BA (Hons) coursesInterior Architecture and Design

Meet the team

So much more than teaching.

Our team doesn’t just inform – they inspire with memorable, groundbreaking courses.

Russell Gagg

Course Leader

BA (Hons) MArch (Manc) RIBA

Having graduated from Manchester University School of Architecture, Russell has held Chartered status with the Royal Institute of British Architects since 1998.

Russell has worked in practice across the UK, Asia and Australasia on a diverse range of projects from leisure, commercial and retail to educational, correctional and residential for large practices such as OPUS Architecture and DP Architects of Singapore. A large proportion of his work has concentrated on urban regeneration and renewal across the north west of England where he worked on many award-winning schemes for architects such as Ian Simpson, Roger Stephenson and AEDAS.

Russell joined the AUB in 2006 from the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, where he was lecturer and studio leader on both the BA (Hons) Architecture and the MA Architecture programmes.

Since joining the AUB Russell  and his team have developed Interior Architecture and Design to become one of the leading courses in the UK which includes its membership of the leading academic subject group Interior Educators; this development also now includes the MA Architecture: Spatial Practices for which Russell is subject leader.

Russell is also the author of “Interior Architecture: Textures and Materials” which is published by Bloomsbury.

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Michael Cavagin

Senior Lecturer

BA (Hons) PG Dip Arch ARB

Michael is a qualified architect with considerable experience in the conversion of historic buildings and new-build within Conservation Areas.

After leaving Sheffield University upon completion of RIBA Parts I & II, Michael started his professional career at Sagar Stevenson Architects, instrumental in the early regeneration and development of the Northern Quarter of Manchester from a run-down inner city location to a vibrant hub of creative industries and bars.

Whilst continuing in practice, Michael qualified as a Cabinetmaker, gaining skills in both hand and machine woodworking, enabling a deeper appreciation of the craft and constructional detailing aspects of design.

Professional experience has been subsequently gained in a number of RIBA Regional Award winning practices in the North West of England including Union North, Arca, OMI Architects and Austin-Smith:Lord on projects as diverse as a drug dependency clinic, bars, night clubs, city library, university building and residential, developing a particular specialism in the conservation and regeneration of historic buildings.

As well as having an interest in constructional and technical aspects of interiors,  his other teaching interests cover a field broadly urban in emphasis, including interventions in historic and peripheral areas, projects grounded in particulars of site, and programs arising out of close consideration of anticipated operation and inhabitation.

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Monica Franchin

Senior Lecturer

Monica graduated from the University of Architecture in Venice (IUAV). Before starting her teaching career, Monica worked as Interior Architect for many years designing exhibition spaces, retail shops, restaurants, and hotels.

In Italy, Monica worked for Grassi Architects designing for the retail industry, including projects for brands such as Max Mara, Kelvin Klein, Benetton and Prada. This gave her the opportunity to be involved in many international projects. When she moved to the UK in 2011, Monica worked at Creed Design,  designing for the hospitality sector.

In 2013 she started to work as a lecturer in Interior Design at Birmingham City University. This included teaching overseas in Hong Kong gaining experience in teaching to international students. She was also involved in a project regarding the realisation of a Material Library for the 3D course and she was the Erasmus Coordinator for the course. She joined AUB in April 2016.

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Edward Ward


Edward is a lecturer on the IAD team, providing specialist skills and knowledge to all levels through out the course. On L4 and L5, he guides and and develops students through the range of software applications delivered on the course, from Adobe suite, and Autodesk drawing packages such as AutoCAD, Revit and 3DSMax.

When not in front of a computer, Edward can be found working with students on modelmaking projects and aspects of their coursework.  This can be from card models, wood and metal work, or more advanced realisations using the digital prototyping equipment.

He delivers a popular evening course specialising in the design process, use of software packages Illustrator, Solidworks and Rhino, and introducing digital fabrication technologies such as laser cutters, cnc mills and 3D printing processes.

Outside of term time Edward has organised and run successful Easter school for 14 / 16 year olds, introducing them to design principles and model making, and a bespoke course for an oversees visit of costume students and stage design realisation.

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Supporting staff

Guest speakers

  • Professor Robert Adam - FRSA
  • Professor Sir Peter Cook
  • Feilden Clegg Bradley
  • Goswin Rosenthal - Zaha Hadid Architects, London.