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Architectural research is inspired by the diverse interests and expertise of the academic staff

Key themes in architectural research are bound together with the distinctive history and personality of architectural study at LSBU.

As a teaching-led university in the heart of one of the world's greatest cities, LSBU is well-placed to engage in relevant research, examining and interrogating the character of metropolitan life.   We are concerned with the cultural transformations that reflect the deepening reach of technology, and an awareness of the growing environmental crises and shifts in the global, political, and economic order expressed in a range of urban phenomena. Anticipating the urban future and understanding today's cities, in London and elsewhere, are important challenges for those engaged in architecture and the built environment.

Research themes

The cosmopolitan character of LSBU reflects the complex and fascinating diversity of its student profile.  The exchange of global and local concerns is a powerful overarching research theme for the architecture research group.   Another critical theme is understanding and learning from the design studio: the design studio is a context for and method of producing knowledge that oscillates between concepts and practice, cross-pollinating between the institutional constructs of academia and the professional practice of architecture.

Architecture academics are currently working in the areas of:

  • City Depiction, Design and Description; Rethinking Histories of Architecture (Paul Davies, Sue Phillips)
  • Architectural Pedagogy and Design Studio Culture (Steve Bowkett, Carla James, Michael Evans, Tim Jones)
  • Rethinking Sustainable Practice: Adaptation, Conservation, and Architecture (Carla James, Mike Kane, Nic Pople, Ron Yee)
  • Architectural Design as Cultural Product (Paul Davies)
  • The City as Consumer (Mike Kane, Ron Yee)
  • Structure as Space: Architecture, Geometry, Technology (Lilly Kudic, Luke Murray)

These challenges are rigorously tested for their innovative potential in the laboratory-like conditions of the design studio, architecture's key pedagogical setting.  Growing up with digital tools and technological expertise embedded in everyday life, the future generation of practitioners will devise methods for making and adapting buildings that have yet to be imagined.  Drawing on LSBU's institutional commitment to the student experience, research at the interface between the design learning and digital methodologies considers the professionally relevant skills future practice will demand.

Architecture staff members also contribute to the work of the Medical Architecture Research Unit (MARU), and have participated in the activities of the Innovation in the Built Environment Academy (IBEA).  A programme of Architectural Research Seminars was initiated in 2011 to develop peer review expertise, and build departmental research capacity. Staff members publish in a range of media, presenting their work at conferences and in public events as well as engaging in scholarly exchange, from academic networking to external examining and design reviews.  Partnerships with other disciplines in the University, and with other universities in the region, have led to successful bids for research studentships and the development of new postgraduate level courses.

Research degree opportunities

LSBU's School of The Built Environment and Architecture provides exciting opportunities for taught postgraduate degrees, offering awards of MPhil/PhD (by research), or MSc: Master of Science.  Study can be part- or full-time in a range of areas, with teaching by academic staff who have direct expertise in all the areas defined.

The wide range of research activities in the School of The Built Environment and Architecture, together with the mix of academic staff, post-doctoral research fellows and visiting professors, allows us to offer a stimulating and diverse postgraduate environment. Read more about Research Degrees at LSBU.