Profile

Dr. Helena Chance

PhD, FRSA

Reader in the History and Theory of Design

Biography

Helena’s research focuses on the history and design of cultural landscapes with a particular focus on corporate landscapes, from those of the first industrial villages in the 18th century, to the pleasure gardens designed today for employees at tech giants such as Google and Facebook. Her book ‘The Factory in a Garden’ A History of Corporate Landscapes from the Industrial to the Digital Age was published by Manchester University Press in 2017. Helena has published and lectured on the impact of green space on health and well-being, Edith Wharton’s work on interior and garden design, the role of furniture in shaping and reflecting our experience of public space, and on the representation of designed landscapes in art, photography, advertising and branding. She is currently developing a new project on the social landscape of industry, focusing initially on High Wycombe and district, which until the late 20th century, was a leading centre for furniture making. Together with partners including Wycombe Museum, Wycombe District Council and the Chilterns Conservation Board she is developing two community history projects: ‘Living, Laughing and Learning in High Wycombe Furniture Town’ and ‘Woodlanders’ Lives and Landscapes’. Helena’s role will be to support volunteers in collecting oral histories and researching in local archives to reveal fresh perspectives on the unique industrial heritage of High Wycombe and the Chilterns. Helena co-convenes the Research Seminar at Bucks with Professor Margaret Greenfields and is the REF Lead for Art and Design. She is a regular contributor to the annual Design History Society conference and a member of the Landscape Research Group.