Working at the intersection of theory, research, media and critical-spatial-practices, the MPhil/PhD Programme in Architecture supports experimental research-intensive, practice-led and interdisciplinary theses aiming for tangible public and social impact and challenges dominant social, political, and economic conventions. The Programme fosters research into the history and politics of architecture and design at the intersection of critical ecological, new materialism, and digital humanities. The programme is investigating the diverse ways in which urbanists, architects, designers and other cultural producers have negotiated crises associated with globalization, migration and statelessness, the hauntings of empire and the colonial present, and the growing biopolitical conflicts around ecology and climate change.
We support written academic research in the history and theory of architecture and design, but are especially interested in practice-led and experimental research relevant to diverse research careers in academia, curatorial studies, and critical conservation. We encourage establishing real world collaborations with industry-based research groups, leading design practices, policymakers, social and environmental justice groups, human rights organisations and cultural institutions.
We particularly welcome research proposals aligned with the strategic areas of research in the School of Architecture: Architecture & Social Movements, Institutional Forms & Practices, Climate Justice, Critical Materialities & Digital Detection, as well as the work of the Laboratory for Design & Machine Learning. All research themes encourage interdisciplinary research, engagements with new media and aim to find new models of collaboration between academic and non-academic institutions or partners.
PhD study leads to a range of opportunities. You might become a lecturer or academic researcher, digital media practitioner, designer or consultant in industry, curator in leading cultural institutions worldwide, or work in international institutions such as NGOs and charities. It is an opportunity for you to investigate a research question or issue in depth, enabling you to take a more reflective, more innovative role in design.
Head of PhD Programme
School of Architecture
Royal College of Art
Kensington Gore, London
Writing Alexandra Palace: Plurivocity as a Method of Cultural Recovery of Buildings
Raül Avilla Royo
Community Architecture. New protocols and Disciplinary Shifts in Barcelona
The Ragpicker's Topology. Investigative Photographic Surveying as a Tool for the Evocation of Urban Character
Objects. Bodies. Territories: The Political and Economic Calculus of Border Regimes
From Ritual to Habit: London an Anthropology of Collective Forms
Bruna Ferreira Montuori
Practices of Narration: Spatial Practices that Guarantee the Right to the City in the Neighbourhood of Maré, Rio de Janeiro.
From Within: Uncovering Cultural Domesticity
A Taxonomy of Architecture at The Met
The Predominant Image: Architecture Recaptured by the Emancipation of Photography
Infrastructures of Solidarity in Athens. Prototypical Designs & Protocol Systems
Bridging the Impossible. Defining Architectural Typologies Through Structural Topologies and Machine Learning
Interior Complex. Standardisation in London's Existing Housing Stock
Maria Paez Gonzalez
Supreme (In)formality. The Mastery of Silicon Valley's 'Tech' Corporate Architectures
In Common. New Alliances for Owning, Sharing and Dwelling in London
Autonomous Vehicles. The Built Environment and Associated Semiotics
Compliance by Design, or The Architecture of Regulatory Compliance
Francisco j. Quintana
Urban Cold War: Development Politics of US Housing Operation in the Third World during the 1970s
Guillermo Ruiz de Teresa
Remittance Urbanism: On the Governance of Transnational Communities across the US and Mexico
Malgorzata Barbara Starzynska
Architecture of Dreams: Machine Learning for Space Recognition
Inhabiting the Street as Interior Practice in Bangkok
Counter-work: Methodologies for Design Platforms and Popular Organisations