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Mr Thomas Charles Dyckhoff
Appointment
  • Teaching Fellow
  • The Bartlett School of Architecture
  • Faculty of the Built Environment
Biography
I am a writer, broadcaster, historian and enthusiast about architecture, cities, design and places.

I joined UCL in 2017 as teaching fellow, teaching history and theory of architecture and cities on the Making Cities course for first-year undergraduates, and the History and Theory course for second years. I also teach third-year and MArch architecture students at Central Saint Martins, including 'Architectural Geographies', finding links between architecture and geography. I also teach as a guest tutor on the Critical Writing in Art and Design MA at the Royal College of Art; and have taught as a visiting tutor or guest lecturer at other academic institutions, such as Eindhoven Design Academy, and non-academic organisations, from the Victoria and Albert Museum to the Venice Architecture Biennale, Il Salone del Mobile, Milan to the Hay Festival.

I studied geography (MA) at Oxford University, and history of architecture (MA) at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. Afterwards I began my career as assistant editor of Perspectives on Architecture magazine, before becoming, in the late 1990s, exhibitions curator at the Royal Institute of British Architects. I moved then to become deputy homes and design editor for The Guardian, before becoming architecture and design critic for The Times, from 2003 to 2011.

I currently write about the home and design for The Guardian and Esquire magazine; and have written for many other publications, from the Architects' Journal, Icon and Domus to GQ, Wallpaper and New Statesman.

I present BBC2's The Great Interior Design Challenge, and write and present The Design Dimension, a regular series on design for BBC Radio 4. I've also written and presented many series and one-off documentaries for British television and radio, including Channel 4's three-part The Secret Life of Buildings (2011), which used the latest research in psychology and neuroscience to examine the impact of spaces on our brains and bodies, and BBC2's seven-part Saving Britain's Past, putting Britain's obsession with heritage under the spotlight; from 2006 to 2015 I was a presenter on BBC's flagship arts series, The Culture Show

I am an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects; and have been an Honorary Research Associate at the UCL's Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment, where, as editorial consultant, I devised the strategy and structure for the upcoming 21st edition of Sir Banister Fletcher's Global History of Architecture (Bloomsbury), edited by Professor Murray Fraser; a trustee of the Architecture Foundation and the Arts Council's Architecture Committee; and sat on the national shortlisting jury for the Stirling Prize for architecture from 2008 to 2011. In 2013 I was a judge for the Stirling Prize finalists.

My first book, The Age of Spectacle: adventures in architecture and the 21st-century city (2017), has been published by Penguin Random House. I am currently writing my second, a cultural history of the home.
Research Summary

As a writer, broadcaster and critic about architecture, cities, design and places, I have worked for more that 20 years broadly on writing, journalism, books, television films, radio and podcast documentaries on numerous topics, from Buckminster Fuller to the history of windows. Particular interests have included contemporary world architecture culture, the connections between neuroscience and spaces, a history of heritage and brutalism. 


In all my work I am particularly interested in how spaces, architecture, landscapes and geography connect with mass culture, beyond professions and disciplinary boundaries.

My first book, The Age of Spectacle: adventures in architecture and the 21st-century city (2017), has been published by Penguin Random House; it is a history of the past 40 years in western architecture and cities, drawing heavily on my work as a journalist from 1995 to 2011. I am currently writing my second, a cultural history of the home.

Current and future research interests are broadly focused on:

1. the intersection of architecture, landscapes and the media; how media of all kinds, from writing to photography to film, mediates our understanding and experiences of architecture and the built environment; more specifically how mass media connects with these subjects.
2. the practice and language of writing about architecture and landscapes, from criticism to fiction.
3. the interdisciplinary connections between architecture and geography.
4. anarchism and the built environment. 

Teaching Summary
I teach on the History and Theory (ENVS2034) course for second-year architecture undergraduates; and the Making Cities (ENVS1019) course for all first-year Bartlett undergraduates, from architecture students to those studying planning or construction management degrees.
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