Rachel Simmonds is a qualified Architect who studied at Scott Sutherland School of Architecture, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen and the Ecole d'Architecture de Clermont Ferrand, France. In 2013, following several years working at a senior level for award winning architectural practices in Edinburgh, she established Studio Bof, a design practice focusing on conservation architecture, interior design and art commissioning.
She started lecturing in 1998 at Scott Sutherland School of Architecture, and joined Edinburgh College of Art in 2008 as a part time tutor, becoming a full time lecturer in 2016. She teaches both undergraduate and postgraduate courses at ECA, and has been involved in teaching internationally, as part of an international exchange programme. In 2014 she created the Fashion Interior Courses as part of the Shanghai College of Fashion programme, and was the first Flying Academic to go and teach these courses in Shanghai. In January 2017 she became Programme Director for Undergraduate and Postgraduate Interior Design. Since May 2017 she has also been the Director of Outreach for the School of Design, with a remit for making connections between external agencies and the university.
In relation to research, her architectural experience has influenced a variety of investigations around historic and future office design, conservation strategies in the UK and China and collaborations between architects and artists. She also uses her industry experience to support her research into the design of future interior spaces, with an emphasis on places of creative working and learning.