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Dr Francesca Lanz

Assistant Professor

Department: Architecture and Built Environment

Francesca Lanz is Assistant Professor of Interior Architecture at the Department of Architecture and the Built Environment, and visiting researcher at the School of Arts and Cultures, Newcastle University.
She joined Northumbria in September 2022. Before this Francesca was Senior Lecturer of Interior Architecture and Design at the University of Lincoln (2021-2022), Lecturer of Interior Architecture and Exhibition Design at Politecnico di Milano (2015-2020) and she held research posts at Newcastle University (Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellow, 2019-2022) and at the Politecnico di Milano (Research Fellow, 2010-2015). She has been guest lecturer and visiting scholar at different European Universities including Newcastle University School of Arts and Cultures (Visiting Researcher, 2022-2023) and at the University of Amsterdam School for Heritage, Memory and Material Culture (Visiting Scholar 2017-2018). Francesca holds a MSc in Architecture and PhD in Interior Architecture and Exhibition Design both awarded magna cum laude by Politecnico di Milano and the Italian National Scientific Qualification as Associate Professor of Architecture / Interior Architecture awarded by ANVUR (National Agency for the Evaluation of University and Research) in 2018.

Her academic expertise spans across different disciplines ranging from interior architecture, critical heritage studies, and museum studies. Her research interest revolves around the role of the built heritage and museums in contemporary societies with key attention to neglected heritages and difficult memories and stories. On these topics, she has a rich track record of publications and funded projects.


Francesca Lanz

My background is in architecture, characterised by primary expertise in interior studies. My academic expertise lies at the intersection of different fields, ranging from interior architecture, museum and exhibition design, to museum and heritage studies, with a particular interest on the potential intertwinements between different disciplinary approaches, theories and practices. My research activity develops across these areas, and it notably revolves around the role of the built environment and museums in contemporary societies, with key attention to neglected heritages and difficult memories and stories as evident in my interest in cities, museums and migration and the adaptive reuse of sites of difficult history including prisons and asylums.

On these topics, I have a wide track record of publications, international research funding success, impact, and collaborative working. I have over a decade of experience in developing and working on cutting-edge funded research projects in the field of architecture and heritage. Among these I contributed as Co-Investigator and Dissemination Leader for the the collaborative research projects MeLa (EU-FP7, 2011–2015) on museums and migration, and TRACES (EU-H2020, 2016-2019) on contentious heritage and creative co-productions; I have been Co-Principal Investigator for the collaborative research project en/counter/points (HERA, 2019–22) on public spaces in a time of migrations, and Principal Investigator for the research project ReMIND (MSCA-IF, 2019–22)  an interdisciplinary study on the adaptive reuse of former asylums into "mind museums".
Alongside these and other funded research programmes, I have been involved in several design-based research projects, and I have been appointed for scientific consultancies developing research-informed solutions to real-world problems, engaging with external stakeholders and contributing to stakeholder-focused knowledge exchange. These include a consultancy for the adaptive reuse and musealisation of the former prison at Fornelli for the Parco Nazionale dell'Asinara (2018-2019); a scientific consultancy on the "City museums global mapping and definition" special project by CAMOC, the International Council of Museums committee for city museums (2020-2023); the participation as a designer in a pilot study supported by the Milan Municipality and UNICEF for the refurbishing of a primary school in Milan (2017-2018); and the design contribution in the project for the musealisation and adaptive reuse of the Marchiondi Institute in Milan, funded by the bank foundation CARIPLO (2009-2010). 

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • The Building as a Palimpsest: Heritage, Memory and Adaptive Reuse Beyond Intervention. Insights from the San Girolamo Former Asylum in Volterra, Lanz, F. 13 Mar 2023, In: Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development
  • Adaptive reuse: a critical review, Lanz, F., Pendlebury, J. Sep 2022, In: Journal of Architecture
  • Designing Interactions:: On the Use of Digital Technologies in the Musealisation of Difficult Built Heritage, Lanz, F., Montanari, E. 1 Jan 2022, Emerging Technologies and Museums, Berghahn Books
  • Re-Inhabiting. Thoughts on the Contribution of Interior Architecture to Adaptive Intervention: People, Places, and Identities, Lanz, F. Jun 2018, In: Journal of Interior Design
  • City museums beyond the museum: Networking as a strategy for twenty-firstcentury european city museums, Lanz, F. 1 Jan 2016, Migrating Heritage, Taylor & Francis
  • Staging Migration (in) Museums.: A Reflection on Exhibition Design Practices for the Representation of Migration in European Contemporary Museums, Lanz, F. 1 Jan 2016, In: Museum & Society
  • City museums in a transcultural Europe, Lanz, F. 1 Jan 2014, Museums and Migration, Taylor & Francis
  • Contemporary museums in an age of migrations: The reinterpretation of European cultural heritage, Basso Peressut, L., Postiglione, G., Lanz, F. 2012, Progress in Cultural Heritage Preservation - 4th International Conference, EuroMed 2012, Proceedings
  • The interior decoration of ocean liners: A chapter in Italian design history, Lanz, F. 2012, In: Interiors: Design, Architecture, Culture

Vincenza Tafaro Adaptive reuse of the “Asinara” high-security prison. Development of a holistic design model for former prison islands and community involvement. Start Date: 01/10/2023

I am a passionate and engaging teacher and I enjoy teaching both design and theory module across undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Over the past twelve years, I have led and developed studio- and lecture-based interior architecture modules at bachelors and masters level focusing in particular on adaptive reuse and housing spaces at the School of Architecture, Urban Planning, Construction, Engineering of the Politecnio di Milano and at the School of Design of the University of Lincoln University, and as guest lecturer at different European Universities. At Northumbria I contribute to teaching in theory modules and design studio for BA(Hons) in Interior Architecture Y1 and Y2.
I am member of the board of researchers of the Architectural Urban Interior Design doctoral programme (AUID) of Politecnico di Milano. I am used to supervising undergraduate and postgraduate students for dissertations and internships, post-doctoral research fellows and research associates within externally-funded research projects and I enjoy mentoring PhD Students.

  • Architecture Other Qualification October 08 2018
  • Architecture PhD April 30 2009
  • Architecture MSc July 14 2005

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