Alex Lilley outside the Esther Simpson building

Ten minutes with Alex Lilley

Last updated on 30 August 2023

Meet Alex Lilley, Interior Designer in the Facilities Directorate at the University of Leeds. Alex is currently working on projects in the E C Stoner building and The Edge, as well as other multifunctional spaces across the University of Leeds campus.

Tell us about a current project

I’m working on a couple of projects in E C Stoner at the moment. I joined the University as the Helix project – a new space for digital innovation – was in its final stages. I’m now coordinating finishing touches including two murals from local artist Nicolas Dixon; who also did the mural on the side of The Edge.

We’re also looking at refurbishing Level 9 in E C Stoner as a few teams have grown and need extra space. It’s been empty since everything shut down during the pandemic and we want to modernise and make it look smart.

What aspects of your work are the most important to people at the University?

It’s really important to create environments that we actually want to spend time in. As staff we spend so much time in our workplace so we need multifunctional spaces with areas for quiet and collaboration, and it’s similar for students.

I want people to come into a space and psychologically feel good about being there – it’s spaces that not only create a good first impression but that actually work for people and continue to work for years to come.

What do you like most about your job?

I love how varied everything is. Since starting with the University I’ve already worked on such a large range of projects including office spaces to cafes, and we’re also at the beginning of looking at a new Muslim prayer space. No two days are the same!

Tell us about a project you are particularly proud of 

I’ve just finished a major renovation of my house! My partner and I bought an old village prison in West Yorkshire –  complete with wooden stocks in the front flowerbed – and we’ve been refurbishing it and have finally moved back. It was a big challenge and I’m really proud of it!

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