Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Design


Valentina Perzolla

PhD student

Clothworkers' Building South, Room 1.10

Office hours: Monday - Friday, 8.30 am - 5.00 pm

MSc Science for Cultural Heritage

I obtained a BSc in Technology for Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage at the University of Florence and a MSc in Science for Cultural Heritage (2 years) at the University of Turin (Italy) with a thesis on the polymers used as staples for contemporary art objects.

I decided to follow my passion for contemporary art and museums becoming a PhD student at the University of Leeds (UK). Here, I am carrying out a study on the degradation and conservation of leather and leather-related materials.


I can define myself as an extremely curious person who has a strong interest for wood and plastics.
In 2001, I was trained for one month to conduct restorations on furniture (Scuole Tecniche San Carlo, Turin). Some years later I decided to further explore this field and I gained a Level II Professional qualification in Furniture design and manufacturing. In 2009, I worked as a trainee for a three months period in the studio of the restorer Antonio Rava (Turin, Italy) performing restotrations on wood items and cultural objects.
Along with this practical background, I also have a scientific one. I got a BSc in Technology for conservation and restoration of cultural heritage at the University of Florence (Italy) and a MSc in Science for cultural heritage at the University of Turin (Italy). During the years at unversity I developed a passion for contemporary art and I investigated various aspects of polymer degradation and conservation. I decided to deepen my knowledge by studying:

  • the synthesis and characterisation of green polymers (PLA) for their use as protective coatings (BSc thesis);
  • the various uses of polymers in contemporary art (MSc thesis).

Currently, I am a third year PhD student in the School of Design at the University of Leeds (UK), where I am investigating leather, synthetic leather and composite leather degradation.

Research Interests

  • Scientific Investigation of Cultural Heritage
  • Contemporary Art Materials
  • Degradation of Natural and Synthetic Polymers
  • Sustainability in Museums


Module assistant in ‘Textile and Apparel Materials and Technology’

Research Projects & Grants

  • School of Design Scholarship, fees and maintenance;
  • JB Speakman Travel Bursary, to participate, present a poster and give a short presentation in occasion of the international conference ‘Authenticity in Transition’, Glasgow;
  • Dr Dorothy Jordan Lloyd Memorial Trust Fund, to cover the travel expenses for attending the 118th SLTC Conference in Northampton.

PhD Thesis

Degradation and Preventive Conservation of Leather-related Materials

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