Ms Rosamund Lily West

Research project: The ‘concrete citizens' of the London County Council's housing schemes, 1943 to 1965.


In the 1943 County of London Plan, both its authors and the London County Council (LCC) set out the re-planning of London. It aimed to solve the defects of modern London through planning, paying close attention to existing neighbourhoods and communities. The LCC used artworks - and the decision process when considering works of art - as a communication tool for the post-war re-planning of London and its communities, as part of a wider communication strategy that included publications, exhibitions and films.

My research positions these artworks in the context of wartime and post-war planning for London, concentrating on the LCC's housing of communities, and how these communities reacted to their new environments. I am looking at the artworks in their physical and intellectual context, to reveal the LCC's wider intent for the post-war housing of Londoners. 

  • Research degree: PhD
  • Title of project: The ‘concrete citizens' of the London County Council's housing schemes, 1943 to 1965.
  • Research supervisor: Dr Alexandra Stara
  • Other research supervisor: Professor Fran Lloyd


I have worked in the museum sector since 2007 and currently hold two curatorial positions. I work as Research Curator at the Royal Society of Sculptors on the project 'Pioneering Women at the Heart of the Royal Society of Sculptors', as well as Documentary Curator at London Transport Museum, which involves documenting contemporary London. I am interested in public and community engagement with heritage and the built environment and have researched, written and led architectural tours for the V&A, London Festival of Architecture and the Architecture Foundation. 

I welcome further opportunities to utilise my research for public and community engagement. 

Areas of research interest

  • London County Council
  • Post-war planning and reconstruction
  • Post-war housing
  • History of London
  • Community history
  • Display and exhibition of art in post-war Britain


  • MA History of Art, University of York (2010)
  • BA (Hons) History of Art, University of York (2007)

Funding or awards received

  • KSA Faculty Funded PhD (2015–completion)
  • KSA Faculty Research, Event and Conference Fund (2016, 2017)


‘Each For All And All For Each – the buildings of the Royal Arsenal Co-Operative Society', in Hatherley, O (ed). The Alternative Guide to the London Boroughs, (London: Open House Publishing) 2020

‘I Am Convinced I Shall Achieve Something Valuable If I Can Brighten the Lives of the People Here': Bombsites, Housing and Art in Lambeth'. The London Journal, DOI: 10.1080/03058034.2019.1706952

‘The ‘Pioneering Women' in the archive of the Royal Society of Sculptors', ALISS quarterly, vol. 15, no.1, October 2019, p.18-20

‘Pioneering Women', PMC notes, no. 13, October 2019, p.11-13

Book review, Christine Hui Lan Manley, Frederick Gibberd, Historic England (Swindon, 2017), Architectural History, vol.61, 2018, pp.296-297

'Out of the slums', Architecture Today, June 2018 

Conference papers

Conference organiser, 'Pioneering Women' conference, Royal Society of Sculptors, planned for March 2021.

 ‘Pioneering Women at the heart of the Royal Society of Sculptors' , Women's History Network conference, LSE library, September 2019.

 ‘"By the way, ‘he' is ‘she'": Eva Dorothy/Julian Phelps Allan FRBS', ‘Radical Women' symposium, Pallant House Gallery, February 2020

‘"Rats or rents": the London County Council's Silwood estate, Rotherhithe', Sir John Soane Museum, London, February 2019

'"The plan might look well on paper but it would not be London", the County of London Plan's impact on the housing of communities', County of London Plan symposium, London Metropolitan Archives, October 2018

'"I am convinced I shall achieve something valuable if I can brighten the lives of the people here", bombsites, housing and art on the South Lambeth estate', The City (Re)shaped conference, University of Leeds, September 2018

'Reconstruction and memorial: London County Council housing estates and artwork', Bombsite/Building site: Post Destruction Urban Cultures symposium, London South Bank University, May 2018

'Replanning communities through architecture and art: the post-war London County Council', Architecture, Citizenship, Space conference, Oxford Brookes, June 2017

'The London County Council's post-war housing schemes containing sculptural depictions of citizens, 1943-65', Social History Society conference, UCL, April 2017