Emily James trained at Edinburgh College of Art and Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. A finalist for the 1997 Linbury Prize for Stage Design, she was also awarded a one-year Design Bursary at the Royal Exchange Theatre.
She has worked across the UK as a set and costume designer for such companies as the National Theatre of Scotland, Grid Iron, Bristol Old Vic, the Traverse Theatre, Plymouth Theatre Royal, Hampstead Theatre, Birmingham Rep and the Royal Exchange Theatre.
Her work encompasses many genres from new writing to classics, site-specific, musicals, opera and dance. Outside the UK her designs have been seen in Sweden, Denmark and the USA.