The Bartlett School of Architecture

Prof Peg Rawes

Prof Peg Rawes

Professor of Architecture and Philosophy

The Bartlett School of Architecture

Faculty of the Built Environment

Joined UCL
1st Sep 2003

Research summary

I am an interdisciplinary architectural historian whose work focuses on 'relational architectural ecologies’.  Since 2013, my research has examined these concerns in three intersecting modes:

a. Architectural ecologies and practices of human and non-human life: 'Kind Matters', in Bioprotopia: Designing the Built Environment with Living Organisms (2023); 'Visualising uncertainty and vulnerability' in Materia Arquitectura Journal (2021), and IAS Life in the Time of Coronavirus Podcasts (2020); ‘Insecure predictions’, E-flux Architecture, 24 July 2018. 

b. Planetary poetics and imaginaries: 'Conversation on architecture, design and the climate emergency' with Design Earth, Reimagining Museums for Climate Action (2021); ‘Building Sexuate Architectures of Sustainability’, Thinking Life with Luce Irigaray (2020); ‘Aesthetic geometries of life’, Textual Practice, 33:5 (2019) and ‘Planetary Aesthetics’, in Landscape and Agency (2017). 

c. Housing ecologies: 'Housing biopolitics and care', in Critical and Clinical Cartographies: Embodiment, Technology, Care, Design (2017); ‘Material and Rational Feminisms', in Architecture and Feminisms: Ecologies, Economies, Technologies (2017); and ‘Spinoza’s Geometric and Ecological Ratios’, The Politics of Parametricism: Digital Technologies in Architecture (2015). 

My funded research collaborations include: UCL PI for TACK Communities of Tacit Knowledge: Architecture and its Ways of Knowing, an EU Marie Sklodowska-Curie 2020 Training Framework (www.tacit-knowledge-architecture.com). Previously, the AHRC Equalities of Wellbeing published the film, Equal by Design (www.equalbydesign.co.uk 2016). Made with Beth Lord (PI, Aberdeen) and film-makers, Lone Star Productions, it interviews key British charities, architects, journalists and academics working on housing issues and wellbeing. 

I am also Equality Diversity and Inclusion lead for the BAUHOW5 partnership with ETH Zurich, TU Delft, TU Munich and Chalmers' Universities, and the UCL Steering Committee Member for the University of London in Paris' Banister Fletcher Fellowship (2020-23).

Teaching summary

My teaching is primarily located in the MA Architectural History Programme, including leading the core Critical Methodologies and Dissertation modules. Symposia and publications by the cohorts can be viewed here: www.bartlettarchhist.com. 

My MA/PhD seminar Materialist Ecological Architectures (Spring term) examines ecological and architectural practices from a materialist perspective. Students learn how architectural histories and theories of ecology are informed by discourses in architecture, art, philosophy, scientific and environmental disciplines, including:  17thc theories of substance; 19thc political and scientific materialisms, and present-day planetary debates of the anthropocene, ecofeminism, biopolitics and decolonialism.

Completed and current PhD student projects include: social architectures in post-Apartheid South Africa; landscape reconstructions and historiography; post-war Berlin social architectures; materialist politics of contemporary scanning technologies; speculative design after Michelangelo; seventeenth-century architectural transactions; an ecological critique of landfill; a feminist critique of digital architecture; Deleuze's diagrams for affective design; Kleist's theory of collapse for experimental film-making; performative art and animal architecture; design through Spinoza's philosophy of joy; a postmodern historiography.  

I particularly welcome feminist, intersectional or decolonial PhD applications on the following areas of study: 

- climatic, planetary, ecological practices in architecture;

- the politics of care and housing histories;

- materialist and ecological critiques of computational architectural design


Goldsmiths College
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 2004
University of Warwick
Other higher degree, Master of Arts (Hons) | 1996
Oxford Brookes University
Other Postgraduate qualification (including professional), Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching | 1994
University of Leeds
First Degree, Bachelor of Arts | 1990


I am Professor in Architecture and Philosophy and Programme Director of the MA Architectural History. I also supervise Architectural and Urban History and Theory and Architectural Design PhDs. 

Trained in art history and philosophy at the Universities of Leeds, Warwick and Goldsmiths, I am author of the books: Space, Geometry and Aesthetics: Towards Kant and through Deleuze (2008), Irigaray for Architects (2007) and edited collections, Relational Architectural Ecologies: Architecture, Nature and Subjectivity (2013), and Poetic Biopolitics: Practices of Relation in Architecture and the Arts (co-ed 2016), which publish architects together with humanities, social science, human and environmental rights and medical practitioners. 

I regularly collaborate with academic and professional colleagues and communities in the UK, EU, US and Australia. I also have strong links with collaborative groups in UCL, especially, the Institute for Advanced Studies (www.ucl.ias) and the Anthropocene Initiative. I have given invited talks to architectural, humanities and arts researchers in the UK, EU and overseas, including: Cornell, The Getty Research Institute, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, ETH Zurich, Iowa State University, KTH Stockholm, IE Madrid, Universidad de Buenos Aires, the Architectural Association, Cambridge, Manchester and Newcastle Universities, and the London School of Economics. 

My academic peer reviewing includes: Architectural Histories, Interstices, Footprint, Journal of Architecture, University of Edinburgh, Routledge and Bloomsbury academic presses. I have contributed to national research and scientific funding committees in the UK, Austria, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and in the US, and co-led the Department's 2014REF submission.