Our research activity this year was foreshadowed by the University’s submission to the UK’s Research Excellence Framework (REF). Architectural research was returned with our colleagues in Art and Design through Manchester Metropolitan University and colleagues in the Built Environment and Planning at the University of Manchester. Both institutions had incredible success, with UoM ranking 5th overall for their research and ManMet ranking 2nd for their research power, highlighting the strength and quality of academic and practice-based research across the School. We are proud to have such a standing alongside our global ranking of 2nd for employability (QS World), which shows how our diverse research-led teaching portfolio equips our graduates for practical problem solving at any scale. We can only mention a fraction of our output on these pages as the volume of high-quality research at the School is vast.
Several members of staff have been appointed internationally as visiting academics. Sally Stone was Visiting Professor at IUAV Venice where she delivered a series of lectures and seminars reinforcing her reputation as a leading academic in adaptive re-use in advance of the new Masters course that will see its first intake in September 2022.
Dr Ray Lucas was appointed as International Chair in Architecture at Université Libre de Bruxelles for 2022, running a series of events including a public lecture, a PhD seminar, a 4-week research workshop and an exhibition in April & May.
Professor Lukasz Stanek spent a semester as a Senior Fellow at the University of Ghana, where he conducted research in public and private archives and made interviews & site visits alongside a series of seminars, lectures & workshops.
Professor Albena Yaneva has been a guest of the Faculty of Architecture in Skopje, ETSAM Madrid, Princeton School of Architecture, the Next Generation Cities Institute in Montreal, Harvard Graduate School of Design and the Het Nieuwe Instituut Rotterdam amongst others. Our own visiting professors have made invaluable contributions to research seminars with staff and PhD students throughout the year too.
Professor Richard Brook and Dr Luca Csepely Knorr have taken their research work, inflected through the taught programmes to the National Coal Mining Museum where it is part of their new exhibition, Powering a Nation and will run until October 2022. In January they ran a similar smaller event at Pontefract Library. The pair also convened the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain Annual Conference with colleagues from Queens University Belfast on the Architecture of Borderlands.
Newly appointed lecturer, Dr Johnathan Djabarouti was invited several times this year to lecture as an RIBA Academy Panellist at the RIBA Advanced Conservation Course, where he shared his PhD research findings to delegates with a course module on intangible heritage and its relationship to listed buildings.
The new LGBT+ centre opened in Manchester this year. Senior Lecturer Emily Crompton has been involved in the project for a number of years as a designer, the unofficial historian and as a proxy client – a complex multifaceted engagement where she has impacted on the development of the building in manifold ways and one which she is unpicking through writing about her agency during the duration of the scheme.
Dan Dubowitz is leading a multi-disciplinary team made up of archaeologists, psycho-geographers, urbanists and designers to deliver a series of Grit Walks in Mayfield. The walks will introduce communities in Manchester to the city’s first public park to be built in the city for over 100 years in the lead up to and at its opening in late 2022.
Amongst the substantial number of journal articles and chapters produced by colleagues across the School were a number of book length publications. Working in collaboration with Nigel Saunders from Pozzoni Architecture, Dr Mark Hammond has produced A Design for Life: Urban Practices for the Age-Friendly City. Commissioned by GMCA, it is a handbook for architects, planners and policy makers about the need to radically reassess how we design for older people.
Kasia Nawratek compiled and edited a new book, Space and Language in Architectural Education. Catalysts and Tensions, published by Routledge. This book offers a glimpse into architectural pedagogies exploring the relationship between space and language, using literary methods and linguistic experiments.
Sally Stone and Laura Sanderson were editors and contributors to Emerging Practices in Architectural Pedagogy, which explores the emergent techniques in architectural education that are helping to bridge the gap between the institutional setting and working practice.
Sally also produced Inside Information: The Defining Concepts of Interior Design with RIBA Publications. It is a collection of stories that contextualise the interior and account for the things that form it contextualised by their contemporary of the economic, social, and religious conditions and beliefs.
Professor Richard Brook and Dr Luca Csepely Knorr curated and compiled You Love Me Really - Journeys Through Landscapes of Post-War Infrastructure, a small publication that came about as a product of circumstance. Its contents stem from a series of three artists' conversations convened in January 2021, whereupon said artists collaborated with one another in the production of new works.
