The Bartlett School of Architecture

Dr Christopher Leung

Dr Christopher Leung

Associate Professor

The Bartlett School of Architecture

Faculty of the Built Environment

Joined UCL
22nd Sep 2014

Research summary

Technology and environmental design of buildings

I have a research interest in technology for improving the performance of buildings. I have pursued the challenges of designing and building variable performance facades in response to diurnal and seasonally variable conditions, through investigating the potential for novel passive thermal actuators to operate movable components to alter facade performance at the macro-scale. This has led to contribution to the field through collaborations including dynamic external insulation for buildings (2009) leading to a patent application through UCL's commercialization arm.

The questions raised by the pursuit of this goal has led to a focus on the challenges of adopting industrialised manufacturing in construction. In particular the information and organisational challenges driven by differences in construction's scale for standardization, inter-changeability, pre-fabrication and preassembly.

Teaching summary

M.Sc/M.Res in Architectural Computation (2021-) Studio 4 follows a pedagogy of exploring each student's interest through a pilot project in preparation for choosing a research topic for their thesis. Emphasis is placed on developing a researchable question and learning a methodology to apply to its investigation and establishing criteria for testing research hypothesis

M.Arch in Design for Manufacture (2017-2020) Research Cluster 102 followed a pedagogy of developing each student's design interests through engagement at the physical and information interface between creative design studio and point-of-production in the UCL @ HereEast manufacturing center

M.Sc in Adaptive Architecture and Computation (2015-2017) The digital studio cultivated students interests through prototyping structures and devices that respond to their surrounding physical and information environment as an input-process-output-feedback system

B-Pro Masters in Architectural Design BiotA Lab (2015-2017) A design studio that explored the relationship between materials given their chemical composition and geometric form with the prevailing physical environment in the pursuit of favorable conditions for the beneficial colonization of microbial life onto a building surfaces

B-Pro Masters in Architectural Design Interactive Architecture Lab (2014-2015) A design studio exploring the relationship between objects, performers and their audiences through the development of full-size working prototypes presented as public performances, installations and demonstrations

Technical skills

  • Fully-certified Thermographer (ISO 9715 Category 3) for applying non-contact thermal imaging equipment to study surface emission phenomenon including solar-radiation heated surfaces, passive radiant cooling, electronic component thermal-management, time-lapse studies of thermal evolution, thermoelastic stress coupling. Expertise in imaging and measurement analysis in the LWIR wavelength band (8 to 12) micrometers
  • Measurement in design and manufacture, including precision surface-plate set-ups for size, location, orientation and form at the micro (mm) to (micrometers) scale as well as building surveying at the macro (m) to (km) scale
  • CAD and CAM solid modeling of parts, assemblies and mechanism. Application of Model-Based Definition (MDB) for dimensional size and geometric tolerance information for manufacture to ISO standards.

  • Developing environmental monitoring regimes for design projects including instrumentation and data-logging systems
  • The practice of applying Geometrical Product Specification (GPS) in design work, defining functional specifications for manufacturing to BS 8888 and ISO standards (ISO 1101, 8015)
  • Production of scale 1:1 functional prototypes using fabrication processes including manual and CNC turning lathes, 3-axis milling machines, laser-cutting, light-metal alloy green-sand casting, hot-wire foam-cutting, die-pressing, FDM polymer printing, pnuematically-operated actuators, microelectronics and firmware programming


University College London
Other Postgraduate qualification (including professional), ATQ03 - Recognised by the HEA as a Fellow | 2018
University College London
Doctorate, Doctor of Engineering | 2014
University College London
Other qualification, Registered Architect | 2002
University College London
Other higher degree, Master of Architecture | 2001
University College London
Other Postgraduate qualification (including professional), Diploma of Architecture | 1998
University College London
First Degree, Bachelor of Science (Honours) | 1994


I trained at the Bartlett School of Architecture. I followed an interdisciplinary route in the Architecture Engineering and Construction (AEC) sector working in both environmental design consultancy and architectural practices on buildings with high technical content including hospitals and laboratories (1995 to 2005).

I joined UCL's doctoral training center for Virtual Environments, Imaging and Visualization in 2005 and developed a thesis project as a research engineer sponsored by Haque Design + Research leading to the award of an engineering doctorate in 2014 for my contribution to variable performance building facade technology. Since then I have been teaching post-graduates and conducting research as a post-doc and currently as a member of academic staff.