Professor Christine White

Job: Deputy Dean

Faculty: Arts, Design and Humanities

School/department: School of Design

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH

T: 0116 257 7401




Personal profile

Professor Christine White is Deputy Dean for the Faculty of Arts, Design and Humanities, Director of the Design Unit and Professor of Art & Design.

She has held a number of senior management positions across seven Higher Education Institutions in the UK and a number of portfolios including all aspects of international recruitment and collaborations, research, enterprise and civic engagements, teaching, learning and student experience.

She was Associate Pro-Vice Chancellor for Apprenticehsips at DMU and was the OfSted Nominee 2017-2022.

She works on wider city civic engagement activities with Leicester City Council, most recently Historic England award for the Heritage Action Zone 2020-2024.

She is a designer who has worked in a number of contexts from live performance, film and art installations, events and products.

She has published eight books and contributes to other publications.  She was the founding convenor of the International Federation for Theatre Research Scenography Working Group and was one of the first people to produce a Ph.D. study of Scenography in the UK.

She is founding and co-editor of Scene an internationally peer-reviewed journal exploring visual contexts of cultural production in narrative and interactive arts, which over the last 10 years has produced work that covers a range of performative designed contexts including holography and virtual production.

She is a reviewer for a number of publishers including Intellect, Palgrave and Routledge. 

She is also a reviewer for research councils including collaborative projects with the Medical Research Council and was a peer reviewer for the Arts and Humanities Research Council Peer Review College 2006-2018.

Research group affiliations

Member of the Art and Design Research Institute.

Director of the Design Unit. In the Design Unit we look at sustainable design, prototyping and product development including new materials experimentation, circular economy, and social dimensions of design. We can also offer short course development, knowledge transfer partnerships, consultancy and continuing professional development for business and industry. 

Please do get in touch:


Key research outputs

Currently working with colleagues on extending the growing season for greenhouse; developing new materials for foam upholstery; exploring holograms to concentrate light for solar panels; creative cluster for Leicestershire; supply chain developments for the social and economic development of the region through Made in Leicestershire.

 founding editor of Scene, which is a peer-reviewed journal that engages, artists, practitioners, creatives and academics in areas of design for performed environments, including immersive, virtual production, online and mixed media relationships of the worlds created and their audiences.  We welcome suggestions for special issues and developing ideas for full papers visual essays or other media.

Research interests/expertise

Christine has researched and has expertise in the creative arts having worked in professional theatre and performance, as well as being a designer, performer, director and film producer. She regularly presents her work at international conferences, most recently Prague.

Professor White has supervised a number of PhD students who work internationally both in academia and industry, and she welcomes PhD applications allied to her subject specialisms and research publications.

Her latest projects include the development of Leicester All in Equity in Action for Leicester.  This includes city creatives and the wider higher education establishments in reviewing and improving the city and business developments in relations to creative clusters of activity.

 Nature Connections Festivals. Nature Connections Festivals 2015 and 2016 were an initiative building on the research of nature connectedness and the inter-relations of nature, creativity and the arts.  Christine directed the two festivals to engage a wide range of public with subject disciplines inclduing, music, visual arts, photography, hydrology, zoology and forestry across the University of Derby enabling all people to realise their links and potentials for living with and through nature connections.

Areas of teaching

Creative Arts and Design, Sustainaibility for Design.

PhD disciplines: Holography, Photography, Visual Arts Installations, Design Products.


Christine studied her Ph.D. at Goldsmiths University, London and her undergraduate at the University of Kent. She has qualifications in film production, drama and theatre studies, e-moderating, stone carving,  Mandarin and Carbon Literacy.

Honours and awards

Visiting Professor of Art and Design at Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, China.

Membership of external committees

2023-present: Chair of the Board of Trustees, The Mighty Creatives.

2020-2024: Chair, Cultural Consortium, Heritage Action Zone, Historic England.

 2006 – 2022: Peer Reviewer for the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

2014 – 2018: Member of Configuring Light/Staging the Social Network, ESRC, LSE.

 2013 – 2018: Deputy Chair and Member of the Board of Trustees DerwentWISE.

 2011 - 2017: Member of the Board of Trustees Déda, the Dance Centre for Derby and the East Midlands.

2005 - present: Reviewer for the following publishers: Palgrave, Intellect; Taylor & Francis; Routledge; Focal Press.

Membership of professional associations and societies

Member of the European Collected Library of Artistic Performance

Fulbright Champion for applications to their programmes fro UK-USA

Professional licences and certificates

Principle Fellow of the Higher Education Academy  - PFHEA

Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts - FRSA


Christine is working on Sustainability projects in particular Sustainability ROX March 2024.

This wide ranging Design event enables buisness to business engagments for developing knowledge on companies of Carbon Literacy, Consultancy for logistics and business practices, developing processes and materails to address changing legislations for Net Zero compliance.

Forthcoming events

The Future of the Textiles Industry in Leicester, Autumn 2024: looking at what needs to support a regrowth of the city of Liecester as the capital that clothes the world and definitely the UK, in a responsible business leading way, inclduing sustainable fashion manufacturing.

Sustainability Rox: An Environmental and Social Governance plan is part of the solution for businesses to reach their green potentials.  These plans can help win contracts and business and improve consumer respect for your work. 


Consultancy work

External Examiner for Wuhan University of Technology Art and Design programmes 2022-2026.

PhD Advisor University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakisatn

She has worked as an examiner for programmes in India, China, Spain and the UK.

Design Unit consultancies with business projects are ongoing and include greenhouse insulation, alternatives to foam for upholstery, holography for photovoltaics...

Current research students

Christine is interested in supervising students in subjects related to design in creative and performance contexts.

Current: Alchemy and Photography; Holography Visualisations and Data Storage, Mapping Lahore through Its Oral History; 

Previous areas of study have included: Full Parallax Digital Holography; Forensic Costume Design; Reimagining the Blues; Painting Digital Photography; Lighting as Space in Performance; Photography, Identity and the Selfie; Social Media and Radio Production in Ireland; Craft and Design: Kintsugi and Kintsukuroi; 

Externally funded research grants information

£467,000, ERDF, Digital Creative Economy, D2N2, 2016-2018

£2.46 million, Heritage Lottery Fund bid partner project, DerwentWISE, 2013-2019

£90,000, Happy Museum – Makers Project, 2013-2014.


Practice as Research  - Design: A Gift for Eleonora design and performance, Art Out Loud, Private View in 5 rooms in Chatsworth House including the Painted Hall and Private Chapel, 23rd September 2016; Public Performance Chatsworth Theatre 25th September 2016.

Apothecary’s Cabinet II, 2015, 2016, design, exhibited University of Derby Nature Connections Festival September 2015; Student Wellbeing Centre University of Derby January – April 2016; Derby Hospital Residency April 2016 – January 2019.

A Gift for Eleonora design and performance, Roman Baths, Bath UK, as part of the Bath Literature Festival, March 2016;

The Urban Laboratory: a gift for Eleonora Design and Performance, by Alison Oddey, Basilica de Santa Croce, Florence, May, 2015.

Exhibition Design Emmanuel Cooper Retrospective, Royal Crown Derby, Derby Museum and Gallery, 2014.