Loughborough University: Architecture (Practice-based)

InstitutionLoughborough University
Department Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering
Web http://www.lboro.ac.uk
Email pgenquiries@lboro.ac.uk
Study type Research


One of four Royal Academy of Engineering designated Centres of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design, the School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering is home to a thriving community of over 60 academic staff, 40 technical and clerical support staff and over 240 active researchers that include Fellows, Associates, Assistants, Engineers and Doctoral Students.

This part-time (6 year) PhD programme is tailor-made for practitioner architects wishing to explore an original research topic while remaining in practice. Unlike some practice-related PhD models, our programme does not involve the submission of an extended piece of self-reflective commentary by an architect on his or her previous built work and designs. Instead of this passive approach we take an active one, which involves:

  • an architect creating new, research-led work while in practice

  • critical reflection and analysis of this in written and practical form

  • presentation and defence of this work via the ‘design critiques’ typical of architectural pedagogy and practice.

This approach reflects the close alignment of theory and practice in Lu-Arc – the new Architecture section – and also reflects changes in RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) expectations whereby practices are encouraged to build upon their design intuitions with original research that facilitates evidence-based design approaches.

PhD format The PhD will take the format of a written thesis of 40,000 words as well as a substantial practical component. The practical component might take the format of contributions to the completion of a building project, hand-drawn or computerized visualizations (plans, elevations, sections, axonometrics, etc.), virtual spaces, traditional hand-made models, 3D printed models, structural and material prototypes, mock-ups and installations. It is expected that a semi-public exhibition and discussion of the work should take place towards the end of the period of study. The formal examination, however, will consist of analysis and interrogation of the practical and written components in line with the standard viva voce regulations and practise, and this will be conducted jointly by an internal academic referee as well as an appropriately qualified external practitioner.

Our areas of research We welcome practice-based research proposals on a wide breadth of architectural topics and especially around our strengths. These are: - building structures and materials

  • digital fabrication

  • adaptable architecture

  • history and theory

  • urbanism and heritage.

We also invite practising architects with exciting research agendas to join this PhD programme.

Start dates are available in October, January, April or July each year.

Doctor of Philosophy - PhD

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