Basic Biographical Details

Name: Donald Dex Harrison
Born: 17 November 1909
Died: December 1987
Bio Notes: Donald Dex Harrison is probably not Scottish. He studied at Leeds School of Architecture from September 1926. He was exempted from the final exam and was admitted ARIBA in 1932, his proposers being Henry Vaughan Lanchester, George J Skipper and B R Gribbon. During the summer vacations while he was a student he gained experience in a variety of offices: between May and September 1930 with Bradshaw Gass & Hope in Bolton; from April to December 1931 with Lanchester & Lodge in London; and from January to September 1932 with George & Skipper in London & Norwich. In July 1929 he had won a travelling scholarship which enabled him to make tours in Italy, France and Germany.

It was at the Leeds School that he met his future partner, Ernest Seel, who also studied there. Together they entered and won the compeition for the Exhibition Hall at the Waverley Market in 1939. The partnership continued until into the 1950s. At some point in the later 1940s or early 1950s he spent some time with the Post War Building Department in the Ministry of Works.

Harrison was elected FRIBA in 1953, his prposers being F R S Yorke, A Bailey and Davidson R Juerden. the following year he met and married his wife Ruth. The couple had a son and a daughter. Ruth Harrison became a distinguished campaigner for animal rights serving as director of various associations including the Animal Defence Society and the RCPCA and was founder and chair of the Farm Animal Care Trust.

By 1967 the practice had become Dex Harrison & Partners and was located in London.

Outwith his professional life Harrison was interested in vintage cars and later on in restoring paintings and musical instruments.

He died on 15 January 1988 (see Times obituary).


'World War II and the growth of southern city planning' (Article) 1944
An article on frost damage which was published in the Builder in 1961 (Article)
'Introduction to Standards in Building' (Spron)
'Building Science' (ed for the Archival Science Board of the RIBA) (Pelance)
'A Survey of Pre-fabrication'

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 4London, EnglandBusiness1867  
Item 2 of 4Elm Road, Moor Lane, Gomersal, Yorkshire, EnglandPrivate1932  
Item 3 of 438, Holland Villas Road, London, EnglandBusinessEarly 1930s  
Item 4 of 434, Holland Park Road, London, EnglandBusiness1953  

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 2Harrison & Seel  Partner 
Item 2 of 2Bradshaw Gass & HopeMay 1930September 1930Assistant 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 5A Bailey6 January 1953For Fellowship
Item 2 of 5B R Gribbonc. September 1932For Associateship
Item 3 of 5Henry Vaughan Lanchesterc. September 1932For Associateship
Item 4 of 5George John Skipperc. September 1932For Associateship
Item 5 of 5Francis Reginald Stevens Yorke6 January 1953For Fellowship

Buildings and Designs

This was involved with the following buildings or structures from the date specified (click on an item to view details):
 Date startedBuilding nameTown, district or villageIslandCity or countyCountryNotes
Item 1 of 6c. 1936Kincorth Competition   ScotlandPlan of estate - perhaps competition entry?
Item 2 of 61939Exhibition Halls, Waverley Market  EdinburghScotlandWon compeititon - in association with T M Cartledge, engineer (500gs). Also with Ernest Seel but not in formal partnership. Seel's name appears alone in the compeition results.
Item 3 of 6c. 1951Festival of Britain, new theatre and other buildings, Battersea Park  LondonEnglandActing as chief architects to the Festival Gardens, Battersea.
Item 4 of 6Before 1952Baildon Fernhurst County Primary SchoolShipley YorkshireEngland 
Item 5 of 6Before 1952Baldock West Infants School  HertfordshireEngland 
Item 6 of 6Before 1952Southill SchoolHemel Hempstead HertfordshireEngland 


Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this :
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1The Guardian6 July 2000  Obituary of Ruth Harrison wife of Donald Dex Harrison.

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this :
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers A no 6878; F no4780 (Combined box 35)