Dr Roberta Bernabei is a Senior Lecturer (equivalente Professore Associato) in 3D Design, Silversmithing and Jewellery, and Critical & Historical Studies at Loughborough University.

She is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Jewellery Research and co-founder with Prof. Jayne Wallace. She is Vice-President of the Italian Contemporary Jewellery Association (AGC) and visiting Reader at Birmingham City University in the Institute of Jewellery, Fashion and Textiles, including the role as international ambassador of the Institute and the ‘Craft Cultures’ research cluster. She holds a Ph.D. from Loughborough University with the thesis ‘Jewellery Theory and Practice: An investigation into emotionally invested and mnemonic jewellery through senstitising materials’.

Since 2015 she is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Bernabei’s research outputs include a monographic book, journal articles, chapters and exhibitions. Her current research concerns emotionally embedded artefacts and their impact on our ‘self’ and as an aid to wellbeing. Other research interests include the application of Rapid Prototyping to reinvigorate traditional goldsmith techniques. Her latest curatorial project presented practice-based PhD outputs at the 2022 Florence Jewellery Week, her latest 2022 publications are Volume 5 of the Journal of Jewellery Research and contribution to Craft Research Journal. 

Dr Roberta Bernabei is a leading researcher in the field of Craft/Design Jewellery Research as an academic and instigator of the Journal of Jewellery Research.

She is a Senior lecturer (equivalente Professore Associato) in Critical & Historical Studies and Jewellery at Loughborough University. She is visiting Reader at Birmingham City University in the Institute of Jewellery, Fashion and Textiles, including the role as international ambassador of the Institute and the ‘Craft Cultures’ research cluster. Since 2015 she has been passionately active in building the field of Craft/Design Jewellery Research through instigating and  leading the Journal of Jewellery Research

She has gained international reputation based on her research contribution in the field with a monographic book, journal articles, chapters and exhibitions. Bernabei’s research profile in art jewellery exhibition design and its collective process counts fifty-six exhibitions until 2022. With some notable venues such as the Museum of Arts & Crafts, Itami; Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland; Museo Arti Decorative, Turin; and Kunstgeweremuseum, Berlin. She has gained funding from EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council), private institutions to Arts Council Individual Grants bringing to the research in the field ca. 200K and for specialised equipment in 3D printing and 4 axis CNC equipment ca. 285K. Bernabei is a member of the Digital Design Research Group: Digital Design & Fabrication lead by Prof. Richard Bibb.

She has strengthening the PhD research supervisory community in the field, especially at the School of Design and Creative Arts where she is leading a group of seven PhD candidate, and established a Jewellery Research LAB.

She regularly acts as internal reviewer and external PhD examiner, including PhD external advisor for Birmingham City University and Northumbria University (2016 & 2018). She has also run Academic writing workshops in the field, the latest was held at NYC Jewellery Week 2020, she continues fostering connections between international PhD candidates who operate in the same field through a PhD Map on the JJR platform.

Bernabei’s current research concerns emotionally embedded artefacts, their impact on our ‘self’ and as an aid to wellbeing. Other research interests include the application of Rapid Prototyping to reinvigorate traditional goldsmith techniques. Her latest publication in 2022 is a contribution to Craft Research Journal Volume 13.

Module Leader for:

  • SAB937 Experiential Design: Body Adornments and New Technologies

Roberta Bernabei contributes to the following theoretical and studio UG and PGT modules:

  • SAA801 Visual Communication
  • SAB933 Material Culture
  • SAC940 Dissertation in Art and Design
  • SAP105 Design and Research

Bernabei was the Programme Director of Silversmithing and Jewellery BA (hons) Programme until 2008 and Postgraduate Programmes Director of five MA programmes until 2014 at Loughborough University.

Professional Membership

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Senior Member of: AGC (Association of Contemporary Jewellery)  Italy;
  • ACJ (Association of Contemporary Jewellery);
  • Society of Jewellery Historians, UK.

Academic article reviewer for:

  • Journal of Material Thinking
  • Journal for Artistic Research

Writer for:

  • The Journal of Modern Craft
  • Klimt02
  • AJF (American Jewellery Forum)

PhD completion:

  • Johnny XuColour Identity in Urban Environments, co-supervised with Rob Harland. 

Current PhD supervisions: 

  • Yueyang SunTechnological Innovation in Antique Ming dynasty Chinese Filigree for Jewellery Design Development.
  • Zihan Zhou: Jewellery of Nomadism. Inheritance and Contemporary Innovation of Traditional Ornaments and Crafts of Inner Mongolia Nomads.
  • Zelal Basodan: Emerging Islamic Studio Ceramics: Remaking Cultural Heritage Artefacts from Alhambra Palace
  • Renjie Yang: Title: Developing Culture Heritage Sustainability from the Perspective of Participatory Sentimental Souvenir Design 
  • Wenyan LuoReinvigorate Chinese Inlay Technique in Jewellery Design and Practice with the use of CAD/CAM applications. (provisional title)
  • Erin Cox: Contemporary Narrative Jewellery and Loneliness.

Bernabei welcomes applications for doctoral studies in contemporary jewellery, design and crafts within a practice-led research framework, jewellery and artifacts as an aid for wellbeing.