This programme teaches students how to place their design skills in the context of fast-evolving developments in construction, fabrication, assembly and automation.
The manufacturing industry is changing fast. With advanced design and engineering tools demanding highly skilled graduates, and rising expectations of quality and regulation, a specialised and creative workforce is needed with cutting-edge expertise and hands-on experience.
Taught over 15 months, Design for Manufacture students develop tacit and explicit knowledge of design, engineering, material behaviour, analogue and digital craft and advanced systems operations. Working in state-of-the-art facilities at Here East, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, students develop their own practice with multi-disciplinary academics, designers and practitioners.
Collaborative research, learning and working is central to the programme. Within this context, students work in design clusters of 15 to 20, led by two tutors who will define a distinct but constantly evolving territory of research.
- Develop, learn and innovate with advanced manufacturing processes, including robotics for fabrication and assembly, 3D printing, CNC milling, water jet, 3D scanning and laser cutting
- Have access to large-volume space for 1:1 prototyping at Here East in close proximity to complimentary disciplines and expertise in civil engineering, computer science, architectural computation, environmental design and performance design
- Work collaboratively to design and prototype elements, such as furniture systems, structures and enclosures, set within the context of contemporary challenges such as sustainability, production, cost, and assembly
- Work with B-made – The Bartlett Manufacturing and Design Exchange – our state-of-the-art fabrication workshop staffed by experts in craft, making, manufacturing and robotics.
- Introductory Design Workshops (15 credits)
Module coordinators: Bob Sheil and Peter Scully
This module is supported by and synchronised with the Skills Portfolio module, where set projects form the basis of the students’ training and assessment in skills.
Guided by their tutors through a range of studio-based teaching, individual tutorials and group projects, students undertake a series of modern and experimental design and digitally driven fabrication exercises, which help them to prepare an individual design workshop portfolio. Portfolios demonstrate the different ways and methods that designs can be created and manufactured, through drawn design proposals and written manufacture instructions.
- Skills Portfolio (30 credits)
Module coordinator: Emma-Kate Matthews
This module allows students to develop both analytical simulation skills and synthetic making skills, and to develop a record of these skills in the form of a portfolio. Guided by tutors, students focus on a bespoke range of skills that investigate, for example, how digital tools can be used to simulate the composition or measurement of designs, or how to select and prepare tooling, machine materials and assemble designs. Students are taught in workshop groups, depending on their design research subject, but submit work individually.
- Design Thesis Portfolio: Initial Projects (30 credits)
Module coordinator: Bob Sheil
Students gain an understanding of the processes of designing through making and digital simulation, as well the design, manufacture and production of well-considered components and assemblies.
Students work in groups to create an initial set of propositions based on a design topic of their choice (for example, the design of timber assemblies for robotic fabrication or the manufacture of components for a mechanism). They present their project through a portfolio of drawings and simulations which check structural and environmental performance. The work carried out in this module inspires their future projects throughout the rest of the programme.
- Contextural Theory: Design for Manufacture (15 credits)
Module coordinator: Stephen Gage
This module provides students with the skills required to undertake a comparative theoretical study of the work created in their initial and final projects. They develop their knowledge of design and investigation through attending presentations by outgoing students, which they then discuss with module tutors to help identify an individual subject of interest for their personal essay.
Students gain an understanding of material culture, the different design theories that drive manufacture components and assemblies, and the historical background of current design for manufacture methods.
- Design Thesis Portfolio: Final Project (60 credits)
Module coordinators: Bob Sheil and Peter Scully
Students investigate their initial project proposals, subjecting them to a critical analysis of theoretical fulfilment, ease of fabrication, functional, structural and environmental performance. New proposals are then put forward as drawings and fabrications in an iterative process, with the aim of generating a finished final project.
Tutorials and seminars provide the basis of support that students need to complete their final projects. Students have access to state-of-the-art facilities at our Here East campus where they can design and develop their ideas in an inspiring and innovative environment. Their final project is exhibited in the annual Bartlett Winter Exhibition which is open to the public for two weeks at the end of term 4.
