PhD Seminar Series: Howard Griffin

The next PhD Seminar will be given by Howard Griffin, MA Architectural Visualisation programme director, on Wednesday 14th March at 4pm in the Digital Crit Space.

Moving the immovable: projection-mapping and the changing face of architecture

The ‘lumière’ festival has, in recent years, become an established form of public festival, with many cities and heritage sites seizing the opportunity to attract large audiences and increase tourism revenues.  Lumière festivals now benefit from the advance in digital technology, which allows light to be mapped to specific surfaces and spaces through projection.  This form of light installation, known as projection-mapping, delivers an added sense of spectacle, with onlookers taking the chance to witness momentary changes to the urban canvas, engaging with buildings in new ways.

At night, artificial light shapes the space around us, highlighting routes, exposing features, forming shadows, and provides architecture an altered, arguably dynamic, identity. Whether by candle, fire, gas or electricity, light has the capacity to change the way we see the space about us.  Projection mapping amplifies this, allowing artists to explore notions of altered façade, and changes to character, style and materiality.

The visual sense dominates particularly when judging scale, distance, texture and so on.  Experience informs us that most buildings are inanimate; solid objects designed for strength and security.  Yet, albeit briefly, our eyes disagree.  Projection-mapping can create illusions that change the very nature of architecture, causing the viewer to subconsciously question and review the alterations that seem to occur.  Windows can spin.  Walls can wobble.  Buildings can move.  Torre (2015) argues that buildings ‘concretize’ animation, giving depth to two-dimensional image.  However, it could be argued that projection-mapping liberates the built environment, animating the inanimate, moving the immovable.

This presentation will explore the methods used in projection mapping to deceive and skew perception of architectural form and space, and argues that this form of light show installation not only conjures and deceives, but develops new relationships between people and the cities and buildings around us.

CASE Open Lecture: Professor Sue Roaf, Heriot-Watt University

The next CASE Open Lecture will be given by Professor Sue Roaf, from Heriot-Watt University on Tuesday 20 March at 6pm in Marlowe Lecture Theatre 1.

How to Design a Comfortable Building

Comfort is a very costly business. Around 40% of global GDP is spent on buildings, for their construction, operation and demolition and most goes in keeping buildings cool or warm enough to occupy – using air-conditioning and central heating systems. That was fine in the age of cheap 20th century energy but as fossil fuels become less affordable – how will we afford to stay comfortable in the increasingly unstable and extreme weather, political and economic systems we occupy?  We need now to re-learn how to design buildings that can keep people thermally and economically safe in difficult times, not least in a warming world when so many modern buildings are over heating badly. This talk covers issues related to how and why many modern buildings fail to do so and describes a range basic Comfort Design Tools.  It proposes a three step method for designing comfortable buildings, based on lessons learnt while developing the adaptive approach to thermal comfort and describes a range of fundamental opportunities and planning methods for use during early comfortable buildings design stages.  It then outlines a few useful mind-set mantras that might help the designer in the process.

Sue Roaf gained her first degree in Architecture in 1975 at Manchester University. She subsequently went on to gain her Diploma in Architecture at the Architectural Association in London where she also took her Part 3 professional exam in 1978. In 1989 she was awarded a PhD for her study of the Windcatches of the Central Persian Desert from Oxford Brookes University where she taught from 1989 to 2005 both in professional studies, technology and design. She has practiced for a number of years on the design of housing, schools, hospitals and town planning.

She is best known as a designer for her Oxford Ecohouse which was the first UK building with an integrated photovoltaic roof. She is an award winning designer, teacher and author and is Co-Chair of TIA, the International Teachers in Architecture organisation and Co-Chair of the Westminster Carbon Counting Group. She began teaching at Heriot Watt in 2007 in the School of the Built Environment.

