Stuart studied at Birmingham School of Architecture and the University of Oklahoma USa. After qualifying he spent one year working in Berlin and four years working for international practices in London.
He returned to his native Birmingham to work on the award winning Market Place Arts Centre in Armagh, NI, for Glenn Howells Architects.
In 1998 Stuart joined DTG Paris and became a director; he subsequently set up and led the DTG Rome Rome office. He left Rome in 2003 and joined an anglo / USA practice working from their Newcastle office.
In 2007 Stuart set up Surface Light Space a research led design studio. In 2013 Stuart set up Studio Stuart Palmer which is based in the Baltic 39 art gallery.