Senior Lecturer Rob Hyde and Associate Lecturer Filippos Filippidis compiled and edited a new book, Intelligent Control: Disruptive Technologies, published by RIBA. This book incorporating contributions from academia and practice offers a topical perspective on how emerging digital specialisms, AI and performance driven design are disrupting current practices.
Professor Albena Yaneva, continuing her cross-disciplinary work published Latour for Architects, with Routledge, the book discusses critically how specific methods and insights from his philosophy can inspire new thinking in architecture and design pedagogy.
Dr Matthew Wells authored Survey - Architecture Iconographies with Park Books, An exploration of the history and significance of the architectural survey drawing through focused studies on John Soane, Charles Robert Cockerell, Detmar Blow, Louis-Hippolyte Lebas, Henri Labrouste, Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, and Peter Märkli.
Professor Deljana Iossifova was part of the editorial team for Urban Infrastructuring: reconfigurations, transformations and sustainability in the Global South, published by Springer, whichi llustrates how urban infrastructures, including transportation, sanitation and communication, are interconnected.
Indicative of the growing esteem of the School’s research environment are a number of keynote invitations extended to scholars. Ulysses Sengupta delivered the keynote lecture Urban Complexity: Problem structuring, temporal dynamics & transdisciplinarity at the British Council’s – UK-Brazil Researcher Links, Infrasystems - Towards Healthy Brazil: Sustainable Urban Nexus (Water-Energy-Sanitation) in the Tiete River Basin.
Sally Stone was invited to help celebrate the 20th anniversary of the foundation of DoCoMoMo Turkey, talking about her contribution to the listing of Preston Bus Station with the lecture Brutal Activism: Rescuing Preston Bus Station.
Dan Dubowitz delivered a keynote on Collaborative Urbanism for the closing session of the Tirana Design Week Biennial: The Post Pandemic City in October 2021.
Dr Angela Connelly received an award from the Arts and Humanities Research Council for her project, Songs of Resilience. The research engaged with 14 to 18 year olds in Wigan and Leigh (Greater Manchester) who worked with academics, song-writers and the Lancashire Wildlife Trust to co-create songs that responded to the long story of climate change and the human contribution to this.
Dr Mark Hammond won funding for Co-creating Age-Friendly Social Housing via the Dunhill Medical Trust. A three-year, participatory action research project working with three social housing providers in Greater Manchester. The project aims to create three best practice initiatives that support older people to define how they want to age in place, and the environments that best support that.
Dr Luca Csepely-Knorr has been awarded a Research, Development and Engagement Fellowship from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) for her project Women of the Welfare Landscape. The project will explore the 'unseen, but indispensable' contributions of female designers to the British welfare state, with a particular focus on the pivotal work of Brenda Colvin (1897-1981), and her practice Colvin and Moggridge.
Newly appointed Professor Yamuna Kaluarachchi was awarded a grant from the British Academy Knowledge Frontiers International Interdisciplinary Research Programme 2022, for her project, Urban Migration for Good - from forced displacement to a good city. It will involve a case study of Cabo Delgado, Mozambique and is in collaboration with London South bank University & Cardiff University, UK, Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, Mozambique.
Ulysses Sengupta, and new lecturers Solon Solomou and Mahmud Tantoush received two awards from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council for their projects, Mobility as a Service: Prototype for Transport for Greater Manchester and Last Mile Freight for Greater Manchester. Research from the two projects involved engagement with Transport for Greater Manchester as a research partner and their stakeholders, to develop a MaaS Model informing Strategic Transport Planning Policy in Greater Manchester.
Ulysses Sengupta (in a cross-faculty bid with the Department of Computing and Mathematics) received an award from the British Council to support the Philippine Higher Education Consortium on Smart Cities. The project involves providing expertise on Smart Cities to the Philippines with a focus on urban transformations in Manila.
Dan Dubowitz was awarded money by the UK Government Levelling Up funding for his knowledge exchange project: Cultural Masterplanning for the first phase of the regeneration of the Mayfield area in Manchester City Centre. Investigating new ways for built environment practitioners to engage communities in remaking their city the project is supporting a developer-city council consortium to discharge a complex planning condition for the dissemination of archaeology with the UK’s first Ephemeral Archaeology programme.