Timothy Brittain-Catlin to speak at Gresham College

Timothy Brittain-Catlin will be presenting his latest research in a lecture at Gresham College on the evening of Tuesday 13th March. This talk will propose the theory that Edwardian domestic architecture was based on a new concept of remodelling or imitating the remodelling of old buildings, especially ones with Elizabethan or Jacobean features. This idea emerges from a study of Country Life magazine and of a series of houses from the period. The lecture suggests that three houses should enter the canon of significant early twentieth-century architecture: Kingsgate Castle, near Broadstairs in Kent; Daws Hill, in High Wycombe; and Vann, near Hambledon in Surrey.

Gresham College is one of the most prestigious academic venues in the country, and the lecture will be attended by leading architectural historians. Admission to Barnard’s Inn Hall, off High Holborn, where the lecture will take place will be on a ‘first-come, first served’ basis, with entry from 5.30pm for a 6pm, start. Further information can be found on the College’s website:

The lecture will be available to downloads or watch online after it has taken place.

PhD Seminar Series: Michael Hall

The next PhD Seminar will be given by PhD student Michael Hall on Wednesday 28th February at 4pm in E.Barlowe (Eliot College).

The Stately Home Industry: The English country house and heritage tourism 1950-1975

In post-war Britain, the country’s relationship to its heritage changed irrevocably. Shifts in political, economic, and societal structures meant that long-accepted attitudes towards national identity were forever altered. At the epicentre of these changes was the English country house, which following this period became the prevalent symbol of English national heritage. Today, large country estates have claimed a secure place in the heritage landscape, however throughout the early to mid 20th century their fate was not so certain. This presentation will explore the ways in which seismic societal changes following the second world war were leveraged by a handful of aristocratic landowners to market their ancestral homes as tourist destinations, and begin to run them as commercial enterprises. It will trace this trend as it became more accepted and ultimately helped to form the heritage tourism industry that is so vital today.

Timothy Brittain-Catlin to head prestigious new editorial board in architectural history

The respected academic art and architectural history Lund Humphries is delighted to announce a new series within its revived architecture and design programme: Architectural History of the British Isles.  Dr Timothy Brittain-Catlin will heading up an esteemed Editorial Board comprised of nine of Britain and Ireland’s top architectural historians. British architectural history has a very prominent reputation internationally and sets the standard for publishing and for the development of new ideas and narratives: this series will comprise fascinating and insightful illustrated books, produced to the highest standards.

Dr Brittain-Catlin’s own monograph on Edwardian domestic architecture will be published by Lund Humphries in 2020.

PhD Seminar Series: Leonidas Tsichritzis

The next PhD Seminar will be given by Leonidas Tsichritzis on Wednesday 14th February at 4PM in E.Barlow (Eliot College).

The effect of height related urban morphology characteristics on pedestrian level winds

The evaluation of wind environment has gained a lot attention lately as it has been associated with issues relevant to urban climate quality such as heat island intensity and air pollution, which many large metropolitan areas are facing and affect humans’ health and prosperity. Within the morphological and climatic context of Greater London this study aims to associate pedestrian level wind comfort with urban morphology as well as with wind directions. Approximate 20 case studies representing real urban areas with dimensions 500x500m, which receive a range of morphological characteristics yet medium to high building coverages, were examined through CFD simulations. For every single case study eight wind directions were tested while the BRE wind comfort criteria and guidelines were used for assessing wind comfort for the different types of outdoor human activities. The results of the study provide valuable information showing some influence between the pedestrian level wind environment of London and building morphology characteristics which contain information relevant to the height of buildings.

Leonidas Tsichritzis is a 3rd year PhD Student and Graduate Teaching Assistant. Prior to joining the Centre for Architecture and Sustainable Environment in order to conduct his own research, awarded with a GTA Scholarship, Leonidas has worked as an architect and environmental design consultant in Athens.
His research interests are covering a wide area of sustainable and environmental design in terms of promoting the energy autonomy and the decarbonisation of built environment as well as pedestrian comfort in local but also in urban scale. More particularly, his research is focusing on assessing and classifying the pedestrian level urban wind environment as far as concerned to wind comfort and safety for different types of outdoor human activities by evaluating designated characteristics of urban geometry which dominate the wind flows around buildings for the climatic and urban context of London.

