The Bartlett School of Architecture


Decolonising as an Approach Within Architectural Research

10 May 2023, 2:00 pm–5:30 pm


What does decolonising mean within the framework of architectural research, and how might it alter research methods in this field? Four PhD candidates join respondent Professor Nnamdi Elleh for a discussion and Q&A.

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The Bartlett School of Architecture


22 Gordon Street
United Kingdom


Wednesday 10 May | 14:00 – 17:30
PHD Seminar with Professor Nnamdi Elleh

The term ‘decolonising’ is a vibrant strand within post-colonialist theory primarily associated with South American scholars such as Anibal Quijano and Walter Mignolo, since becoming widespread due to its adoption by various anti-racist movements around the world – for instance by the Kenyan novelist/playwright/literary scholar, Ngugi wa Thiong’o. Yet what does it mean within the framework of architectural research, and how might it also alter research methods in our field? This WIP+ research seminar will discuss ideas of ‘decolonising’ along with an invited respondent, Professor Nnamdi Elleh, who is head of the architectural school at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa.

To help discuss the theoretical and methodological issues involved, four current PhD candidates at The Bartlett School of Architecture will present their research work. Each of the four PhD candidates will give a short 15–20 minute talk, followed by a Q&A session about their research with Professor Elleh and those in the audience. Tea/coffee will be provided during the event, along with a drink reception at the end. 

All are welcome to attend and take part in the discussion.

About WIP+

WIP+ (Work in Progress Plus) is a student-led initiative set up by PhD students at The Bartlett School of Architecture to connect and support doctoral cohorts across all streams of the PhD programme. WIP+ is a student-led peer support initiative to the BSA PhD Programme that works alongside existing training resources.

The initiative is a means to foster a platform for new and current PhD scholars to connect and share their knowledge, skills, and experience. The WIP+ has been developed through the volunteer efforts of previous PhD students who have launched and maintained this initiative since 2019.

Season 2: Navigations has been developed from the success of Season 1: Pilot. Moving forward Season 2 will draw on the voices of Bartlett staff and aim to link to other schools of architecture across London to learn from each other. The new season continues the working group structures of Writing Collab, Knowledge Share and Work Share and introduces  a new welcome week for new /returning students, WIPWeek, as well as an emergent PhD Network, Cross-Doc-Social_Round 1, across schools in the UK.

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