The Bartlett School of Architecture

Prof Kerstin Sailer

Prof Kerstin Sailer

Professor in the Sociology of Architecture

The Bartlett School of Architecture

Faculty of the Built Environment

Joined UCL
1st Jan 2009

Research summary

In her research Kerstin investigates the impact of spatial design on people and social behaviours inside a range of buildings such as offices, laboratories, hospitals and schools. Her research interests combine complex buildings, workplace environments and space usage with social networks, organisational theory and organisational behaviour. She is an expert in Social Network Analysis, specifically in relation to spatial network analysis and geographical applications. She has also contributed to the debate on data-driven or evidence-based design practices.

Her interest in applying her research insights to practical real-life problems has led to a series of collaborations with industry including a long-standing relationship with Spacelab, a London-based architectural practice, a project with engineering firm Mott MacDonald as well as work with occupiers of office space including Google. She is also regularly invited as a speaker to academic conferences as well as industry events such as Workplace Trends, Worktech, 100% Design and the London Festival of Architecture.

She runs the blog http://spaceandorganisation.org and comments as @kerstinsailer on Twitter.

Teaching summary

Kerstin teaches in the MSc/MRes Spatial Design: Architecture and Cities. She leads the module 'Buildings, Organisations, Networks', which focuses on the interplay between spatial, social and organisational dynamics across a variety of building types including offices, factories, schools, and hospitals.

She also organises a series of field trips and site visits for her students to explore social phenomena and aspects of space usage in complex buildings first-hand. The visits deepen students' understanding of buildings and accompany the theoretical and empirical knowledge taught in lectures. Using the rich architecture of London, the visits include some of the best pieces of architecture as well as everyday buildings.

In her teaching Kerstin uses innovative teaching methods and develops new ways of providing formative and dialogic feedback to the students, for instance using the format of student blogs.


Technische Universitat Dresden (Dresden)
Doctorate, Doctor | 2010
Leibniz Universitat Hannover
Other Postgraduate qualification (including professional), Diplom- Ingenieur | 2003


Kerstin is Professor in the Sociology of Architecture at UCL's Bartlett School of Architecture. She is a sociologist at heart, yet has trained as in architect in Germany, where she completed her Diploma in Architecture (Leibniz University of Hannover), as well as her PhD thesis "The Space-Organisation Relationship" (Technical University of Dresden).

A Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) between UCL and Spacelab Architects brought her to London in 2006. In this project she developed a new and intensively data-driven workplace consultancy service for Spacelab. 

Apart from a short stint as visiting PhD student in 2005, she joined UCL in 2006 as KTP Associate, became a Teaching Fellow in January 2009, was appointed Lecturer in October 2009, and was promoted to Reader in 2016 and to full Professor in 2021.