Dr Luciano Cardellicchio speaks at La Sapienza, University of Rome.

Dr Cardellicchio is invited to give a talk at the symposium ‘From Iconic Factory to Urban Factory’ organised by Prof. Marzia Marandola at La Sapienza University of Rome the 14th of February. After the keynote lecture of Prof. Nina Rappaport, from Yale School of Architecture, Dr Cardellicchio will present the results of his research on the construction of the Solimene’s Ceramic Factory by Paolo Soleri (1956).

The talk will focus on the role of the labour and importance of the local territory as key elements of the building process of this masterpiece of organic architecture designed by one of the apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright.


PhD Seminar: Ben Tosland

Today’s PhD Seminar will be hosted by PhD student Ben Tosland entitled, ‘Regional Development: The relationship of Western designed architecture with geopolitics in the Persian Gulf, 1925 – 1990’.

The focus of this presentation will largely be on the methodologies of proving the intrinsic link between architecture and geopolitics within the years 1925-1990 in the Persian Gulf. These events have caused a development in architectural aesthetic towards a more refined ‘critically regional’ style representative of the Persian Gulf, rather than individual nation states or global hegemony as is the historiography might suggest. The presentation shall show a brief outline of the thesis depicting the overarching structure covering important projects by several globally renowned architects as well as depicting projects that are either underappreciated, under-researched or unknown. Research for this presentation carried out in libraries and archives in the United Kingdom and across Europe utilises primary material from the offices of architects and planners coupled with contemporary journal articles causing numerous methodological issues. The aim of this presentation is to tackle these issues of method and selection criteria to ensure the overall argument of the thesis is water-tight while still contributing original thought and insight to a variety of case studies.

Ben has been a PhD student and Graduate Teaching Assistant in the School of Architecture since September 2016. He has an Undergraduate degree from the University of East Anglia (UEA) in History (2014) and a Master’s degree in Conservation and Regeneration from the University of Sheffield’s School of Architecture (2015). He is a recipient of the Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship at the University of Kent enabling him to research and study for his PhD. Ben works externally as a consultant for historic buildings, aiding planning applications and writing Conservation Area Appraisals. He is an affiliate member of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC), a member of the Twentieth Century Society and has worked with the SPAB.

Keynote at launch of major international conference “Landscape Architecture & Microclimate”

Professor Marialena Nikolopoulou gave a keynote speech at the launch of the First International Conference on Landscape Architecture and Microclimate ever held, at Tongji University, in Shanghai, China, on 26-28th January 2018.

The conference marked the completion of the key research project of the National Natural Science Foundation of China “Research on design theory and method of landscape architecture response to microclimate suitability in urban livable environment”, unique in bridging the discipline of landscape architecture with microclimate studies. The conference was a big success with 210 participants from 76 universities and various professional associations.

Timothy Brittain-Catlin to speak at the European Year of Cultural Heritage

Timothy Brittain-Catlin will be speaking on British Victorian architects from A.W.N. Pugin to W.R. Lethaby as part of the series on Architectural History organised for the European Year of Cultural Heritage. His lecture, ‘Pugin’s House: a home for all Europe?’ will describe European influences on one of the most influential periods of British design, and how in return the work of the Arts and Crafts Movement came to play a major role in Germany.

He joins a prestigious group of leading architectural historians which include Simon Thurley, the Gresham Professor of Built Environment and former chief executive of English Heritage, and the mediaeval historian John Goodall of Country Life, author of the highly praised The English Castle.

The lecture will be held at Europe House, the offices of the European Commission in London, at 32 Smith Square, London SW1P 3EU, on Thursday 15th February at 18.30, with refreshments from 18.00.

Further information about the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage can be found here:

All welcome but booking (free) is essential: