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PG 2016

PG 2016

ISBN: 978-0-9933986-4-3 Cover image: Lina Alsafarini Designed & produced by: Clare Hamman First published September 2016 Printed London Copyright Š University of Westminster




Masters Introduction



Architecture MA  Introduction


 Research Lab 1 (Cultural Identity & Globalisation) 8   Research Lab 2 (Digital Media)


  Research Lab 3 (History & Theory)


Interior Design MA  Introduction  Students

28 30

Architecture & Environmental Design MSc  Introduction  Students



  Funded Research   PhD Students  AmbikaP3

  Studio as Book  Scholarships  Staff


  Practice Links 2016  Sponsors

58 60

76 78

88 90 98 104 116

Department of Architecture

  Fabrication Laboratory

International Planning & Sustainable Development MA  Introduction

  Architecture & Cities


Urban Design MA  Introduction


118 120 122 124 126 127

PG 2016 exhibits the study, reflection and creativity of the Department of Architecture’s Masters students, and the staff who support them. This year marks a new era; no longer cramped into a gloomy corner garret, the Masters courses now occupy a series of bright, enlivening, spaces at the heart of the Department’s restored and enlarged studios. These new studios are the biggest change of the last year, with the stripping out of the accretions and non-studio spaces that had been added since 1971 – reducing the studio spaces by some 40%. The new studios are 110 metres long, beautifully lit and fit-for-purpose – and gone are the asbestos, the poor acoustics, and the cold (and in the summer, heat). The Department thanks the excellent design team involved, including Jestico+Whiles architects, Parkeray Contractors, CBGC and Max Fordham Environmental Engineers, Capital PCC Project Managers, and Gardiner & Theobald Quantity Surveyors, as well as the University’s Estates Department. The Digital Fabrication Laboratory is also now fully operational, and the Masters students and staff have begun to exploit its advanced technologies in combination with traditional techniques in our established workshops, enabling a synthesis of the analogue and digital. While the new studios and laboratories are a real boon, it is the continuing high-level study, reflection and creative design of the Masters students that lies at the heart of this exhibition, and which this catalogue celebrates. The MA and MSc Courses continue

to set standards both within the Department, and beyond, for ethical and playful architectural practice. This is the second year that the Architecture & Environmental Design MSc has run, developing an interdisciplinary approach to the designed environment, through which design professionals can develop a resilient stewardship in the face of galloping climate change. The Interior Design MA has grown in size and ambition, and continues to deepen the discipline through exploratory media and practical application. The Architecture MA and its three-specialist pathways – Cultural Identity and Globalisation, History and Theory, and Digital Media – give students a variety of approaches through which to advance their research and design in a range of provocative and pertinent specialisms that are of every increasing import to architectural research and practice. The Masters courses are marked by their multicultural approach and continue to attract large numbers of overseas students, who enrich the life and mission of the Department. The teaching staff that inform and support their endeavours continues to expand, and likewise draws on expertise from around the world. They include academics undertaking groundbreaking research, along with practitioners who fortify the professional engagement of the courses; and together they create a unique environment in which students can combine architectural research and practice. Please enjoy the show. Harry Charrington Head of the Department of Architecture


Welcome to PG 2016

Studying for a Masters degree is a valuable opportunity. For some students, part way through their architectural education, it is a chance to specialise and develop their own design identity; for others, it is the first step towards a PhD and an academic career. But for all those engaged in Masters level study in the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment at Westminster, a Masters provides the context in which to reflect on their work as professionals and to enhance their skills. The following pages feature work from five Masters programmes: Architecture MA, Architecture and Environmental Design MSc, Interior Design MA, International Planning and Sustainable Development MA and Urban Design MA. Each course has its own individual character and subject-specific content but importantly all the courses are designed to support a variety of approaches to the thesis project or dissertation. An exciting mix of people from different design and technical disciplines, and from

many different cultural backgrounds, come together to study on our courses and each individual brings with them their own particular mix of interests and experience. The thesis allows each student to direct their research towards areas of study that will build on their previous education and can shape their future career. The work has been organised by course with a short introduction by each of the course directors. Each section contains synopses of all this year’s thesis projects. These brief accounts provide a fascinating insight into the nature of research in Architecture and the Built Environment. Ranging from the intellectually challenging world of critical theory to the many exciting possibilities of research conducted both for and, also, through design, every project presented here and in the accompanying exhibition, results from the dedication and hard work of all the students and staff involved.

