Joan Love, Senior Lecturer

Joan Love

Senior Lecturer

Joan Love is a senior lecturer and an artist who has experience of interior design in architectural practice.  Her research explores autism-friendly design containing a special interest in spatial transitioning environments. 

Joan became a Senior Lecturer and Level Coordinator on BA(Hons) Interior Architecture and Design in 2001. Joan’s tutoring draws heavily on design inspiration found in the overlap between fine art, sculpture, music, literature, film and the sensory experience of interior space. 

Joan’s expertise is in the advancement of autism-friendly design assisting future professionals to shape responsive spatial environments. This is an ongoing pedagogic project, with eight local SEND schools and colleges. Joan is also a specialist consultant for Leeds City Council on their new build bespoke community accommodation for autistic adults.

She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2015), a Member of Interior Educators (2009), a Member of The Chartered Society of Designers (1988) and a Member of LSA Autism Research Lab (2019)

Current Teaching

BA(Hons) Interior Architecture + Design. 

IAD4.1 Design Fundamentals:

Instruments + Tools. Drawing, Modelling, Digital.

IAD4.2 Sculpting Interior Space: 

Concept, Materials + Making.

IAD4.4 Interiors Reinvented

Design Report: Research, Analysis, Innovation.

IAD4.5 Interiors Reinvented: Design

Imagination, Experimentation, Intuition, Creativity, Ambition, Individuality.

IAD6.5 Spaces Re-imagined: Design Culmination. Major Design Project Part Three

Research Interests

Joan believes that human-centred design is crucial when creating enabling, inclusive spaces. Current autism-friendly design research involves the cross-disciplinary inputs of a sensory integration practitioner and a positive behaviour analyst, to deepen knowledge about the needs of autistic users. 

Joan’s research uncovers new information in the form of ‘10 spatial transitioning platforms’ relating to behaviour-informed design. 

Joan has contributed towards The National Autistic Societies, Network Autism, Knowledge base, including an article on tips for creating autism friendly school environments.


Joan Love, Senior Lecturer

Ask Me About

  1. Design
  2. Autism

Selected Outputs

  • Love J (In press) Too Much Information (2019).

  • Love J (2019) How autism-friendly architecture can change autistic children’s lives.

  • Macdermott J; Appleyard G; Dixon P; Love JS (2012) Emotion, Emotion, Emotion the Spirit of Being Human. In: Rodgers P ed. Interiors Education Futures. Libri Publishing Ltd,

  • Love JS (2012) Balance 1.

  • Love JS (2011) Homage to Muybridge.

  • Love JS (2010) The Autistic Brain.

  • Love J (2021) AUTISM-FRIENDLY ADULT ACCOMMODATION: STUDENTS AND EXTERNAL EXPERTS COLLABORATE IN A FORWARD-THINKING DESIGN PROJECT.

  • Love J (2019) Autism-friendly design recommendations incorporated into 'The National Autistic Societies' knowledge base.

  • Love J (2019) Autism & Behavioural Design: Inter-Disciplinary Knowledge Sharing Session.