Nicola Salkeld

Job title
Senior Lecturer / Course Co-ordinator (Stage 1)
01326 213727 Ext: 3727

Nicola moved to Falmouth in 2006 from London. She did Foundation studies at Central School of Art and Design, her degree at St Martins School of Art, and on graduating worked as a freelance designer and illustrator before going on to do an MA at The Royal College of Art (School of Communication). It was here that she formed a partnership with Jon Morgan and Mike Watson, and on graduating they became Bump Design, winning the Bankers Pyramid Trust new business award.

Her MA dissertation (first class) focused on The Cult of the Virgin Mary and this began a 'minor' obsession which has been a recurring theme in her research interests and personal practice. It was also at the RCA that she began to work with paper sculpture and architectural forms and spaces. As with most things, personal interests led to commercial work and collaborative practice. She producedSpace Hotelwith Penny Baxter (Salter Baxter Design) - shortlisted for the Design Week Awards and exhibited internationally as part of the Inside Out: 20 Designers Books exhibition - as well as works at the Crafts Council’s exhibition On Paper.  

Other significant projects included a collaboration between ING Bank and the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, where Nicola was responsible for the design content as well as being an exhibitor. The subsequent series of works continued beyond the duration of the exhibition into transcription designs: translating meaning to reveal narratives in paintings and artifacts, using type and image, exploring how design and visual language can enrich experience and deepen understanding, how it can join up dots and help articulate relationships between ‘objects’, timelines and ‘thinking’ - graphic forensics.  

Nicola is now working with Ashley Rudolph on MOTH which explores the role design has to play in death and how it can help and inform bereavement - examining, for example, the Victorian legacy, which is laden with metaphors and meaning, as well as trying to understand more contemporary attitudes to death and mourning. The project looks at the aesthetics of death, the educational implications of this and the design potential for the context it might serve. MOTH is interested in the formal conventions of death as well as how we might challenge these. Nikki recently delivered a paper at a conference in September 2013 - Malady and Mortality: Illness, Disease and Death in Literary and Visual Culture.


YearQualificationAwarding body
Royal College of Art
Level 4 Teaching Qualification FE Stage 2
City & Guilds
Central St Martins School of Art and Design

Honours and awards


ILT Membership


The Chris Garham Memorial Prize for Photography


The Bankers Pyramid Trust Award - New Business BUMP design


The Brian Robb Italian Travel Prize


The Painters & Stainers Prize RCA

Membership of external committees


Research interests

Research interests and expertise

• MOTH has introduced a programme of events running throughout the year, which has included the participation of students from all three years, as well as staff working together on projects and in workshops. This year’s work was delivered as a paper at a conference in September 2013. Malady And Mortality: Illness, Disease And Death In Literary And Visual Culture
•  Graphic Transcriptions/Graphic Forensics: to translate meaning and reveal narratives using type and image. How design and visual language can enrich experience and deepen understanding. How design can join up dots and help articulate relationships between ‘objects’ and thinking and enhance our relationships with works of art beyond the beauty/aesthetic of the painting/artifact.
• PET Palace Product design to help and support children when dealing with bereavement.

Research topics

Death and design
Graphic Design
Graphic Transcription and Forensics
Image Making

Research outputs



Malady and Mortality: Illness, Disease and Death in Literary and Visual Culture


Areas of teaching

Gloucester University
The Victoria & Albert Museum London.
Wimbledon School of Art/UAL

Courses taught

Graphic Design BA (Hons)