Richard Difford Coordinator of Postgraduate Study



Masters | Architecture MA

Davide Deriu, Richard Difford, Samir Pandya (Course Leaders) Nasser Golzari, Jon Goodbun, Krystallia Kamvasinou, Dirk Lellau, Clare Melhuish, Filip Visnjic Mahsa Alami Fariman, Krzysztof Bela, Marcela Diniz, Ayman Ghali, Shahab Kaviani, Sammaneh Kavianpour, Ali Khalaf, Sama Khan, Yamen Kharsa, Kalyani Kulkarni, Sagar Lohar, Fatemah Mohammadi Araghi,

Oluwakayode Oguntayo, Nicky Reinhard Pandelaki, Duy Tran, Krishna Vasireddi, Tatiana Vishnevskaya, Linda Voulaz, Shihai Wu, Shuang Wu, Ye Zhang

Architecture MA The Architecture MA course offers a unique opportunity to pursue advanced postgraduate research combining high-level theoretical investigation with innovative design approaches. The programme is both wide ranging and flexible, facilitating alternative modes of study and a range of options, including the choice of either a written or design-based thesis.

on the basis of their research and critical judgement, and to use these insights to produce high-quality written work in a scholarly manner. In parallel, a set of design-oriented activities encourages students to develop their artistic, aesthetic and intellectual vision through the use of different media, in order to produce individual proposals with a high level of spatial, material and formal resolution.

The course also allows for specialism through its three designated pathways: Architecture (Cultural Identity and Globalisation); Architecture (Digital Media); and Architecture (History and Theory). Alternatively, students can also create their own pathway by selecting and combining relevant modules that meet their individual requirements. The range of optional and specialist modules offered allows students to develop their individual learning trajectories through the in-depth study of specific subject areas, involving theoretical components as well as practical applications. A series of theoryrich modules stimulate students to analyse current trends in architecture, design theory and practice

The course is taught within a dynamic learning environment that comprises seminar-based sessions along with studio-based activities, suitably integrated by a wide range of lectures, tutorials, site visits, research training sessions, and independent study periods. The primary emphasis, however, is on the thesis project or dissertation which is explored in the context of one of three ‘research labs’ aligned with each of the designated pathways The projects described over the following pages are grouped according to research lab and provide a glimpse of the possibilities presented by this programme.

Guest Critics: Stefania Boccaletti, Amy Butt, Andreas Christodoulou, Darren Deane, Dusan Decermic, François Girardin, Claire Humphreys, Ron Kenley, Fani Kostourou, Liliya Kovachka, Lena Mahr, Linda Matthews, Will McLean, Paul Richens, Angeliki Sakellariou, Shahed Saleem, Yara Sharif, Vaida Venskune, Tim Waterman, Victoria Watson, Santiago Zambrano, Francesco Zuddas


Krzysztof Bela & Duy Tran

Architecture MA | Research Lab 1 (Cultural Identity & Globalisation)

Mahsa Alami Fariman

Feminising the Garden Wall: Reshaping a Women-only Space in Iran

All that we wanted was to find a new form, a new way. Release.1

This design thesis challenges the existence of women-only gardens in Iran and, more specifically, examines the Jahan Garden in Karaj. As its starting point, the project conceptualises the wall enclosing the garden as a socio-political boundary. The project uses this idea as a springboard to evolve a design which actively questions and reshapes the garden space by redefining the nature of the enclosing wall. The redesigned garden encourages dialogue of varying scales,


access, and natures, between the ‘inside’ and ‘outside’. It aims, at the same time, to serve as a critique of the current political context, presenting the redefinition of the garden as a symbolic manifesto of feminism for the city. The overall plan of the proposed garden is based on and inspired by the themes present in the work of some of the most influential women figures in contemporary Iran. 1

N  eshat, Shirin (Director) Women without Men, 2009 [film adaption of Shahrnush Parsipur’s novel Women without Men (Iran) 1990]

Research Lab 1 (Cultural Identity & Globalisation) | Architecture MA

Ali Khalaf

The Restoration of Muharraq’s Old Quarter

This thesis explores the old town of Muharraq, known for its historic structures and past gulf-pearling industry. The historic part of the city has suffered from a lack of maintenance and investment, leading to decaying buildings and a gradual loss of identity. The foundation of the thesis is an analysis of existing buildings of special architectural or historic interest to ascertain the key architectural and spatial elements which form the identity of the local built environment.

