This stream within Architecture MPhil/PhD encourages the development of architectural research through the combination of designing and writing. Students present a thesis consisting of a project and a text that share a research theme and a productive relationship. The project may be drawn, filmed, built, or make use of whatever media is appropriate.
Architectural History & Theory
This stream within Architecture MPhil/PhD allows students to conduct an exhaustive, original and creative piece of research into an area of their own selection and definition. The range of research topics undertaken is broad, but most explore the history and theory of architecture and cities between 1800 and the present day.
In their first year, students are registered as MPhil candidates, but are then expected to upgrade to PhD status. Full-time students are expected to complete their PhDs in three to four years, whilst part-time students complete theirs in five to seven years.
Architectural Design thesis submissions combine a design project and a text of around 60,000 words. The research for Architectural History & Theory is normally presented as a text of 100,000 words maximum with illustrative material.
All students have the option of auditing modules from Architectural History MA, led by Professor Peg Rawes.
Students are also encouraged to take advantage of the variety of skills development courses run by the Graduate School UCL and the Language Centre. In particular, students are advised to follow the workshop The Creative Thesis, run in conjunction with the Slade School of Fine Art, which is tailored to practice-led research.
Architectural Design MPhil/PhD and Architectural History MPhil/PhD draw on the full range of the research expertise offered at The Bartlett School of Architecture.
As an MPhil/PhD candidate, you will have two doctoral supervisors: one from the school while the other could be from another school in The Bartlett or elsewhere in UCL, depending on your research area.
- Current supervisors
Professor Peter Bishop
Application of urban design and urban planning theory; incremental urbanism; temporary uses and installations; role of conservation in distorting urban change; role of other stakeholders and political forces outside the design process in the construction of the built environment.
Professor Iain Borden
History of modern architecture; urbanism and urban culture; skateboarding, graffiti and urban arts; public space; experiences of architecture; film, photography and other urban representations; critical theory and cultural studies.
Dr Ben Campkin
History and theory of architecture, urbanism and urban culture. Urban change, histories of regeneration and housing, including estate regeneration in London; discourses of decline and renewal; cultural and aesthetic dimensions of urban change.
Critical urban heritage. Night-space. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer space and built heritage, queer urbanism and place-making. Experimental, comparative and publicly-engaged method.
Professor Mario Carpo
History of architectural theory and history of cultural technologies, with focus on the early modern period (the Vitruvian tradition and the Italian Renaissance, from Alberti to Vignola) and on contemporary digital design theory (1990 to the present).
Professor Nat Chard
Architecture and indeterminacy; relationship between ideas and technique in architectural representation and manufacture; experimental practices in architecture; developing methods of drawing and making as a means of architectural research.
Dr Marjan Colletti
Digital design and digital theory; experimental building and urban design; innovative CAD/CAM fabrication technologies; neo-baroque and exuberant synthetic and syncretic design techniques.
Professor Marcos Cruz
Innovative environments, utilization of bacteria and algae, computation, bio-technology and synthetic biology.
Dr Edward Denison
Histories and theories of modernism and modernity outside ’The West'. Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia, especially China and Chinese encounters with modernity domestically and/or globally. Colonialism, post-colonialism, and globalisation. Cultural heritage and critical approaches to urban heritage. Community engagement/campaigning and neighbourhood planning.
Professor Murray Fraser
Architectural design; design research; architectural history and theory; cultural studies; architecture and globalisation; cross-cultural influences; cultural identity; urbanism.
Professor Stephen Gage
Time-based architecture; architecture that interacts with people and the external environment; architecture and performance.
Dr Sean Hanna
Reader in Space and Adaptive Architecture, Computation
Dr Penelope Haralambidou
Architectural drawing and making as research methods; art and architecture; Marcel Duchamp; architecture and allegory; theories of perception, memory, imagination and representation in design; visual technologies – historical and contemporary; experimental film and digital projection; exhibition design and curating; book architecture; stage design; and the design of public spaces.
Professor Jonathan Hill
Histories and theories of architectural authorship and design; the formation of the architect; architecture by users and non-architects. Histories and theories of architecture and landscape with regard to their relations with the environment, climate and weather since the eighteenth century.
Professor Yeoryia Manolopoulou
Architectural design and criticism; the design and experience of buildings; temporal notions of space; public space and urban squares; chance as creative idea and experimental practice; architecture and art; children's imagination and learning environments; cross-disciplinary and project-led research in architecture where drawing, making and/or time-based media are used as iterative research tools.