- Design Thesis: Written Report (30 credits)
Module coordinator: Stephen Gage
Guided by seminars and tutorials, students work individually to develop a theory that underpins their individual design work, and write an illustrated critical evaluation report of a key aspect of their final design project. They gain an understanding of what constitutes a design research question and learn the current methods and theoretical approaches to this.
Students are guided through digital and physical experiments, to critically evaluate their chosen area of discussion. They learn how to refer to appropriate theoretical and technical sources and demonstrate how the information from these sources is synthesised in their design.
Full-time: 15 months, beginning in October
Part-time: 30 months
Flexible: two to five years
A minimum of a second-class UK degree in an appropriate subject or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Applicants with extensive experience in the field may also be considered.
A design/creative portfolio is also expected. Applicants will be asked to submit a portfolio of their design work once their completed application has been received, and should not send or upload work until it has been requested.
Applications are now closed for 2020 entry.
We strongly advise early application, as our programmes are over subscribed and competition is high.
Fees and funding
- Tuition fee information can be found on the UCL Graduate Prospectus.
- For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding section of the UCL website.
This programme draws upon the related and internationally recognised expertise within The Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment and The School of Architecture, as well as across UCL, including the Civil Engineering and Computer Science departments of UCL Engineering. The programme is also supported by B-made, The Bartlett Manufacturing and Design Exchange.
- Emmanuel Vercruysse, Programme Director
Dr Emmanuel Vercruysse is a designer, with an interest in the relationship between drawing and making. He currently teaches and conducts research in analogue and digital craft at The Bartlett School of Architecture, focussing on the processes involved in design thinking, and investigating the particular interrelationships between the made and the drawn.
Emmanuel is involved in a number of practices and research groups, including art and architecture practice LiquidFactory; Field Robotics group RAVEN; the RIBA award winning experimental architectural practice Sixteen*(makers); and robotic fabrication lab ProtoArchitecture. Previously, he was Co-Director of the Postgraduate Design + Make course at the Architectural Association, where he led the conception, development and implementation of advanced and bespoke system operations.
- Peter Scully, Technical Director
With 20 years of industry experience in manufacturing, Peter Scully's work focusses on identifying design opportunities at the interface between the disruptive and established production processes.
Peter was appointed technical director of The Bartlett Manufacturing and Design Exchange (B-made) in 2013, which has since grown substantially and now includes technology for robotics, metrology, CNC, 3DP and 1:1 scale manufacturing.
Peter has been director of companies that play a key role in the realisation of bespoke architectural, engineering and artistic projects. He has worked with multiple architects, engineers and artists, deploying multi project stakeholder understanding to bias workflows towards buildable outcomes.
- Bob Sheil, Admissions and Leadership
Design for Manufacture was conceived and developed by Bob Sheil, Professor of Architecture and Design through Production, in collaboration with all colleagues in the team. Bob has over 20 years of teaching and research experience, he has published extensively, lectured worldwide, and is the founder of the internationally acclaimed conference FABRICATE. He has been Director of The Bartlett School of Architecture since 2014 and was on the project board for the commissioning of Here East, the pioneering facility where Design for Manufacture is based.
Bob maintains close contact with the programme, working alongside staff and students in shaping and developing research content, which includes PhD supervision in the same field. He is also the admissions tutor for the programme.
- Vincent Huyghe, Design Tutor
Vincent Huyghe is a Belgian architect specialising in computational design and robotic fabrication. He has worked as a teaching fellow in numerical manufacturing at The Bartlett since 2015, where he provides project consultations and technical support for students. He is also a tutor on the school's Architectural Design programme.
Vincent's areas of research interest include robotics, automation, digital fabrication and design to production workflows, scripting and software development, microcontrollers and electronics.
- James Solly, Design Tutor
James Solly is a British engineer, a director at Format Engineers and a design tutor at The Bartlett. For the last three years he has been a member of the InnoChain Network (ESR08 – Virtual Prototyping FRP) and a research associate at the Institute for Building Structures and Structural Design (ITKE) at the University of Stuttgart.
James's ongoing PhD research at the ITKE, which began within InnoChain, focusses on the development of virtual prototyping strategies for the fabrication by lattice structures formed from fibre-reinforced polymers (FRP). Prior to his InnoChain research role, James worked at Ramboll UK and BuroHappold Engineering.