The thesis then broadens its analysis to the wider cultural, political and economic factors that have led to the decline of traditional architectural structures and spaces in Muharraq. This is then used to inform strategic proposals and principles for a sustainable approach to preserving the old town’s built heritage. The thesis is supported by historical analysis, interviews with key actors and first-hand fieldwork.

Architecture MA | Research Lab 1 (Cultural Identity & Globalisation)

Sama Sama Khan Khan

 ender, Space and dis-Belonging: A Cultural Subject’s G Experience of Public Space in Lahore and London

This thesis asserts that the role of gender is significant in the experience of the built environment and comes into sharp focus when explored through a comparative cross-cultural framework. This is most evident when the cultural construction of public and private space in certain contexts encourages, discourages, or excludes women from participating in them, or else demands compliance with rigid codes of conduct in exchange for access.


With such gendered spaces in place in our cities, a ‘dis-belonging’, particularly for women in public spaces, can follow. Drawing upon personal experience of public spaces in Lahore and London, this thesis project sets out to illustrate the contrast between men’s and women’s experiences, and the various cultural codes which are followed. Film is employed as a medium to represent the experiential dimension and autoethnographic aspect of the thesis, in an attempt to capture the reality of a subject area which so often is merely theorised in architectural discourse.

Research Lab 1 (Cultural Identity & Globalisation) | Architecture MA

Yamen Kharsa

Hope at Borders: Alternatives to a Fear-Led Approach

A boundary is not that at which something stops but, as the Greeks recognised, the boundary is that from which something begins its presencing.1

Mainly constructed to curb the free movement of people and to support political agendas, border walls or fences serve as projections of particular ideologies. This thesis critically analyses the ideas, ethical implications, creativity, and effectiveness of specific border walls. This analysis is then used to formulate principles which hint at possible alternative approaches to the architecture of border control.

Ultimately, the thesis aims to radically re-think the concept, imagery and representation of international border walls, moving the conversation away from fear, fortification and drones, towards one of empathy, negotiation and hope.

The border fence between the United States and Mexico along the Pacific Ocean [photo Š Tony Webster]


H  eidegger, Martin ‘Building, Dwelling, Thinking’ from Poetry, Language, Thought [trans. Albert Hofstadter] (New York: Harper Colophon Books) 1971

Architecture MA | Research Lab 1 (Cultural Identity & Globalisation)

Kalyani Kulkarni

Framing Decaying Legacies: The Case of Pune’s Old Town

India is a developing country with a strong cultural history. Today, modernity and globalisation is everywhere. Global media and finance play a major role in developing the increasingly globalised and outward-facing India. As well as risks and inequality, global flows present new opportunities and new vistas for the imagination. One of the areas most affected by the global market and rapid development are the old cores of Indian cities. These centres absorb, and are absorbed by, the growth of the city, serving as both witness and accomplice to their globalisation. This thesis examines one such centre in the city of Pune. With the aim of establishing what could be considered a subtle resistance to rapid development and the neglect of the old city fabric, the project develops a methodology to identify, categorise and frame structures and spaces in the old town. These structures and spaces vary in scale and nature, from palace courtyards to tea stalls, from spaces of procession to everyday space. Ultimately, the strategy seeks to evolve an approach to heritage which is nuanced, inspired and informed as much by an understanding of hidden local narratives, as it is by buildings which have special architectural or historic interest.


Research Lab 1 (Cultural Identity & Globalisation) | Architecture MA

Duy Khanh Tran

Vertical Hanoi

The population of Asian megacities such as Hanoi, Saigon, Phnom Penh and Vientiane may double by 2020. This enormous growth can be traced back to an ever expanding and mobile migrant community and economic development. The old quarter of Hanoi, in particular, has been impacted significantly by rapid development. The city’s expansion in response to population and economic growth has led to a proliferation of medium and high-rise housing, radically changing the character of the city. The idiosyncrasies of the old quarter are gradually being replaced by the language of global homogeneity. In response, this thesis takes on the theme of vertical living and proposes an urban strategy based on local self-determination. A ‘new-old’ urban plan is created from a 3x3 metre grid based on the scale of a traditional Hanoi tube house. This grid creates a framework to accommodate self-designed architecture and related programmes for use, allowing for diversity and responsiveness to changing conditions. Ultimately, the design is proposed to both accommodate economic growth, and to resist the traumatic erasure of local ways of life.

