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2 Last updated 8 October 2020.



Cate is a design, architectural and cultural historian, specialising in regional expressions of national identity, identities of place and citizenship articulated through architecture, design, the built environment and visual arts practice. She has been a consultant and an invited speaker on the 1951 Festival of Britain. 

Senior Lecturer in the Department of Architecture & 3D Design at the University of Huddersfield with 28 years of teaching experience in higher education. She has been an external examiner of history and theory at Anglia Ruskin University (all undergraduate and postgraduate art & design courses), Falmouth School of Art (Product Design, Interior Design, and Craft), and Teesside University (Product Design, Interior design and Graphic Design).

Current teaching:
§ BA Architecture & BA Architecture International: Architecture/Architecture (International) - architectural, design and art history, cultural theory, identity and placemaking (including post-covid cities)  and dissertation supervision.

§ Product Design BA & Product Design BSc - studio, design processes, design thinking, user-centred co-design, research methodologies, behavioural and cultural issues and material culture.

Current roles:
§ Year 2 Lead BA/BSc Product Design
§ Placement Lead for Product Design
§ School Ethics Committee
§ Recruitment
§ Care Leaver Mentor

Research Expertise and Interests



Her doctoral research investigated placemaking rhetoric, curatorial, and architectural practices in the planning, production, and consumption of the 1951 Festival of Britain between 1948 and 1951 in Liverpool and York. Stories encompassing design and architectures of modernity (‘live architecture’ - domestic new-builds and restorations), widening or contracting of participation in the cultural life of these cities, resurgence, good citizenship, good taste, civic, commercial, and cultural success. The promotion of business, industrial and manufacturing capabilities, tidying schemes, events and exhibitions, public and corporate celebrations, and civic ceremony. Liverpool & York put into play what we now know as a narrative model of place-branding. The Festival was a tool to counter, resurrect, maintain, or create fresh narratives of local, regional, and national identity. 


Cate’s research demonstrates that whilst Post-war plans are often interrogated to understand the ambitions of regional elites in promoting their cities and calling for a change, the 1951 Festival of Britain can be considered a significant moment within which to map and understand the motivation and agendas of urban elites for progress in the built and cultural environment. Her research responds to the new historiography of the architectural canon in the UK - particularly the re-evaluation of Neo-Georgian architecture. 


Findings from historical placemaking, the mistakes and successes, the ways in which public engagement was facilitated or curtailed across the classes, are useful tools for contemporary place and festival makers. Cate is happy to explore placemaking toolkits for co-design and co-production, bringing together her skills in design thinking, user centred methodologies, history, design practice and theory.



Contemporary and historical placemaking narrative and citizenship articulated via:

  • New build 'live' architecture exhibitions (temporary or permanent)
  • Neo-Georgian architecture in the 20th Century
  • Regional festivals / commemorations (serial or standalone)
  • National festivals / commemorations (serial or standalone)


Expressionas of regional and national identity  in the regions via:

  • Architectural restoration and new bulids
  • Arts Festival programming
  • Cultural institutions 
  • Curatorial practice 
  • Domestic housing
  • Exhibitions
  • Furniture, fixtures and fittings
  • Graphic design
  • Interior design
  • Photography
  • Product design
  • Urban design


Organizing, Scientific & Reviewing Committee for the 15th European Architectural Envisioning Conference, University Huddersfield September 21

PhD. Identities of place: The 1951 Festival of Britain in Liverpool and York

Irving, Henry, Benincasa-Sharman, Caterina, Evans, David, Evans, The Civic Front: Reframing Home Front Collections. Wakefield Museums & Castles', Museums and Academics Engagement event.


Unver, Ertu, Benincasa-Sharman, Caterina, Silkstone, Robert, Norris, Peter, Stockton, Glynn and Russel, Paul (2017) Design and Development of Alternative Vectorthotic Insole: Technical Report. Technical Report. Technical Report submitted to Healthy Step ltd.. (Submitted)

Unver, Ertu, Benincasa-Sharman, Caterina, li, Zixan, Markham, Rory and Bentum, Luke Van (2017) Visualising & Animating Vectorthotic Products. [Video] (Submitted)

Frank, Fitzpatrick, Unver, Ertu and Benincasa-Sharman, Caterina (2017) Digital sculpting for historical representation: Neville tomb case study. Digital Creativity. ISSN 1462-6268

Benincasa, Caterina (2016) Liverpool Resurgent: How Liverpool used their Arts Festival status in the 1951 Festival of Britain to improve its image. In: European Association of Urban History, Helsinki 2016 Reinterpreting Cities, 13th International Conference for Urban History, 24th - 27th August, Helsinki. (Unpublished)

