Sam Jacoby

Professor of Architectural and Urban Design Research




Sam Jacoby is an architectural researcher and educator with a diverse research portfolio and practice. Jacoby is Professor of Architectural and Urban Design Research and the Research Leader of the School of Architecture at the Royal College of Art, responsible for School-wide research strategy and management as well as the Laboratory for Design and Machine Learning. His teaching experience spans more than 18 years and includes the leading of PhD, MPhil, and MRes research-degree programmes. Jacoby is co-founder and former Director (2009–2019) of the MPhil in Architecture and Urban Design: Projective Cities at the Architectural Association School of Architecture. He was interim Professor of Architecture, Designs, and Building Typology at the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Stuttgart (2016), and has taught at the Hochschule Anhalt, the Bartlett School of Architecture at the University College London, and the University of Nottingham. Jacoby gained an AA Diploma from the Architectural Association School of Architecture and holds a doctorate from the Technische Universität Berlin.

Jacoby’s work is interested in the social impact of architectural and urban design research and practice, examining the socio-spatial histories, forms of knowledge production, and analytical and design methodologies that underpin it. His research is informed by his training as an architect and architectural historian, but builds on transdisciplinary collaborations and interdisciplinary approaches.

Current research includes studies of the histories and policies that have shaped housing design through standardised plans, space standards, and functional requirements; explores the analytical and methodological limits or potentials of typological, morphological, and data-driven analysis for design practice and theory; investigates the socio-spatial specificity and role of collective forms and spaces in community-led development and socialised governance; and analyses the importance of health and wellbeing to understanding design outcomes.

Research Interests: Housing studies; typological, morphological, and data-driven studies; architectural history (design methodology, design research, collective forms); community-led development.

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Ines Weizman