Architecture MA | Research Lab 1 (Cultural Identity & Globalisation)

Linda Voulaz

Impressions: Architecture and the Eyes of Subjectivity

How to enter a practice as seemingly objective as architecture with something as subjective as the psyche?1

The question above triggered the creative process behind this thesis. My aim was to explore the intricate and intimate connection between the reading of a subject’s spatial experience and its relationship with the perception of space. To do so, I used the painting series ‘Saint Lazare Train Station’, by the Impressionist Claude Monet. My analytical focus was on the link between perception and the construction of subjectivity, which are matters that the practice of architecture comes across frequently but deals with inconclusively.


The result of my research, which cuts across a mix of interconnected disciplines and practices such as psychoanalysis, art interpretation and ethnography, became the formation of my inter-subjective interpretation of architecture. 1

H  olm, Lorens: Brunelleschi, Lacan, Le Corbusier: Architecture, Space and the Construction of Subjectivity (London: Routledge) 2010

Research Lab 1 (Cultural Identity & Globalisation) | Architecture MA

Shihai Wu

Reawakening the Hutong: Regenerating the Old Quarter of Beijing

The thesis is sited in the old quarter of Beijing city, and more specifically a neglected Yuan Dynasty block amongst the hutongs. The block, and its wider area, suffers from poor quality housing and facilities, inefficient use of space, a lack of basic sanitation, and an inaccessibility by car. The thesis responds to these problems by proposing the vertical development of the block. The aim was to restore the block to its former glory, while remodelling it to accommodate contemporary programmes. In this way, it is hoped that the proposals identify design strategies which encourage the integration of the blocks in the Old Quarter more effectively into modern city life, without doing damage to a rich architectural heritage. More broadly, the aim is to suggest an ethical approach to regeneration in a sensitive planning, economic and cultural context.

Architecture MA | Research Lab 2 (Digital Media)

Ayman Ghali

Fluid Movement and Adaptability

Throughout history, artists and architects have been fascinated by fluidity and fluid movement. By its nature, liquid adjusts itself to its surrounding environment and takes on the shape of any container. A defining feature of fluids is therefore their adaptability. The beauty and complexity of this behaviour is illustrated by the infinitely varied patterns of movement observed when small drops of ink are released in water. However, looking back at the methods by which fluid movement has been simulated and expressed in art and architecture, the majority of interpretations are based on a ‘frozen moment’. Whether it be on a


conceptual or literal level, most of the projects that were inspired by fluidity are shaped around a snapshot. In my view, this misses out on the key features of fluid behaviour. In my project I therefore set out to create a system that both activates and responds to real fluid movement through the use of digital technology. The purpose of the device was to create, read and test the fluid movement of ink in water using Processing and Arduino. It not only mechanises the empirical experiment of ink flowing in water, but is also the basis for controlling and manipulating the creative result.

Research Lab 2 (Digital Media) | Architecture MA

Shahab Kaviani

The Function and Aesthetics of Transpiration

Nature has always been an important source of inspiration in architecture. Borrowing from natural systems we can potentially utilise processes that have evolved and developed over millions of years. This project uses biomimicry to create an artificial living system that will both test the practical application of this idea and explore our aesthetic engagement with nature. The research focuses on the behaviour of plants in response to temperature and the way that temperature is regulated through the plants’ leaves. By replicating these processes, I have attempted to create a responsive and kinetic design that would be reminiscent of a living plant. The principle upon which it is based is found in the structure of the leaves. In a process called transpiration, ‘nano’ cells in a plant’s leaves (stomata) hold water by surface tension. This water is then released when it is hot to regulate the plant’s temperature by evaporative cooling. In my digitally-controlled system, in addition to sensing the temperature, a response is also triggered by movement which further directs the project towards human engagement. By also mimicking some of the recognisable formal characteristics of plants, the aesthetic as well as the functional aspects are brought together to create a complete biologically-inspired installation.

