This week’s Postgraduate Research Seminar: Rawan Allouzi

This week’s Postgraduate Research Seminar takes place on Wednesday 13 February at 4 – 4.45pm in the PGR Hub at the Kent School of Architecture. This week’s PhD Candidate is Rawan Allouzi who will be be presenting her research titled, ‘Vernacular Architecture in Jordan: Vernacular transmission to meet the contemporary needs of the 21st century’.

‘Vernacular architecture is that kind of architecture which is related to specific time and place. It is most frequently applied to residential buildings. In the past, vernacular architecture did not use formal-educated architects, but depend on tradition and the skills of local craftsmen and builders. However, since the end of the 19th century, a lot of specialised architects have worked in this style which now represents part of sustainable design. All forms of vernacular architecture are built to meet specific needs, accommodating the values, economies and ways of living of the cultures that produce them.’ – Rawan Allouzi

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.

PhD Seminar Series: Giacomo Damiani

As part of Kent School of Architecture’s PhD Seminar Series, PhD student Giacomo Damiani will be presenting on Wednesday 24th February at 4PM in E.Barlow (Eliot College).

The philosophical-mathematical paradigm in the architecture of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries in Italy, and its contemporary relevance, focusing on De divina proportione by Luca Pacioli

A philosophical, cultural and aesthetic transition took place in present-day Italy during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, when renewed interest in classical studies began to define a novel theoretical paradigm. In order to understand this new thinking at the time and the formation of its theories, Luca Pacioli’s works will be investigated, with particular focus on De divina proportione (1509). Through its interdisciplinary nature, the study will highlight Pacioli as one of the seminal figures, with the aim of making a contribution to a growing, but insufficient, body of research on the mathematician, writer and friar. Mathematical and geometrical principles will be examined in their structural significance for the theory and practice of architecture and related arts. A critical analysis of the historical evolution of this theoretical paradigm in the architectural context will also be provided, with a focus on the present-day relation between architecture and mathematical theories in the digital realm.

CREAte hosts Professor Martin Bressani at St Augustine’s Abbey

A week of teaching and research activities in honour of our guest Professor Martin Bressani, director of the McGill School of Architecture in Montreal, was launched with a special event at the Pugin church of St Augustine in Ramsgate last night. Professor Bressani is a leading expert in the Gothic Revival, and he spoke to an audience from the parish about his early interest in the subject and the relationship of Pugin’s ideas to the Modern Movement. His talk was followed by a concert by PhD students and CREAte members Gimin Lee (ukulele) and Giacomo Damiani (accordion). Howard Griffin then presented an audio-visual display projected onto the interior walls of the church, assisted by students from our Architectural Visualisation programme. The evening was rounded off with performances on guitar by tutor Henry Sparks and second-year Architecture student Daniel Duarte.

CREAte thanks Father Marcus Holden for hosting us generously at the church, and to Anthony Jinks from the parish team for kindly looking after us over the evening.

KSA’s Dr Davina Jackson to speak at Twentieth Century Society event

The Australian architectural historian and critic Davina Jackson, who has completed her PhD at KSA, will be speaking next week at a special event in London held by the Twentieth Century Society and The Modern House estate agency in London.

The event, entitled ‘Douglas Snelling – Pan-Pacific Adventures in Modern Design and Architecture’ will take place on Monday 9th October at 6.30p-m in FCB Studios 20 on Tottenham Street in London.

Davina Jackoson is the author of the first study of Douglas Snelling’s pan-Pacific life an works. Based in Sydney, Davina works as an author, editor and curator and writes extensively on modernist architecture and design in Oceania. She was also professor of a multi-disciplinary design at the University of New South Wales and an editor of Architecture Australia.

For further information about the event, please see click here.

KSA members can attend free of charge.

CASE PhD Seminar: Leonidas Tsichritzis

CASE student Leonidas Tsichritzis will be holding a PhD Seminar on 10 May at 3.30PM in room W1-SR2.

The effect of urban geometry on pedestrian level winds

The Preliminary Results

Urban geometry influences almost exclusively the wind speeds at lower levels of the urban canopy layer affecting pedestrians’ comfort and the quality of urban environment. Such considerations have been taken into account from architects and planners in cold climatic context with very high buildings, such as in northern America while more recently such importance is being recognised in European temperate climates. With a focus on London, this study aims to assess the preliminary results obtained through CFD simulations, the magnitude of the impact of urban geometry on pedestrian level wind environment indicating the characteristics of urban geometry that dominate wind speeds around buildings.

The main objectives of this talk will be the following:

  • Urban geometry analysis
  • Methodology
  • Sensitivity studies
  • Initial results

PhD Seminar presentation: Davina Jackson

Davina Jackson, our KSA student undertaking a PhD by publication will be hosting a seminar on her book publication entitled ‘Douglas Snelling: Pan-Pacific Modern Design and Architecture (From Gravesend to Global Glamour)’ . She has travelled from Australia and will be presenting at 4pm on Wednesday 10th May in the Digital Crit Space.

Douglas Burrage Snelling (1916–85) was one of Britain’s significant emigré architects and designers. Born in Kent and educated in New Zealand, he became one of Australia’s leading mid-century architects, of luxury residences and commercial buildings, and a trend-setting designer of furniture, interiors and landscapes. This is the first comprehensive study of Snelling’s pan-Pacific life, works and trans-disciplinary significance. It provides a critical examination of this controversial modernist, revealing him to be a colourful and talented character who led antipodean interpretations of American, especially Wrightian and southern Californian, architecture, design and lifestyle innovations.

Davina Jackson (M.Arch) is a Sydney-based author, editor and curator, and a visiting research fellow with Goldsmiths College, University of London. She writes for British and European publishers on modernist architecture and design in Oceania and on creative applications of technology in urban contexts. In recent years she has produced books, exhibitions, articles and guest essays explaining themes she has named ‘smart light cities’, ‘viral internationalism’, ‘astrospatial architecture’, ‘data cities’ and ‘virtual nations’. During the trans-millennial decades, she was a professor of multi-disciplinary design at the University of New South Wales, an editor of Architecture Australia, and a director of companies which produced the world’s first three ‘smart light’ festivals in Sydney and Singapore.


PhD Student Alison Charles gives talk at the IHR

‘Stranger than fiction?’

Links between Flemish strangers and Netherlandish architectural influence in east Kent were the subject of a talk given by Alison Charles from the Kent School of Architecture at the Institute of Historical Research (IHR) on 26th January, 2016. The session was entitled ‘Stranger than fiction? Alien accommodation and Dutch architectural influence in sixteenth-and seventeenth-century Sandwich’ and took place as part of the IHR’s ‘Locality and Region’ seminar programme.

Alison’s paper discussed her research into stranger accommodation in Sandwich and how this overlaps with the presence of Netherlandish-inspired buildings in the town. These topics are related to the part-time Architectural History PhD she is finishing in CREAte, KSA’s Centre for Research in European Architecture.

PhD Student Tim Fox-Godden wins Gail Braybon Prize for Best Postgraduate Paper

PhD Student Tim Fox-Godden won the Gail Braybon Prize for Best Postgraduate Paper at the 8th Conference of the International Society for First World War Studies; the conference was entitled ‘Landscapes of War’ and was held in September 2015 in Trento, Italy.

The paper, ‘Sites of Memory Beyond Mourning?’ looks at narratives of memory contained within the architecture of the British war cemeteries along the former Western Front of the First World War. The traditional interpretation of these sites has been one centred on the commemoration of the dead and whilst this is important it is not the only layer of memory. The paper, based on Tim’s PhD research, explores one of these other layers of memory; specifically, the relationship between the cemetery architecture and the landscape of the Great War. Using a case study of a cluster of cemeteries on the Franco-Belgian border the paper identifies a design typology in the relationship between the architecture and the wartime landscape. In doing so it highlights the layer of memory that retains the geometries and features of the battlefields that would otherwise be lost.

KSA offers two PhD Scholarships

The Kent School of Architecture is pleased to offer TWO postgraduate scholarships for 2013.  The School of Architecture is inviting applications for two fully funded PhD scholarships at the University of Kent. The scholarships will cover full-time fees at the Home/EU rate and will include an additional maintenance bursary.

Topics: Architecture, Urbanism, History & Theory, Sustainable Environment

The Kent School of Architecture is pleased to offer TWO postgraduate scholarships for 2013.  The School of Architecture is inviting applications for two fully funded PhD scholarships at the University of Kent. The scholarships will cover full-time fees at the Home/EU rate and will include an additional maintenance bursary of approximately £13,590 per year.  The students will join a group of lively PhD researchers and will benefit from a vibrant postgraduate culture in the Kent School of Architecture.
The successful students will receive regular supervision from members of the supervisory panel, and will participate in the general training provided by the School of Architecture and the University of Kent Graduate School.  In addition, they will be fully supported in research and career development, and there will be opportunities for gaining teaching experience.

The applications could be on any aspect of architecture, urbanism, history & theory and sustainable environment.

Full details can be found at

  • A good degree (2:1 or 1st) or Master’s degree in Architecture, or another related discipline.
  • An advanced knowledge and understanding of one or more of the above disciplines.
  • Strong grasp of qualitative and quantitative research methods
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills

The deadline for applications is Thursday, 31 January,  2013.

For more information
For further enquiries about this project please contact the School of Architecture Post Graduate office by email or telephone 01227 824205 or Prof. Gordana Fontana-Giusti ( or 01227 824700).