The Bartlett School of Architecture


Mr Tom Holberton

Lecturer (Teaching)

The Bartlett School of Architecture

Faculty of the Built Environment

Joined UCL
1st Mar 2017

Research summary

His principal research is focused on artificial intelligence, and specifically considers the latent space of deep-learning models as a new form of design space.  This considers the history of computation and design, current and emerging models, and their potential impact on design agency.   Key technologies include Generative Adversarial Networks (GAN), bespoke models and datasets,  LLM and crossmodal techniques (ChatGPT, Dall.E, midjourney).

Tom Holberton is a member of the UCL AI in Education working group, considering the impact of new AI technologies within Higher Education.

Research funding includes Arts Council support for a range of innovative creative projects operating with Japanese craft, tea, artificial intelligence and computation; alongside partnerships for new forms of additive manufacturing and materials.  His work has been extensively published and featured internationally - including Monocle, Wallpaper and Japanese national press and TV.

Teaching summary

The teaching in Unit 21 supports student-led research projects that create and explore innovative new processes in design. These develop significant strands of research over successive years including the training of deep-learning models for design, generative computation, additive manufacturing, VR, digital scanning, human sensing and eye-tracking.

Design Unit Tutor for MArch Architecture PG21 

Design Unit Tutor for BSc Architecture UG21

Practice Tutor for Design Realisation

BSc Technical Thesis Tutor

Since 2020, Tom in collaboration with Prof Andrew Porter and Assoc Prof Abigail Ashton pioneered a ‘vertical unit’ model, combining teaching across four years with students on BSc and MArch Architecture programmes within one studio.


University College London
Other higher degree, Master of Architecture | 2007
University College London
Other Postgraduate qualification (including professional), Diploma of Architecture | 2005
University College London
First Degree, Bachelor of Science | 2002


Tom Holberton is a chartered architect (RIBA ARB), researcher and lecturer based at the Bartlett School of Architecture, London.  

His research focuses on the use of artificial intelligence within design, developed through ten years of teaching and research at UCL (Bartlett “Unit 21”).  He was awarded a UCL Graduate Research Scholarship (GRS) as a PhD candidate supervised by Assoc Prof Roberto Bottazzi and Prof Mario Carpo. 

A graduate of the Bartlett School of Architecture (BSc, DipArch and MArch), he won the RIBA Bronze Medal, RIBA Sergeant Award for Excellence in Drawing, RIBA Skidmore Owings Merrill Foundation Scholarship, Victor Chu Prize, Hamilton Prize and Faculty Medal.

From 2006 he was an Associate Architect for Rick Mather Architects / MICA for 10 years, leading a range of award-winning complex cultural and heritage projects, affordable housing, masterplanning and urban design for TfL and London local authorities. Collaborations include SO-IL, Junya Ishigami, RCR Arquitectes, Eley Kishimoto and projects in London, Tokyo and New York.

SoHoKo was founded in 2013 as research-based studio focused on installations and exhibitions.  Clients include the Victoria and Albert Museum, British Museum, Japan House London, Grosvenor, Gifu and Ibaraki local prefectures, NITTO, Asahi, and MUJI. He is an advisor and judge to the D&AD Awards.