- Tom Svilans, Design Tutor
Tom Svilans is an architectural designer and researcher based in Copenhagen, Denmark. His research focuses on the role of emerging technologies in revealing new modes of material practice and the performative nature of manufacturing.
Tom is currently completing a PhD exploring large-scale free-form timber construction at the Centre for Information Technology and Architecture, Copenhagen, as part of the InnoChain Research Network (EU Horizon 2020). The project is in close collaboration with the digital research unit Dsearch at White Arkitekter (SE) and the free-forms department of timber contractor Blumer Lehmann (CH).
Tom combines an expertise in digital fabrication methods with international experience in design, fabrication, and media work. He also co-directs MAJORVISUAL, an image-making practice that has international experience in providing high-quality visualisation for the architectural and creative industries.
- Tim Lucas, Structural Engineering Consultant
Tim Lucas is a London-based structural engineer and a partner at Price & Myers. He has designed a wide variety of innovative structures for buildings and bridges, including the Dublin Millennium Bridge and Slipstream by Richard Wilson at Heathrow Airport.
Tim's work employs digital design and manufacturing technology to examine structural performance and design structures. His work on the Corten steel house in Kew received a RIBA National Award along with an Institution of Structural Engineers Award.
In 2015, Tim was the recipient of the IABSE Milne Medal, which is awarded to an individual engineer for excellence in structural design. He is lecturer in Structural Design at The Bartlett and advises Design for Manufacture students on structural engineering aspects of their work.
- Stephen Gage, Contextual Theory Coordinator
Stephen Gage, Professor of Innovative Technology, started teaching at The Bartlett in 1993 and established the school's Interactive Architecture Workshop (BIAW) in 1995, which focused on interactive technologies as subjects of investigation in their own right as well as their use for creating innovative architecture. He later became Director of Technology at The Bartlett.
Stephen is an internationally-recognised leader in education and is currently external examiner at the Danish Schools of Architecture and at the Architectural Association in London.
- Clara Jaschke, Contextual Theory Tutor
Clara Jaschke is the founder of Alphabet Architecture, a translation-based practice which offers editorial services for architectural texts. Her work and practice interweave design and research as equal strands.
As a researcher, Clara currently explores blockchain technology with the aim of placing it within a framework to be utilised for digital architecture, and as a worthwhile addition to the discourse of the profession. Her current design research focusses on the generative potentials of curves, and the position and relevance of these singularities in the theoretical and historical realm.
- Emma-Kate Matthews, Skills Portfolio Coordinator
Emma-Kate Matthews is an architect, artist, musician, composer and teaching fellow at The Bartlett. She founded EKM Works in 2012, which is a transdisciplinary creative practice with a focus on experimentation and exploring the boundaries of innovative technologies.
Emma-Kate also teaches Architecture MArch students at The Bartlett School of Architecture where she is completing a design and performance-led PhD. Her research is concerned with discovering and exploiting creative reciprocities between music as constructed sound and architecture as constructed space. She aims to establish a mode for transdisciplinary practice between the interconnected fields of architecture, acoustical engineering, music composition and performance.
- Nikoletta Karastathi, Contextual Theory Tutor
Nikoletta Karastathi is a practicing architect at Napper architects, with interests in the disciplines of architecture, textiles and material science. She has previously worked at Klab Architects and taught at Newcastle University and the University of Edinburgh.
Nikoletta developed her research at The Bartlett through the Advanced Architectural Research course, where she explored material programmability in textile structures. Working in practice and alongside doing research Nikoletta strongly supports the benefits of research in practice. As such, through her elected post as the chair of NE RIBA Research and Innovation Forum, she seeks to promote the benefits of research for architectural offices and also encourage links with the NE universities and the local practices.
Our staff are very closely linked to several practices and institutions both outside of and across UCL:
- Affiliated practices and institutes
Arup Buro Happold
Foster + Partners
Price & Myers
UCL Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering (CEGE)
UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering (IEDE)
The Bartlett School of Architecture is one of the world's top-ranked architecture schools and our graduates enjoy excellent employment opportunities.
As well as providing students with the skills to develop a successful career in advanced design and manufacture, this programme also enable students to carry out future doctoral research in the field.