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Rowena Hay

Architecture & Built EnvironmentDesign Academic, EducatorService, Experience & UX Design

Rowena Hay is a social scientist specializing in participatory and creative research methods. Her career began in architecture and design before transitioning into policy work. With a growing interest in social housing, she pursued her doctoral studies focusing on cooperative housing models. Rowena continued her post-doctoral studies at the University of Reading, concentrating on post-occupancy evaluation. In 2015, she co-founded Shortwork, a company specializing in co-produced research and evaluation projects. Through her work with Shortwork, Rowena has collaborated with numerous organizations supporting participatory research and action, including the National Trust, British Council, and Dulwich Picture Gallery.

She has cultivated a long-term partnership with the Carbon Co-op, working on user-centered and community-driven approaches to housing retrofit. Since 2021, Rowena has worked with the Design Council supporting research and evaluation programs for clients such as Network Rail and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. Rowena holds an MA in Social Anthropology from the University of Edinburgh, an MSc in Contemporary Urbanism from the London School of Economics, and a PhD from Durham University. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and the Clore Leadership Programme.

Rowena Hay