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SUSAN LAWSON

PROFILE

Triple-skilled individual (expertise in visual/spatial design; in marketing/pr/written communications, and in property finance) across the interior design, architecture, real estate, heritage & building sectors.

EDUCATION


2018 PGCert Real Estate Finance & Investment, University of the West of England, UK 
2009 MA Interior Design (Distinction) University of Westminster, London UK
1999 MA Visual Theory (Distinction) University of East London, London, UK
1994 BA (Hons) Architecture RIBA (Part I) University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK

TECHNICAL SKILLS

• Full Adobe Suite competency (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere);

• MicroStation, SketchUp, Vectorworks; ability to rapidly assimilate to new software;

• Strong photography skills and exceptional mood-boarding & hand-drawing skills.

CONTRACTS (portfolio career)

• Role as Contributing Design Editor on the design-led lifestyle magazine The Hub: positioning the design segment in distinction to existing consumer titles; writing features; styling interiors shoots; conducting interviews with leading product designers including Lee Broom; liaising with leading furniture contractors at London-based design shows.

• Consulting on a monograph for a Turner Prize winning artist.

• Working with an award-winning investment Fund Manager, including helping him to devise and structure his proposal, resulting in a contract with leading UK publisher Bloomsbury; the resulting book was subsequently well reviewed in the Financial Times.

• Consulting on a monograph for a Turner Prize winning artist.

• Various set design projects for theatre companies and performing artists; interior design consultancy work for private clients.

• Ghostwriting contract for a Rome-based contemporary artist, including a week’s intensive work together in Rome; ghost-writing a book for two theatre directors; title-by-title editorial contracts for various publishers including Thames & Hudson.

• Devising & ghost-writing Thought Leadership pieces for AHR (then Aedas) before the relationship developed into a salaried position, and PR consulting for a bespoke architect.

• Editorial work assessing the quality of submitted novels for a leading London literary agency.

• Visiting Critic on the MA Interior Design course, University of Westminster, & formal Mentor.

• Various lectures & round-table panels on pitching for publication, including for the University of the Arts, for the London School of Fashion and the University of Ulster.

EMPLOYMENT HISTORY


2019 Career Break / Wellbeing & Career Reorientation - career reorientation & personal development, including re-launching consultancy.

2015-2018 Bid Writer, PR & Marketing Analyst, AHR Building Consultancy (Aedas), W Yorks, UK


• Devising and editorial control of innumerable published features for Directors and the MD, with the
goal of raising brand awareness across multiple built environment industry sectors. Noted for
my ability to write on technical subjects in a highly engaging style which led to 100%
acceptance of all pitched features to the industry press.
• PR liaison, monthly briefing and management of external PR company to ensure prompt &
strategic placement in relevant press, aligned with annual programme of trade fairs.
• Creation of Social Media strategy; devising and writing SEO-optimised blog / social media
campaigns, including to avert losses from Direct Marketing relating to GDPR regulations.
• Utilising analytics and results of Digital campaigns in order to make changes (for example in
terms of tone of voice, post frequency, angle) to drive improved traffic and engagement.
• Production of annual Marketing & Business Development Plans across our Core Sectors.
• Analysis of competitors; monitoring broader industry trends; future-scoping; strategic
business analysis on the effects of economic scenarios (including Brexit).


2010-2015  Designer, Editorial Consultant & Ghostwriter, London & Yorks, UK


Innumerable contracts across Design, Editorial & PR Consultancy, as a designer, writer and ghostwriter, and as a Lecturer / Critic. See Contracts, above.


2008-2010 Group Manager & PR, Historic Buildings Conservation, Alan Baxter, London, UK

• Heritage Design Guidelines to ensure sensitive compliance with Conservation Principles in the interior design of listed buildings.
• Research into and analysis of key industry issues, including shifts in heritage funding
priorities (for example the Heritage Lottery Fund) and Government legislation.
• Compiling planning histories of residences in Kensington & Notting Hill and of Georgian
mansions for planning consents, for developers, hotel chains & high-profile private clients.
• Managing graphic designers and co-ordinating subconsultant content, including encouraging
designers to balance perfectionism with time-management for Bids with very tight deadlines.
• PR Strategy for the Heritage team, including how to articulate our Value Positioning on
issues such as sustainability in listed buildings, as distinct to competitor approaches.
• Project-specific work including a report which fed into the London Plan and a report for the
Gloucester Heritage URC as regards the role of heritage buildings in regeneration.


1999-2007 Commissioning Editor, Art & Visual Theory I.B.Tauris Publishers, London, UK


• Devising and commissioning entirely new publishing list for I.B.Tauris, including managing PR, Sales, Marketing and Production Teams and hiring graphic designers. Titles retailed in leading galleries and were positively reviewed by media including the TES & BBC Radio 4.
• Control of budget & contracts for the list, including negotiating royalties & picture budgets.
• Winning over extremely sought-after authors, despite tight budgets, by building rapport.
• Overseeing authors’ writing processes, aiding them with clarifying concepts & structure. In-depth editorial work where required.
• Commissioning a balance of authors across 3 key territories, UK, US and Australia and liaising
with Sales Manager on appropriate content for our New York partner Palgrave.

• From 2000-2003, concurrent with ongoing role at I.B.Tauris, a pt role as Researcher on the Architecture & Design publishing list at Laurence King, London, including clearing permissions on illustrative content, liaising with high-profile architects, designers, photographers and picture agencies globally, and working as an assistant on European royalties contracts.