Swann, David, Wallwein, Louise, Roberts, Sue and Benincasa-Sharman, Caterina Amanda (2016) LifeHacket Trio. David Swann. (Unpublished)

Benincasa-Sharman, Caterina Amanda (2016) What do they think? A potential research methodology for understanding identities of place from a community perspective. In: Managing Complex Social Housing Urban Redevelopment Though Improved Project Management and Value Generation, 16th - 20th May 2016, Federal University Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. (Unpublished)

Benincasa-Sharman, Caterina Amanda, Taylor, Andrew and Unver, Ertu (2016) Populating Praxis of Place, Stonehenge: An Interdisciplinary Collaboration. In: School of Art, Design & Architecture Research Conference 2016, 14th January 2016, University of Huddersfield. (Unpublished)

Benincasa-Sharman, Caterina Amanda (2015) Architectural Nous: How York Wrote its Identity Through Architecture During the 1951 Festival of Britain. In: Reading Architecture Across the Arts and Humanities, 5th - 6th December 2015, University Stirling. (Unpublished)

Taylor, Andrew, Unver, Ertu and Benincasa-Sharman, Caterina (2014) Material shifts in praxis: Projections of digital humanities embodied within space and place. In: Transition: Re-thinking Textiles and Surfaces, 26th and 27th November 2014, School of Art, Design and Architecture, University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, UK. (Submitted)

Taylor, Andrew, Benincasa-Sharman, Caterina and Unver, Ertu (2014) 3D digital modelling, fabrication and installation for understanding space and place. In: 7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation, 17th-19th November 2014, Seville, Spain.

Benincasa-Sharman, Caterina Amanda (2013) We are not dealing with someone else’s “left overs”! Northern English Cities’ response to the 1951 Festival of Britain. In: Formations and Representations of British National Identity, 19-20 September 2013, Warwick University. (Unpublished)

Benincasa, Caterina (2013) From Repellent to Resurgent- Liverpool and the 1951 Festival of Britain. In: Transformation of Urban Britain Since 1945, 9-10 July 2013, Centre for Urban History University Leicester. (Unpublished)

Benincasa-Sharman, Caterina (2013) From Ration Books to Resurrection: How northern cities reached out to the people during the 1951 Festival of Britain. In: Social History Annual Conference 2013, 25th - 27th March 2013, University of Leeds. (Unpublished)

Taylor, Andrew, Unver, Ertu and Benincasa-Sharman, Caterina Amanda (2012) Hyper naturalism and simulacra in Stonehenge art. In: 4th International Euro-Mediterranean Conference (EuroMed 2012), Cyprus, 29 October - 3 November 2012.

Benincasa-Sharman, Caterina Amanda (2012) BBC Stoke Breakfast with Pete Morgan - Caterina Benincasa-Sharman talking about Staffordshire's contribution to the 1951 Festival of Britain in the London based and Travelling Exhibitions. [Audio]

Invited Speaker: Benincasa-Sharman, Caterina Amanda (2011) The 1951 Festival of Britain: A Northern Perspective. In: York Festival, July 12th 2011, Bedern Hall, York. (Unpublished)

Invited conultant for Hendy, Julian 'A Brave New World' BBC Documentary

Benincasa-Sharman, Caterina Amanda (2011) Signposts: The Festival of Britain 1951. History Today. pp. 54-55. ISSN 0018-2753

Benincasa, Caterina (2010) Pigeons not Doves: Liverpool’s Contribution to the Festival of Britain, 1951. In: Modern British History Conference, 22nd - 23rd JUne 2010, St Andrews University, Scotland. (Unpublished)

Benincasa, Caterina (2009) “Its 1951 not 951” How did Leeds and York Represent their Identity of Place in the Festival of Britain Celebrations? In: Conference on Modern British History, 23-24 June 2009, Department of History, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. (Unpublished)

Benincasa, Caterina (2007) Strawberries and sinners: Lilian Ream’s photographs of migrant East End labour and the Wisbech Fruiting Campaign. In: Inter War Rural History Research Group International Conference, 4-6 January 2007, Royal Holloway University of London, Egham, England. (Unpublished)

Benincasa, Caterina (2004) Feeling Follows Function: Gendered Responses to the Teaching of Material Culture. In: 4th International Conference on Design History and Design Studies: 'Coincidence & Co-incidence', 1-5 November 2004, Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico. (Unpublished)

Benincasa, Caterina (2004) Has Art History Had its Day? A Pedagogical Experiment into the Relevance of Historical and Contextual Studies for Fine Art Undergraduates. In: Association of Art Historians Annual Conference: ‘Old  / New?, 1-3 April 2004, University of Nottingham. (Unpublished)




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