The Bartlett School of Architecture

Prof Murray Fraser

Prof Murray Fraser

Professor of Architecture and Global Culture

The Bartlett School of Architecture

Faculty of the Built Environment

Joined UCL
1st Jul 2011

Research summary

Until April 2019 I was Vice-Dean of Research for the Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment, and thus UoA Lead responsible for overseeing the Bartlett Faculty's 150-person submission for REF 2014. I was up until then the UoA Lead for the even larger submission currently being prepared for submission to the C.13 sub-panel in REF 2021.

In research terms, I have published extensively on architectural design, architectural history & theory, urbanism, globalisation, post-colonialism, design research and cultural studies. I am the General Editor for the 21st edition of Sir Banister Fletcher's Global History of Architecture (Bloomsbury), a complete rewriting and updating of a long-standing classic work using contributions from 88 scholars around the world, both in book format and as an online resource. My book, Architecture and the Special Relationship (Routledge), won the 2008 RIBA President's Award for Outstanding University-Located Research and the 2008 Bruno Zevi Book Prize from the International Committee of  Architectural Critics for the best architectural book in the world. Two other key books are edited volumes on Architecture and Globalisation in the Persian Gulf Region and on Design Research in Architecture. The latter is part of series also titled 'Design Research in Architecture', now with UCL Press, which I co-edit. 

I was shortlisted for the 2010 RIBA President's Research Awards as co-creator of the Archigram Archival Project, a groundbreaking online resource that collects together 10,000 drawings and other material by the celebrated 1960s/70s architectural group, Archigram. This research project was carried out at Westminster University along with Dr Kester Rattenbury, and was funded with a £305,000 grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council. We have had over 250,000 visitors to the website. I was then awarded a High Commendation in the 2016 RIBA President's Medals Award for the design research submission from myself and colleagues in the Palestinian Regeneration Team (PART).

As a qualified architect, I have worked with the Palestinian Regeneration Team (PART) on a range of projects in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. PART's contribution to the regeneration of the historic centre of Birzeit, near Ramallah, carried out by RIWAQ – a leading Palestinian NGO involved in historic conservation – won a 2013 Aga Khan Award for Architecture. PART was also commissioned to design the Palestinian Sunbird Pavilion for the British Council's 2012 International Art & Architecture Showcase/London Festival of Architecture.

I was a member of the H30: Architecture and Built Environment sub-panel for the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, and produced the RAE 2008 submission for the Department of Architecture at the University of Westminster. I have been and am the external research advisor for numerous architecture for their REF submissions. 

Until mid-2015, I chaired the RIBA Research & Innovation Group, as well as Chair of the RIBA Research Trust Awards Sub-Committee. I am former editor of The Journal of Architecture (Routledge/RIBA), and a member of various other editorial boards, including Architectural Journal, China's leading professional publication in the field. Furthermore, I was co-founder and steering group member for the Architectural Humanities Research Association (AHRA). In 2013, I co-founded the Architectural Research European Network Association (ARENA), set up to promote research collaborations between universities and architectural practices. Currently I am the Editor-in-Chief of the ARENA Journal of Architectural Research (AJAR), a groundbreaking freely available online Open Access journal – published through Ubiquity Press – which spans the whole architectural field.

Teaching summary

My teaching work in the UCL Bartlett School of Architecture spans across architectural design and architectural history & theory, and also runs from the undergraduate BSc Hons Architecture course through to Masters and PhD levels. In September 2015 I launched the new MA Architecture and Historic Urban Environments, the very first course of its kind in the world.

My long-term contribution to architectural teaching was recognised by the award of the 2018 RIBA Annie Spink Award for Excellence in Architectural Education by the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Many students that I have taught have won major national and international prizes/ competitions. In terms of students who have submitted their design studio projects, this includes the Archiprix International Competition First Prize, Archiprix International Honourable Mention (twice), RIBA Silver Medal Commendation (twice), RIBA Serjeant Part 2 Drawing Prize, RIBA iGuzzini Part 2 Prize, etc. In terms of architectural history & theory, ten of my students have won the RIBA President's Dissertation Medal (some under its previous title). For example, Mathew Leung from the Bartlett won the 2012 RIBA Dissertation Medal for his study on 'Oriental Orientalism: Chinatown in Tokohama, Japan'. As a consequence of all this, I have been awarded the Dissertation Tutor of the Year on several occasions. Furthermore, four of my doctoral students have been shortlisted for the RIBA President's Award for Outstanding PhD Thesis. Work by my students has also been widely exhibited at the Venice Art Biennale, Venice Architectural Biennale, Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, D3 Gallery in New York, etc. I am regularly asked to talk and write on the broad subject of architectural education, especially in regard to research-based education.

