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Dr Michael Johnson

Senior Lecturer

Department: Arts


Before joining Northumbria University in 2012 as a Lecturer in Design History, I was employed as an Academic Tutor at Sunderland University, teaching on the Interior Design and Illustration courses. At the same time, I was employed as an Architecture Consultant for the Durham Victoria County History, investigating the history of Sunderland. My research resulted in the publication of a co-authored monograph[M1]  on the architecture of Sunderland (2013), as well as an independently authored study of working class housing in the city (2015).

At doctoral level, I was one of six students nationwide to gain funding for my PhD in architectural history from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (£40,000). My thesis, Architectural Taste and Patronage in Newcastle upon Tyne, 1870-1914,was supervised by Professor Cheryl Buckley and investigated the economic, social and cultural factors that underpin architectural production, thus offering a new insight into the workings of patronage. In 2012 I delivered a paper based on my research at the Institute for Historical Research and was subsequently invited to contribute to the Victorian Society’s conference in Newcastle in 2012.  

I was the first student in Northumbria University’s Department of Arts to gain Arts and Humanities Research Board funding (£10,000) for my Master’s Degree in Humanities Research. My dissertation investigated the work of the 19th century Catholic architects Dunn and Hansom. A distillation of this research was published in Northern Catholic History in 2008 and I am currently expanding this into a scholarly monograph.

As an undergraduate student at Northumbria University I achieved the degree of BA (Hons) in the History of Modern Art, Design and Film. My dissertation was entitled Cathedral of the Arts and Crafts Movement: St Andrew’s Church, Roker, and investigated one of the finest Edwardian churches in the country, viewing it as a collaborative work by esteemed members of the Arts and Crafts movement. On the strength of this research I was invited to deliver a research paper at the church’s Centenary Symposium in 2007. This was subsequently published in Durham Archaeological Journal in 2009.

Campus Address

Lipman 423A

Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • A Catholic Architect Abroad: the Architectural Excursions of A.M. Dunn, Johnson, M. 2021
  • Completing Pugin’s Vision: Dunn And Hansom’s Contribution to St Mary’s Cathedral, Newcastle, Johnson, M. 1 Sep 2020
  • Ironopolis: The Architecture of Middlesbrough, Johnson, M. 30 Oct 2019
  • Sunderland in 50 Buildings, Johnson, M. 15 Nov 2016
  • Modernist Architecture and Design in Europe, Johnson, M. 16 Jun 2015, The Modernist World, London, Taylor & Francis
  • The Sunderland Cottage: A History of Wearside’s ‘Little Palaces’, Johnson, M. 15 Oct 2015
  • The Architecture of Sunderland, 1700-1914, Johnson, M., Potts, G. 2 Sep 2013
  • Architectural taste and patronage in Newcastle upon Tyne, 1870-1914, Johnson, M. 4 Sep 2009


Architecture PhD June 30 2009

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