Prof Murray Fraser

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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 was the Executive Academic Advisor for a brand new university in Karachi  in Pakistan, Nazeer Hussain University, which took on its first-ever students in February 2014.

Over the years I have been invited to give many keynote lectures or seminars/workshops on 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 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. In 2012/13 I helped to run the World Architectural Festival, a premier international practice event that is now being held annually in Singapore.

Research Summary

I am Vice-Dean of Research for the Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment, and as such was the UoA Lead responsible for overseeing the Bartlett Faculty's 150-person submission for REF 2014.

In research terms, I have published extensively on architectural design, architectural history & theory, urbanism, globalisation, post-colonialism, design research and cultural studies. I am General Editor for the 21st edition of Sir Banister Fletcher's Global History of Architecture (Bloomsbury), a complete rewriting and updating of a long-standing classic work using contributions from 100+ scholars around the world, both as a book and online resource. 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 in the world in the previous year. Two other key books, both with Ashgate, are edited volumes on Architecture and Globalisation in the Persian Gulf Region and on Design Research in Architecture. The latter is part of an Ashgate book series, also titled 'Design Research in Architecture', which I co-founded and co-edit. 

I was shortlisted for the 2010 RIBA President's Research Awards 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 along with Dr Kester Rattenbury, and was funded with a £305,000 grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council. . We have had 200,000 visitors to the website, which has attracted uniformly positive reviews.

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 along with Dr Yara Sharif and Dr 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 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. I also acted as the external research advisor for twelve schools of architecture for the REF 2014 exercise. 

Up till mid-2015, I was the Chair of the RIBA Research & Innovation Group, as well as Chair of the RIBA Research Trust Awards Sub-Committee. I am the former editor of The Journal of Architecture (Routledge/RIBA), and a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Architectural Education, published in the USA, and of Architectural Histories. Furthermore, I was a co-founder and steering group member for the Architectural Humanities Research Association (AHRA), and committee member of the European Architectural History Network (EAHN). In 2013, I co-founded the Architectural Research European Network Association (ARENA), set up to promote research collaborations between universities and architectural practices. I am the Editor-in-Chief of the ARENA Journal of Architectural Research (AJAR), an online Open Access journal published through Ubiquity Press which covers the whole field of architecture.

Research outputs

A new deal for architectural research 2016 Fraser M
'The New Paradigm: PhD by Design', in the book Doctoral education in Architecture: Challenges and Opportunities 2015 Fraser M
Design Research in a Globalised Age 2014 Fraser M
'A Two-Fold Movement': Design Research as Dialectical Critical Practice 2013 Fraser M
Design Research in Architecture: An Overview 2013 -
Architecture and Globalisation in the Persian Gulf region 2013 -
Architecture and Globalisation in the Persian Gulf Region 2013 -
Introduction 2013 Fraser M
It's little things that count 2013 Fraser M
Introduction 2013 Fraser M
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Research activities

Archigram Archival Project
Architecture and Globalisation
Architecture and Globalisation in the Persian Gulf Region
Architecture and the 'Special Relationship': The American influence on post-war British architecture
Critical Architecture
Design Research in Architecture
Palestinian Regeneration Team (PART)