Dr Sarah Joyce

Dr Sarah Joyce

Profile

Sarah is an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow working with Dr Joanne Greenhalgh in the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Leeds.  

Sarah completed her PhD at the School of Architecture at the University of Sheffield and was jointly supervised by Dr Rosie Parnell and Professor Penny Curtis in the School of Nursing and Midwifery. She is an ARB-registered architect (most recently working at www.nichedesignarchitects.com), and previously an NCT antenatal educator and course co-leader (lead on research module) for the interior design and architecture degree at Sheffield Hallam University.

Sarah trained as an architect at the Bartlett School of Architecture (UCL) gaining distinctions for her RIBA Part III (qualification for statutory registration) and RIBA Part II (Masters degree). She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. The birth of her own children and her experiences of maternity care and various birth venues inspired her to also train with the NCT as an antenatal educator. She is a Parent Representative for the Leeds Maternity Voices Partnership (www.mvpleeds.com) and has undertaken various voluntary roles as an NHS maternity service user representative on local MSLCs and auditing midwifery care for the Local Supervisory Authority. With local NHS Trusts, she has completed audits of facilities using the NCT Better Births Audit Toolkit and secured funding from the 2012-13 Department of Health Capital Fund for improving birthing environments in her support of local maternity services.

As a researcher, she finds birth spaces fascinating as the intersection between architecture, women’s experience and maternity care. She takes Franck & Lepori’s ‘attitude’ that people are ‘the very reasons for architecture to exist at all’ (2000, p. 5) and seeks to understand architectural space for labour and birth through lived experience and social interaction; as a uniquely human experience. Her work is not a disinterested act of scholarship, and she is active in the hope of engaging in scholarly debate and evidence-based practices to facilitate better birthing experiences for all women.

Research interests

My interests are:

  • interdisciplinary approaches to understanding the design of birth spaces and how such spaces are experienced during labour and childbirth,
  • the spatial design of all spaces that are experienced as part of pregnancy, childbirth and early family life and how these spaces shape, and are shaped by, people’s experience, caring practices and policy guidance. 
  • interior architecture and critical spatial theory
<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>

Qualifications

  • PhD Towards a new architectural understanding of birth spaces grounded in women's experiences
  • Certificate in Professional Practice & Management (RIBA Part 3)
  • Diploma in Architecture (RIBA Part 2)
  • BA(Hons) Architectural Studies (RIBA Part 1)
  • Diploma in Higher Education (Antenatal)

Professional memberships

  • Architects Registration Board

Student education

Architectural Studio Tutor on Architectural Engineering MEng, BEng