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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 the UoA Lead responsible for overseeing the Bartlett Faculty's 150-person submission for REF 2014. I was also until that point the UoA Lead for the even larger 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. Some key contributions include:

i/ 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 – both in book format and as an online resource). Winner of 2020 Colvin Prize from the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain and a High Commendation in the 2020 Dartmouth Medal from the American Institute of Librarians.

ii/ My book on 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 published in that year. 

iii/ Design Research in Architecture is now a standard work in its field and forms part of book series also titled 'Design Research in Architecture', now published by UCL Press, which I co-edit. 

iv/ Shortlisted for 2010 RIBA President's Research Awards as co-creator of the Archigram Archival Project, an 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 and was funded with a £305,000 AHRC grant. The website has now had over 300,000 visitors. 

v/ High Commendation in 2016 RIBA President's Research Awards for the design research submission from myself and colleagues in the Palestinian Regeneration Team (PART).

vi/ 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 – won a 2013 Aga Khan Award for Architecture.

v/ Member of 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 also served as the external research advisor for numerous architectural schools for their REF submissions.

vi/ Chair of various research reviews for universities around the world, including as a panel chair in the 2021 Research Assessment Exercise run by KTH Stockholm.

vii/ Former Chair of RIBA Research & Innovation Group and RIBA Research Trust Awards Committee.

viii/ Former Editor of The Journal of Architecture (Routledge/RIBA).

ix/ Co-founder of Architectural Research European Network Association (ARENA).

x/ Editor-in-Chief of the ARENA Journal of Architectural Research (AJAR), a groundbreaking freely available online Open Access journal.  

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.

Education

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

Biography

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 then at 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 Vice-Dean of Research for the wider faculty from 2012-19. Previously I had served as Director of Design at Oxford Brookes and 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 in 2022, and am a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Chinese University of Kong Kong.


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 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.

Publications