Architecture MA | Research Lab 2 (Digital Media)

Sagar Lohar

Designing with Dust

It is not always visible but dirt and dust is everywhere around us; it is in the air that we breathe and on every surface. It also pervades the urban environment and, particularly in big cities, it readily accumulates on building faรงades. For the most part, this dirt is seen as ugly and unwanted and much effort is expended in trying to eradicate it. But look closely and there is a beauty to be found in the patterns it forms as it settles on walls, windows and other surfaces. There are many different kinds of accumulation pattern and each is a consequence of subtly different conditions of surface texture, air movement and, of


course, the type of dust. If only we could control these parameters; instead of being a maintenance problem, it could become a productive part of building design. My thesis explores the cultural background to dirt and our attitudes towards it. I have also investigated the unrecognised aesthetics of dirt and I have worked experimentally with surface modulation, electrostatics and cymatics to test the possibilities for controlling and manipulating dust on the surface of buildings. The result is a speculative first step towards designing with dust.

Research Lab 2 (Digital Media) | Architecture MA

Oluwakayode Oguntayo

Machine Interaction and the Built Environment

Technology has an increasingly significant effect on the way we interact with one another; it has gone from being a fundamental part of our survival as a species to being applicable in almost every situation in which we might find ourselves. This research considers the manner in which technology serves as a medium for interaction and also its effects on the way we interact with each other. Even in the seemingly simple case of the traffic lights found at road junctions, the technology becomes part of a complex system of interaction between drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. More than just an instruction to stop or

go, the technology mediates processes of anticipation and direct communication between the participants. Additionally, in many cases, human interaction is being replaced altogether by machines. Through the selfservice supermarket checkout and the cash dispenser, we learn to communicate with an automated system regulating our behaviour to the requirements of the machine. Through a series of experiments, this project attempts to evaluate the ways in which technology may impact on our decision-making and influence the design of architecture and our built environment.

Architecture MA | Research Lab 2 (Digital Media)

Nicky Reinhard Pandelaki

Spatial Awareness and Movement

The relationship between movement and space is fundamental to architecture and has formed the basis for many theories and design approaches from the Baroque to Parametric design. My interest, however, is not in the way movement can become a generator for architectural form but rather in the way awareness of space and our environment can change the way we move. My research began by studying the way people walk. Based on a simplified version of movement capture, I attached LEDs to the arms and legs of a series of participants and by recording them as they walked, I was able to construct linear traces of each of their movements. Although there were similarities, each individual had his or her own unique pattern – a signature movement defined by specific anthropometric measurements and gait. Attempts were also made to reconstruct or simulate these movements through animation. From this starting point I began to look at the way additional information about our environment could begin to change the way we move. A prototype device was created that could be carried or worn and would provide additional auditory feedback on the surrounding environment. The expectation is that over time this additional sensory data might change the way we occupy urban space.


Research Lab 2 (Digital Media) | Architecture MA

Tatiana Vishnevskaya

Self-Compensating Mechanical Systems

The aim of my project is to test the possibilities of creating a dynamic physical system; a system that can adjust and rearrange itself in response to changing conditions; to optimise its form, or to find a stable state. In effect, an artificial version of the kinds of selforganising systems one finds in nature. Of particular interest was the work of Frei Otto whose experiments with soap bubbles and minimal surfaces used actual material systems to find the optimum structural form. As part of my research I recreated some of Otto’s experiments. One of the most useful of these was the way that the soap bubbles found in

foam adjust their shape in response to those around them. If one bubble bursts the others immediately reform to reach a state of equilibrium. My project uses Processing simulations and mechanical models to explore the possibilities of making a system analogous to the bubbles. By creating a closed loop in which the information gathered from motion tracking cameras informs the movement of the points that are being tracked, I have attempted to make a selfcompensating mechanism, the principles of which could be applied in architecture to make adaptive structures of various kinds.

Architecture MA | Research Lab 2 (Digital Media)

Shuang Wu

Connectivity and Flow

Patterns of connectivity, branching and flow are all around us both in nature and in manmade forms. Such systems are commonplace in architecture through the design of corridors and other forms of circulation and in the complex organisational structures of specialist building types such as warehouses and airports. My thesis explores the underlying rules that determine these patterns to establish a set of principles by which these forms can be generated. My research began with an artificial system – the motorway junction. This is one of the most complicated parts of a traffic system. Its parameters include speed and direction of flow. By analysing and classifying the


different connection types, I was able to establish a formal grammar for the relationship between connection and flow which I used to generate new structures. I then moved on to explore natural systems such as plant growth and the branching structures that ensure water and nutrients reach every part of the plant. Both of these studies were also simulated digitally in Processing. Together these investigations helped me to gain an understanding of how patterns of connectivity can influence the entire organisational structure of a system and allowed me to speculate on the application of these principles in an architectural domain.

