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I am a qualified architect and academic who studied for five degrees at the UCL Bartlett School of Architecture prior to working in architectural practices and starting upon my teaching career -- initially at Oxford Brookes University and then the University of Westminster. I took up my current post as Professor of Architecture and Global Culture at the UCL Bartlett School of Architecture in July 2011. Previously I had been the Director of Design at Oxford Brookes and the Director of Postgraduate Studies and Research at Westminster.
I have had extensive involvement in academic strategy and administration, especially in relation to professional organisations. I am a former member of the RIBA Awards Group, and served as a member of the ARB Assessment Panel and of the ARB/RIBA Visiting Board Pool from 2000-05 (including as Chair of Visiting Boards for the latter part of the period). I was a member of the team that in 2000 wrote the first-ever undergraduate QAA Benchmark Statement for Architecture. I have been external examiner for a variety of Part 1 and Part 2 courses at institutions such as Bath University, Nottingham University, University of East London and Westminster University, as well as on MA courses at University College Dublin, UCL, etc. I was specially appointed as Senior Visiting Professor at the Technical University of Malaysia from 2005-08. I have also acted as an external examiner for many PhD theses in Britain, Ireland, Belgium and Australia. I am a student mentor for the Stephen Lawrence Trust.
I have been asked at various points to provide external scrutiny and/or advice on courses and research programmes at the UCL Bartlett, Central St Martin’s College of Art, Scott Sutherland School, Innsbruck University, KTH Stockholm, Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Technical University of Malaysia, and Queensland University in Australia. I have been appointed as an assessor for the Australian Research Council. I am also currently the Executive Academic Advisor for an entire brand new university in Karachi in Pakistan called the Nazeer Hussain University, which took on its first-ever students in February 2014.
Over the years I have been invited to give lots of keynote lectures or seminars/workshops on various aspects of architectural design, architectural history & theory, urbanism and architectural education at institutions in Britain, Ireland, continental Europe, USA, Australia, Turkey, Malaysia, Singapore and elsewhere. I was invited for example to run the 'Design Research' forum at the international Oxford Conference on Architectural Education in 2008, and more recently, in June 2013, I was appointed as a member of Guest Faculty for the Metropolis Masters
Programme in Architecture and Urban Culture, run by the Universitat Pompey Fabre/Centre de
Cultura Contemporaina in Barcelona. In regard to design work, I was awarded a Special Mention in the 2004 RIBA London 'House of the Future' competition. I am also helping to run the World Architectural Festival, a premier international practice event that is now being held annually in Singapore.
I am the Vice-Dean of Research for the Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment, and the UoA Lead who was responsible for overseeing the Bartlett Faculty's 150-person submission for the REF 2014 research assessment exercise.
In terms of research, I have published extensively on architectural design, architectural history & theory, urbanism, globalisation, post-colonialism, design research and cultural studies. My book, Architecture and the Special Relationship (Routledge), won the 2008 RIBA President's Award for Outstanding University-Located Research and the 2008 Bruno Zevi Book Prize from the International Committee of Architectural Critics for the best architectural book published anywhere in the world in the previous year. Two new books, both with Ashgate, are edited volumes which are respectively on Architecture and Globalisation in the Persian Gulf Region and on Design Research in Architecture. The latter is part of a major new book series with Ashgate, also titled 'Design Research in Architecture', which I co-founded and am co-editing with my UCL colleagues Professor Jonathan Hill and Professor Jane Rendell, plus Professor Teddy Cruz from UC San Diego/Estudio Teddy Cruz.
I was shortlisted for the 2010 RIBA President's Award for Outstanding University-Located Research as co-creator of the Archigram Archival Project, a groundbreaking online resource that collects together 10,000 drawings and other material by the celebrated 1960s/70s architectural group, Archigram. This research project was carried out at Westminster University and was produced in conjunction with Dr Kester Rattenbury. We have just had our 150,000th visitor to the website, which has attracted uniformly positive reviews. The Archigram Archival Project was funded with a £305,000 grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
As a qualified architect, I set up the Palestinian Regeneration Team (PART) to carry out a range of design projects in the West Bank and Gaza Strip with my colleagues Dr Yara Sharif and Nasser Golzari. PART's contribution to the regeneration project for the historic centre of Birzeit, near Ramallah, carried out to great acclaim by RIWAQ -- a leading Palestinian NGO that is involved in historic conservation -- won a 2013 Aga Khan Award for Architecture. PART was also commissioned to design and build the Palestinian Sunbird Pavilion for the British Council's 2012 International Art & Architecture Showcase/London Festival of Architecture in July-August 2012.
I served as a member of the H30: Architecture and Built Environment sub-panel for the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, and produced the RAE 2008 submission for the Department of Architecture at the University of Westminster. Since then I have acted as external research advisor for twelve schools of architecture for the REF 2104 exercise.
I am the Chair of the RIBA Research & Innovation Group, as well as Chair of the RIBA Research Trust Awards Sub-Committee. Within the RIBA I also sit on the Practice & Profession Committee and the Library & Drawings Collection Committee. I am the former editor of The Journal of Architecture (Routledge/RIBA), and am also on the editorial boards of the Journal of Architectural Education, published in the USA, and of Architectural Histories, the online journal of the European Architectural History Network. Furthermore, I was a co-founder and steering group member for many years for the Architectural Humanities Research Association (AHRA), and am an committee member of the European Architectural History Network (EAHN). More recently, I have helped to found the Architectural Research European Network Association (ARENA), set up to promote research collaborations between universities and architectural practices.