Dr Anna Holder

Lecturer Architecture & Design History & Theory



Anna trained in architecture and planning, and completed a PhD in Architecture at the University of Sheffield in 2014, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Her research centres on developing understanding of the production of space as a socially transformative, interdisciplinary endeavour which brings together the creative and political work of architects with many other professions, as well as activist citizens.

Anna has worked in design practice in the UK and the Netherlands, on projects ranging in scale from domestic conversions to new neighbourhoods. She worked in design research consultancy as part of Prof. Prue Chiles’ Bureau – Design + Research, and contributed to the practice’s ‘Building Schools: Key Issues for Contemporary Design’ book (Birkhauser, 2015). Since 2010 Anna has been a Director at social enterprise architecture practice Studio Polpo, and in this role has been invited to speak on architecture and social enterprise in the UK and Finland.

In 2014-2015 Anna was a Postdoctoral Researcher at Aarhus School of Architecture, Denmark. She organized the international creative practice research conference ‘Making Research | Researching Making’ as part of the EU-funded innovative training network ‘ADAPT-r’, a four-year collaboration between seven creative practice research institutions.

An experienced and enthusiastic educator, Anna has taught architectural and urban design at the University of Sheffield (2010-2014), and architectural design studio at Aarhus School of Architecture (2015-2016), and delivered workshops on topics relating to architecture and creativity for community groups and schools.