Research Lab 2 (Digital Media) | Architecture MA

Ye Zhang

Pigeons in the Urban Environment

There are many kinds of animals in our cities and some of them live in very close proximity to humans. One of the most common species of urban wildlife is the humble pigeon. Although often seen as pests or ‘rats with wings’, historically they have been valued as messengers and kept for racing. In urban areas, however, they bring many problems and their numbers are growing. My thesis explores the cultural perception of pigeons and looks again at how we might forge a better relationship with our feathered friends.

Through a series of case studies and experiments, I have looked at the many ways pigeons have interacted with life in the city. I began to find out more about their behaviour and how they react to different conditions. My aim was not to deter or scare them away, but to make devices that make living with pigeons more enjoyable and thereby change the public perception of these birds. For instance, a digital device to reflect the pigeons flying. Through these devices I want to create new layers of understanding – a positive alternative to the anti-pigeon wires and nets.

Architecture MA | Research Lab 3 (History & Theory)

Fatemah Fatemah Mohammadi Mohammadi Araghi Araghi

 abitus in a Tehran Neighbourhood: H Dwelling Practices vs Structures

In a rapidly developing world, in which technological advancement is giving a new meaning to the way we live our lives and how cultures are perceived, the question of what happens to local architectures amidst the diversity of individual and social perceptions remains unanswered. This dissertation gives me the opportunity to discuss the habitus of Iranian culture, and to investigate in particular whether dwelling practices can be transferred from the traditional Iranian house to the


modern apartment. My study focuses on the Siroos neighbourhood in Tehran, which is known to be resisting further developments to its area. In my research, I analyse the users’ responses to current changes through Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of habitus, and discuss its role in shaping the identity of the architecture. The thesis examines whether the users’ practices are adaptable to the structure of dwelling or whether the structure of dwelling has a direct impact on the users’ practices and living cultures.

Research Lab 3 (History & Theory) | Architecture MA

Krzysztof Bela

Drawer Homes: Micro Space and Mobile Community

The project aims to challenge current solutions to the housing crisis in London by proposing an alternative design of a micro, mobile home system to suit contemporary lifestyles and the city’s social composition. The thesis proposes a housing model, called Drawer Homes, which opposes homogeneous urban standards and establishes a prototypical neighbourhood of mobile home users (‘drawer dwellers’). This community will create a new ‘layer’ in the city, built upon a growing network of users: this will eventually establish a self-contained housing network based on exchange locations between the users according to

individual needs. The scheme is primarily addressed to young city dwellers for whom mobility has become a part of their lifestyle. It enables the users to take their ‘drawer homes’ with them to new locations, should they relocate for work or as a life choice. The proposed scheme focuses on providing small, functional, mobile, low-budget housing units within a communal host structure. The floor area of the units is standardised to suit current transportation requirements. Units can be lifted by forkliftcrane machinery and transported by lorry to new destinations.

Architecture MA | Research Lab 3 (History & Theory)

Marcela Turazzi Diniz

Steps of Empowerment: Learning from Creative Users

The design of spaces will rarely change social conditions, but it could change social perception. The proposal of this thesis is to discuss how users appropriate and transform public spaces, and how architects are able to learn from these new meanings and integrate them into design. Relations of users and space vary according to the type of user and also with the designer’s intentions. Nevertheless, the ‘creative user’ can transgress these established intentions and inform future designs. An experimental analysis of stairs in public spaces reveals an archetypal case of appropriation by users, who


often change the meaning of stairs by adding uses that were not predicted by their original design. Learning from the creative users is a strategy that aims to see beyond the possibilities first proposed by architects. When new meanings are incorporated in the design process, creative users in turn become reactive to their own ideas. Empowered by this process, the creative users are therefore free to keep transforming spaces on the basis of their transgressions, thereby provoking architects to absorb different design approaches in their work.

