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Lydia Southwell

Course Leader

Department of Art and Music

Lydia Southwell


Lydia is Course Leader for BA (Hons) Interior Design and a senior academic on BA (Hons) Interior Design Decoration. She contributes to teaching across both courses, though predominately is responsible for delivering surface design, creative styling, and supervision to final year students.

She has extensive teaching experience having been responsible for BA and BEd degree students as Head of the Art and Design department at New College, University of Southampton. She lectured at Winchester School of Art in Fashion and Textiles, from 2003, running the Pathway in Textile Art until 2010. Her professional work looks at the links between the pedagogic aspects of teaching and learning and her specific subject knowledge in interior design. She has actively sought opportunities to assist in establishing processes which assure a higher standard of teaching and learning; appointments with Southampton University School of Education, external examiner for HAVA and as Chair of Assessment at Winchester School of Art all supported quality assurance.

Lydia’s lecturing focuses on design, styling and decorating interior spaces, with a specific knowledge in the creation of furnishings and wallpapers for interiors. Lydia has been involved in many textile and fashion related freelance projects and commissions including the creation of theatrical costumes for theatre.

Lydia was awarded Visionary Tutor by the Society of British and International Design in 2018 and awarded an Honourable mention for Outstanding Teaching by the Union Awards in 2020.

Under her leadership the interior design decoration course has become unique within the sector, allowing students to create bespoke interior designs with specially designed surface designs. The outstanding work of the student has been recognised globally, and student satisfaction has remained consistently high since 2017 between 92% to 100%. Lydia has dedicated her academic profession to creating opportunities for students where they can engage in real world learning, working with industry on either live projects or having success in competitions such as Dulux, Valspar and Amara. Among Lydia’s other contributions, she has served as Visiting Juror of Interior Design at Parsons School of Design, New York.

Further information

Taught MA and UG textile design - Winchester School of Art

Chair of Assessment Working Group – Winchester School of Art

Acting Director of Undergraduate Studies

Teaching and Learning Committee Member

Assessment timetable planning for all undergraduate and postgraduate assessment

Degree Show Planning, Chair of Degree Show Committee

Organizing external venue exhibitions at Hampshire Sculpture Trust, St. Cross, Winchester Cathedral and New Designers, London

School of Education, University of Southampton- Teaching Observer

Head of Art and Design Department, New College, Southampton University – Responsible for full and part time degree courses in Art and Design including BEd and BA Combined Studies degrees.

Experienced at curriculum design, staff and student timetables, budget holder, recruiting staff, and organizing final degree shows.

Supervision Tutor for work based Placements, Dissertations and Related Skills.

Taught courses

BA (Hons) Interior Design Decoration

With award-winning graduates and a teaching team of industry professionals, our SBID-accredited degree will provide you with the design skills to turn your vision into reality.

BA (Hons) Interior Design

Blend your artistic flair with technology and design, to create innovative and attractive indoor spaces for both domestic and commercial use on this SBID accredited degree.