Krista Zvirgzda


I joined Kingston University in September 2023 as a Lecturer in Interior Design for the Materials and Construction module. I have a professional degree in Sculpture and Spatial Design from Riga Art and Design School, BA in Architecture from the University of Westminster, and an MSc in Green Building from Centre for Alternative Technology. More recently I have also obtained the Fellowship of Higher Education certificate.

I previously worked as a Research Associate at the University of Westminster School of Architecture and Cities' Fabrication Lab. There I played an active role in the development of the Lab's innovative strategies of ‘teaching making' and the implementation of design-build workshops. In addition to working at Kingston University, I am also Operations Manager at the Natural Building Systems - a modular, digitally fabricated, natural material based building system. 

My teaching and research interests focus on blending craft and technology in sustainable design solutions. My passion and hobby is making and experimenting with materials and technologies. I am a very hands-on person - there is always a project going on. Learning through making is my approach and this is what I also try to convey in my teaching.

Academic responsibilities

Lecturer in Interior Design – Materials and Construction


  • BA Architecture
  • MSc Green Building

Teaching and learning

My approach to teaching is to share my knowledge with students in a structured way and to give tools for students to become self-sufficient learners. In this approach, I am borrowing from Constructivist theory, which posits that students will learn at their own paces and that teachers cannot expect identical outcomes from each. This individualised approach means that I am an advocate for finding a balance of tutor support and student independence. I consider an individual basis to determine which student will require more assistance and which student will be able to explore more advanced knowledge independently. It also means that when writing a brief, I consider what will be achievable for all skill levels of students with possibilities for more capable students to add extra, while less capable students would still be able to achieve their best without overloading themselves. 

Qualifications and expertise

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

Undergraduate courses taught


Research project 'Teaching Making'? at University of Westminster investigated the impact of digital fabrication and other technological and cultural changes on the way we use and teach making in architecture and architectural education. 

I have also participated in conferences organised by the Association of Architectural Educators (AAE) and AHRA as both, a listener and presenter.  As a further exploration into the subject, two more conference papers were presented in the 4th international peer-reviewed conference of the Association of Architectural Educators "Learning Through Practice". The paper "Learning through Making: A New Approach and Arena for Teaching Emerging Technologies and Media in Architecture" directly talks about the experience and importance of creating more than just a workshop space within an architectural education setting. 

Other areas of research that I have engaged in is research in small-scale, digitally designed building systems that culminated in my MSc dissertation "Where does the WikiHouse building system sit within the context of sustainable building approaches, and is WikiHouse a durable way forward in temperate maritime climate?" as well as an ongoing interest in urban animals and how they are perceived in the cities on which I presented a paper "Animals in the City: Sometimes a Pigeon is not a Pigeon" at the AHRA 2023 Conference.

Business, knowledge transfer and international


Professional practice, knowledge exchange and impact

I currently work as Operations Manager at the Natural Building Systems - a modular, digitally fabricated, natural material based building system. 

Leadership and management