Masters | Interior Design MA

Dusan Decermic (Course Leader), Ian Chalk, Richard Difford, Joe King, Debby Kuypers, Lara Rettondini & Filip Visnjic Dalia Al-Soufi, Alejandro Alvarez, Nada Binhomran, Cecilia Boeger,Veroniki Evangelidou, Catia Comini, Adey Fichera, Goneta Heta, Yasmeen Jafri,

Edward Jalmaani, Soo Lai, Can Onal, Jehan Osman, Tanya Rabee, Manuela Vibi, Yating Xiao, Ruiquan Yang, Huiping Zhong

Interior Design MA Embracing the material and intellectual complexities and contradictions magnified by the psychological agency inherent in the subject of interiority, our students, like wayfarers, are tracing their own paths through this ever-changing palimpsest-like topography, unearthing traces of history over which they weave and manipulate contemporary obsessions. Interiors are elusive by nature, conspiratorial and inviting, dark, brooding, but also strangely alluring. As a reflective example bearing these complexities, Retail and Decoding The Interior modules are set up in this context and seen
as both antagonists and attractors, offering professional vocational action and active intellectual reaction.

but also focusing on delicate, intricate material renderings. As the static, indulgent ‘expert’ gaze is
 being augmented and supplanted by the contemporary democratic idiom of the omnipresent cinematic ‘measuring’ of
 time and space, the course is immersed
in these new responses through film and animation components of the Case Study and Introduction to Design Computing modules. We are indebted to a circle of talented teaching staff, drawn from the sharp edge of London’s dynamic practice battleground, mirrored by the intense presence of their
 no-less-vibrant, multifaceted academic counterparts, whose own histories have been marked by the rigours of practice.

Our thesis projects are exemplars of these manifold concerns, embracing ambitious conceptual strategies

Guest Critics: Kerry Brewer, Roo Collins, Tomasz Fiszer, Virginia Rammou, Claire Richmond, Eva Sopeoglou, Anshu Srivastava Special Thanks: John Bold, Andrew Peckham, Ben Stringer


Manuela Vibi: Retail design section

Interior Design MA

Dalia Al Soufi

Sensory Integration

Restaurant design exerts unmistakable, tangible impact on diners. In a metropolitan context, it strives for making the dining experience a spectacular one. This means that ‘eating’ by its own is never fully considered a complete dining experience. This expectant experience is only fulfilled when food is made to the highest standards and the surrounding atmospheres respond to it. Most often, designers fail to engage any of the senses in restaurant design, resigning to the limited impact of visuals only. This however, ends with the chef missing the opportunity to communicate her or his cooking skills by any sense other than taste. In busy crowded cities like London, the unseen, underground, is used for food preparations and cooking. This prevents the engagement between diners and the cooking experience. Diners can only see and taste the final outcome. ‘Sight isolates, whereas sound incorporates; vision is directional whereas sound is


omni-directional.’ Sound determines the interior experience. What we hear in a space is what the memory remembers about this space; the sound of blending, frying and mixing. In addition to sound, smell is highly associated with memory and imagination. ‘The nose makes the eyes remember. Memory and imagination remain associated.’ The main problem in restaurant design is the lack of awareness of the senses. This problem was explored by visiting eight of London’s restaurants. This helped further understand the problem and proposed a solution. A solution that integrates the five senses in a restaurant design. A use of senses that is reflective to the nature of food being served. The proposal is to take the menu ingredients and turn them into sensual elements; to bring an unusual dining experience to the city; to reflect the menu’s ingredients in a materialistic approach that carves memories.

Interior Design MA

Alejandro Alvarez

The Parallel Museum

The way audiences approach and enjoy artworks in museums has evolved significantly in the last few decades. An interesting process started in the early 1970s with the postmodern exhibition concept which switched the politics and aims of the institutions towards the construction of museums that work more like teaching machines. These developments brought an impactful rise in the number of visitors, resulting in increasingly overcrowded museums that directly alter the way visitors experience and contemplate art. New requirements of interaction pulled by technological advances and an unexpected participation of global media are still transforming the face and purpose of museography. My research project analyses these issues and explores how theorists, architects and exhibition designers have addressed an on-going problem in order to understand how the museum experience is actually affected by overcrowdedness and what interior design can do to

improve it. The study focuses on London as a global centre of cultural activity, specifically concentrating on The National Gallery, which will work not only as a key museum to evidence and prove the problem, but also as the initial site for testing a general design proposal that can potentially be used as a model for other museums. Due to the well-established way in which these cultural structures function and the natural inflexibility of their architecture, my investigation led me to develop an exhibition programme that uses technology as a tool for creating virtual environments that will strongly direct the audiences’ flow and experience without interfering with the physical building. The Parallel Museum that I have designed uses spatial augmented reality to mix real-environment appreciation with the appearance of illusory objects that invigorate and stimulate the museum experience and redirect the crowd towards a more balanced use of the museum interior.

