The Bartlett School of Architecture

Dr Sean Hanna

Dr Sean Hanna

Reader in Space and Adaptive Architecture

The Bartlett School of Architecture

Faculty of the Built Environment

Joined UCL
1st Oct 2005

Research summary

Sean’s research is primarily in developing computational methods for dealing with complexity in the built environment, including the comparative modelling of space and its perception by machine, and the use of machine learning and optimisation techniques for the design and fabrication of structures.

Recent research projects include: ENFOLDing (http://enfolding.blogs.casa.ucl.ac.uk/), a collaboration between the Bartlett, CEGE, Mathematics, Security and Crime Science, Political Science and Geography, to model the global dynamics of complex systems of trade, migration, conflict and aid; and PROXIES, a project to understand the degree to which publicly available crime data can be used to make predictions about crime at particular locations within a city.

He has over 100 academic publications addressing the fields of spatial modelling, machine intelligence, collaborative creativity, among others, and his work has been featured in the non-academic press, including the Architects’ Journal and The Economist. He has served on the programme committees of more than ten conferences or symposia in his field and on the editorial boards of AI EDAM Journal and the Journal of Engineering Design.

Teaching summary

Sean’s teaching is primarily on the AC courses, leading the Computational Analysis and Computational Synthesis modules and workshops on parametric modelling and associative design. He also shares the Design as a Knowledge-Based Process module with Sam Griffiths and the MSc SDAC. Sean supervises a number of PhD and EngD researchers, as well as dissertation projects from both the MSc AC and Bartlett Diploma programmes.


Sean Hanna is Reader in Space and Adaptive Architectures at UCL, Director of the Bartlett’s MSc/MRes programs in Architectural Computation, and Academic Director of UCL’s Doctoral Training Center in Virtual Environments, Imaging and Visualisation. He is a member of the Space Group, noted as one of the UK’s highest performing research groups in the field of architecture and the built environment in the 2008 RAE and supported by three consecutive EPSRC platform grants. Prior to academia, his background is in architecture and design practice, in which his development and application of design algorithms includes major projects with architects Foster + Partners and sculptor Antony Gormley.