 2012). At its most extreme this perception manifests itself in the derivative view that the subject lacks a historical, theoretical and regulatory foundation. In The Dialectics of Appropriation Brooker will explore the idea that this unfixed quality manifests itself in a number of ways: as an issue of semantics, and as an intrinsic and essential spatial ambiguity. Brooker will propose that rather than a negative condition, both of these issues are elemental to Interior Architecture: they are built-in to many aspects of the subject. This is because appropriation and reuse, processual-based approaches to formulating Interior Architecture, ultimately create a particular design language, one that is specific to the thinking about, and the making of architectured interior space. 

In The Dialectics of Appropriation, Brooker suggests that the ambiguous nature of Interior Architecture, can be understood through the exploration of a series of dualities. These dualities, or The Dialectics of Appropriation, give Interior Architecture its unique verbal and visual language. They are ideas and processes that inform the subject’s distinctive cultures of research, practice and education. These dualities might be viewed as often at odds with each other, yet it is my suggestion that dialectical conflict, the dichotomy of one idea superseding another, and thus rendering it obsolete, is, in this context, itself a redundant notion. Instead, the Dialectics of Appropriation forms the basis of the composite construct of Interior Architecture. That is a set of processes that give the subject its resonance and its distinct attributes. 

In essence, The Dialectics of Appropriation will set out to position two things. One is that the ‘slippery’ quality of the interior is of paramount importance. Far from being a negative condition, it is a feature of the subject.  Secondly, is the notion that the emphasis of this spatial, disciplinary, professional ambiguity, manifests itself primarily as a composite construct: a history, a theory, a space that is built from, a number of differing ideas, objects, edifices and appropriated conditions. 


Research students