Help Desk: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/ras/portico/helpdesk
- Professor of Architecture and Visual Theory
- The Bartlett School of Architecture
- Faculty of the Built Environment
My research has helped to pioneer investigation of the relations between architectural objects and the practice and experience of architecture. In The Illegal Architect (1998) and Actions of Architecture (2003) I state that architecture is an experience as well as an object or space. Consequently, I conclude that architecture is made by use as well as by design and state that the user can be as creative as the designer. Arguing that user creativity should be a central concern of architectural design, I also recognise that use may involve design, and vice versa. In Immaterial Architecture (2006) I focus on the perceived absence of matter more than the actual absence of matter in order to devise further means to explore the creativity of the designer and the user, which may be complimentary or conflicting. The user decides whether architecture is immaterial. But the architect, or any other designer, devises material conditions in which that decision can be made. Emphasising that architecture is not just conventional building fabric, Immaterial Architecture concludes with an ‘Index’ of thirty architectural ‘materials’ that can be perceived as immaterial, such as condensation, glass and rust. At a time when environmental awareness is of increasing relevance, Weather Architecture (2012) considers the history of architecture as a history of weather. For centuries, environmental awareness has been central to the architectural imagination. But, in contrast, current attitudes to climate change reduce nature-culture relations to a merely technical concern. Questioning the narrowly technocratic conception of the architect as problem solver and moderator of climatic performance, Weather Architecture furthers my investigation of authorship by identifying the weather as a creative architectural force alongside the designer and user. Most architectural research focuses on one subject, such as history, technology or design, and one output, such as the text, drawing or object. In contrast, my research combines historical investigations, material studies and design propositions, results in books, exhibitions and installations and encompasses personal scholarship, teaching, collective projects and public discourse.
I have previously co-ordinated the BSc and Diploma programmes and been acting Head of School and acting Director of Design. Currently, I run MArch Unit 12 with Matthew Butcher and Elizabeth Dow. I am also Director of the MPhil/PhD Architectural Design programme, which was the first to be established in the UK and is internationally recognized as one of the most influential doctoral programmes dedicated to architectural design. The programme draws on the strengths of design teaching and doctoral research at the Bartlett, encouraging the development of architectural research through the interaction of designing and writing. An architectural design doctoral thesis has two inter-related elements of equal importance—a project and a text—that share a research theme and a productive relationship. The project may be drawn, filmed, built, or use whatever media is appropriate.
|2000||PhD||Doctor of Philosophy – Architecture||University of London|
|1990||MSc||Master of Science – History of Architecture||University College London|
|1983||AA Dipl||Architectural Association Diploma – Architecture||Architectural Association School of Architecture|