The Bartlett School of Architecture


Platform Grant: Space, technologies and the design of the built environment


EPSRC Grant Reference: EP/G02619X/1 

Radical urban agglomeration is both driving and responding to the needs of knowledge-based and technologically-driven organisations, forms of production and exchange. These changes are evident also at the organisational and individual building scale, and demand urgent attention if we are properly to accommodate the needs of future building users and clients. At the same time these new organisational forms and technologies afford radically new ways of working, business models and modes of service delivery.

The architectural and engineering design and construction industries are subject to just as much change in the nature of their businesses, but they also lead the way in providing the built environments for all other sectors. This is an area of extremely rapid change and innovation in which the Space Platform Group at the Bartlett School of Graduate Studies, UCL, specialises. It received its Platform Award in 2001, renewed in 2004.

Since renewal the group has made a number of key advances both in its science and organisation. It has gained over 10.5m in new funding, additionally its industry and community funded work has grown from 750k to 1.7m pa. Penn has received a personal chair and appointed to Chair the Architecture & Built Environment Sub-panel for RAE2008. It has been awarded a prestigious RCUK Fellowship (Hanna) and has appointed a new lecturer (Conroy Dalton).

The group's formula of close coupling fundamental research, applications research on live industry and community projects through our company, doctoral and masters training, and a thriving international network of researchers using our methodology and software, has been added to by the very substantial UrbanBuzz knowledge exchange programme. Vaughan's work on poverty, ethnicity and suburbs has led to her shortlisting for new Centre funding under the Challenging Engineering programme. International collaboration with China is growing very fast.

Platform funding has been crucial in driving us to innovate and in providing the flexibility to be adventurous. This has been reflected in growth and a considerable extension to the range of our activities. In the next phase we propose to set knowledge exchange and our international activities on a firm basis, and to develop a strategic programme of fundamental research aimed at Multi-scale Urban Spatial Systems, Building Design for a Digital Era and adaptive Architecture and Fabrication. Platform funding underpins this vital area of strategic research.


Principal Investigator

Professor AR Penn