Professor Barbara Penner
Tourism; American hotels, resorts, and commercial architecture; gender and space; domesticity; consumerism; bathrooms and infrastructure; inclusive urbanism; appropriate technology.
Dr Sophia Psarra
Architecture narrative and fiction, geometry of architecture and urban space; conceptual order, spatial morphology and spatial experience; the formation of spatial meaning in architecture and symbolic languages across different media; architectural theory; the morphology of cities in relation to processes of industrialisation, de-industrialisation and innovation; spatial design of complex buildings and its relation to society and organisations; computer modelling and visualisation.
Dr Peg Rawes
Theories of materiality and technology in architecture and spatial arts practices; embodiment, spatial subjectivities and aesthetics; histories and theories of geometry and spatiotemporality in early-modern European and Continental philosophy; social and political theories of ecology; wellbeing.
Professor Jane Rendell
Gender/feminist theory and architecture; art, architecture and urban interventions; critical spatial theory and practice; creative/critical subjectivity and positionality in writing or site-writing; psychoanalysis and space; public space, cultural identity and narrative.
Professor Bob Sheil
Architecture and design through production, experimental design, prototyping, making, fabrication, craft, innovative technology, digital practice, digital manufacturing, assembly, materials, modelling, transgression from drawing to making, 3D scanning.
Professor Phil Steadman
The geometry of architectural and urban form; classification of building types; fuel use in the building stock; land use, transport modelling and GIS in relation to urban sustainability; the history of perspective.
Dr Clare Melhuish
Anthropology of architecture, the built environment and urban processes; ethnography of architectural practice; urban and architectural visual and material culture; postcolonial urbanism; critical urban heritage; modern(ist) architecture and planning in London; French modern(ist) architecture and planning; Arab cities; Caribbean urbanism; universities and urban regeneration; education spaces and the city; participatory and community-led planning; anthropology of home and domestic space; ethnographic methodologies.
Other current doctoral supervisors include Dr Victor Buchli (UCL Anthroplogy), Professor Sir Peter Cook, Dr Julio Davila (Development Planning Unit), Professor Colin Fournier, Dr Ruth Mandel, Jayne Parker (UCL Slade), Professor Neil Spiller and Professor Phil Tabor.
Events and exhibitions
Architectural Design MPhil/PhD and Architectural History & Theory MPhil/PhD jointly run a series of events which all students are expected to attend:
Research Conversations: Fortnightly work-in-progress seminars and reviews for new MPhil/PhD students. MPhil students also present more in-depth seminars to meet the criteria needed to upgrade to PhD status.
Research Projects: An annual PhD conference and exhibition with invited critics as respondents, organised by The Bartlett School of Architecture with the Slade School of Fine Art.
Our MPhil/PhD students develop creative and critical techniques that can be used in researching, designing and writing about any architectural issue, subject or site.
Upon completion of their PhDs, students have gone on to pursue careers in a wide variety of fields, from architectural and design practice to curatorial positions. Students have also progressed into academic roles at both The Bartlett and other higher education establishments, such as:
- The Architectural Association
- Chelsea College of Art and Design, University of the Arts London
- Goldsmiths College, University of London
- Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts School of Architecture, Copenhagen
- Royal Holloway College, University of London
- University for the Creative Arts
- University of Toronto
- University of Westminster
Additionally, PhD dissertations have been published as book chapters, refereed journal articles or as academic monographs. Examples include:
- Marjan Colletti, Digital Poetics (Ashgate, 2012)
- Marcos Cruz and Marjan Colletti, Interfaces/Intrafaces (Springer, 2006)
- Penelope Haralambidou, Marcel Duchamp and the Architecture of Desire (Ashgate, 2012)
- Jonathan Hill, Actions of Architecture: Architects and Creative Users (Routledge, 2003)
- Yeoryia Manolopolou, Architectures of Chance (Ashgate, 2012).
For queries concerning the programme, please contact:
- Professor Jonathan Hill (Programme Director, Architectural Design): email@example.com
- Dr Ben Campkin (Programme Director, Architectural History & Theory): firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dr Nina Vollenbröker (Programme Coordinator): email@example.com
- Dr Sophie Read (Programme Coordinator): firstname.lastname@example.org