In terms of previous experienced, I have coordinated the BA Hons in Architecture (Part 1) at Oxford Brookes University and set up the MA Architecture and Cultural Studies at that same institution, which was the first course on that subject anywhere in Britain. At the University of Westminster I ran the Graduate Diploma in Architecture (Part 2) and co-launched the innovative MA Architecture, Cultural Identity and Globalisation course. I also ran the doctoral programme at Westminster University, including the introduction of a PhD by Design route.


University College London
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 1993
Royal Institute of British Architects
Other qualification, Professional Certification | 1984
University College London
Other higher degree, Master of Science | 1983
University College London
Other qualification, Professional Practice | 1983
University College London
Other Postgraduate qualification (including professional), Diploma | 1981
University College London
First Degree, Bachelor of Science | 1979


I am a qualified architect and academic who studied for five degrees at the UCL Bartlett School of Architecture prior to working in architectural practices and starting upon my teaching career – initially at Oxford Brookes University and after that the University of Westminster. I took up my current post as Professor of Architecture and Global Culture at the UCL Bartlett School of Architecture in July 2011, and was made Vice-Dean of Research for the wider faculty and took up that role from 2012-19. Previously I had served as the Director of Design at Oxford Brookes and the Director of Postgraduate Studies and Research at Westminster.

I was awarded the 2018 RIBA Annie Spink Award for Excellence in Architectural Education, the most prestigious lifetime contribution award in the educational field, as awarded bi-annually by the Royal Institute of British Architects. I have also been selected for a prestigious Macgeorge Fellowship by the University of Melbourne, Australia, to be taken up in April 2021.

I am also now presently the Chair of the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain.

I have had extensive involvement in academic strategy and administration, especially in relation to professional organisations. I am a former member of the RIBA Awards Group, and served as a member of the ARB Assessment Panel and of the ARB/RIBA Visiting Board Pool from 2000-05 (including as Chair of Visiting Boards for the latter part of the period). I was a member of the team that in 2000 wrote the undergraduate QAA Benchmark Statement for Architecture. I have been external examiner for a variety of Part 1 and Part 2 courses at institutions such as Bath University, Cambridge University, Greenwich University, Nottingham University, University of East London and Westminster University, as well as on MA courses at University College Dublin, UCL, etc. I was specially appointed as Senior Visiting Professor at the Technical University of Malaysia from 2005-08. I have also acted as an external examiner for many PhD theses in Britain, Ireland, Belgium and Australia, as well as a student mentor for the Stephen Lawrence Trust.

I have been asked at various points to provide external scrutiny and/or advice on courses and research programmes at the UCL Bartlett, Architectural Association, Central St  Martin’s College of Art, Scott Sutherland School, Innsbruck University, KTH Stockholm, Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Tianjin University, Technical University of Malaysia, and Queensland University in Australia. I have been appointed as an assessor for the Australian Research Council. For a period, I was the Executive Academic Advisor for an entirely new university in Karachi, the Nazeer Hussain University.

Over the years I have been invited to give countless keynote lectures or seminars/workshops on architectural design, architectural history & theory, urbanism and architectural  education at institutions in Britain, Ireland, continental Europe, USA, Australia, Turkey, China, Malaysia, Singapore and elsewhere. I was invited for example to run the 'Design Research' forum at the  international Oxford Conference on Architectural Education in 2008, and in June 2013 I was appointed as a member of Guest Faculty for the Metropolis Masters Programme in Architecture and Urban Culture, run by the Universitat Pompey Fabre/Centre de Cultura Contemporaina in Barcelona. In terms of design work, I was awarded a Special Mention in the 2004 RIBA London 'House of the Future' competition. From 2012-13 I helped to run the World Architectural Festival.