Interior Design MA

Nada Nada Binhomran Binhomran

 einventing Asir: Creating a Path Between the R Past, the Present and the Future

FOR GENERATIONS, MURAL painting has been a part of Asir culture, the southern region of Saudi Arabia, which now seems to be vanishing in the contemporary world. This world of murals and architecture, or paint and geometric design, is done exclusively by the women of Asir. They richly decorated their houses in a fascinating fusion of fresco and architecture. The murals provided women with a visible opportunity for self-expression in a dominantly masculine culture; it created a sense of identity for local communities. The ornaments inside the houses are a creative artistic symbol of the woman’s view of the world. It was heavily influenced by the Islamic culture that emphasises symbolic expression through abstraction, yet it is a self-directing art, which means that no one tells a woman what to do or what to draw. Murals allowed women to express their distinctiveness, individuality and uniqueness along with a sense of competitiveness. Nowadays, murals are made under the supervision and guidelines of the few old talented women who


still master this art. Expert women painters also created trends that were imitated by others. Asir mural art ornamentation characteristics are inherent in the designs, subjects, methods and production and, therefore, a complete local art form was born. Weaving and geometric patterns are key pillars of this art form. The women of Asir excelled in using geometric ornamentation in formulating innovative motifs including diamond shapes, decagons, hexagons, pentagons, triangles, and squares. Ornamentation is the basis of Asir mural aesthetic signature. The project explores the ornamentation of Asir mural artwork and shows that the mural paintings are unique and distinctive. It focuses on the traditional ancient mural painting and explores different ways of reviving and reinventing it. By studying the different designs, styles, colours and its superb balance between design and form, shapes and details, it analyses the traditional artwork and examines the intricacies and the composition of the murals.

Interior Design MA

Catia Comini

The Parallel Procession: Madeira’s Strange Events Viewed by an Outsider

born AnD rAIsED on the island of Madeira, I left this place behind, hoping to achieve goals that otherwise wouldn’t be possible in such a small island in the Atlantic. When I left I expected many things but was overwhelmed to suddenly be part of such a big city: the fear; the loneliness; the anxiety of living with people from different parts of the globe, among many other thousand thoughts that were going through my mind. Back then, during that transition period, it never occurred to me that all those fears would eventually be reverted back to the place that I call home. The brainstorm of realities and cultures that I have been able to experience throughout my time in London and travelling worldwide since I left Madeira have made me look differently at the place where I grew up. Every re-visit felt like this touristic place was becoming increasingly strange and uninviting to me. From the local architecture and interiors developed since its

discovery until nowadays, the island is constantly being reshaped; the often natural phenomena, the odd rituals celebrated and its isolation from the rest of the world made me feel out of place. Eventually the feeling of not belonging anywhere hit me. My links to the island were being cut off slowly on every return. The strangeness of the island started to affect me greatly and all the events would make me feel for my own safety. Subsequently I came to the understanding that the oddness I was facing did not happen overnight after I left the island; on the contrary, it has always been there. Growing up in any strange environment, even though this might cause destruction and threaten our welfare, is valid as normal to any if this is the only reality you have ever known. As a result of the mixed feelings above, I have used my thesis as a journey to re-interpret Madeira.

Interior Design MA

Adey Fichera

The Story of Alicia

Is it possible to represent a story about depression through set design?

of the script, highlighting of the general visual language, and focusing on the details of the set.

This thesis project explores and defines the development of creating a theatre set design based on a story that explores the nature of depression. Being a sensitive topic and quite present in our society but unfortunately not so much discussed, I decided to focus on depression and visually capture the public’s attention through scenography inspired by my passion and interest for cinema and theatre.

These steps were taken after studying and examining multiple case studies based on cinematic form.

The initial process of the thesis was researching and analysing what set design is and how a designer deconstructs the story to extrapolate the key parts to create a scenery that collects in itself, and visually tells the information present in the script. The procedure from the script to the actual design follows four steps: reading the script, deconstruction


The site I have chosen is the National Theatre, London, due to the Olivier’s Drum Revolve, a large piece of machinery present beneath the stage which creates the possibility of forming multiple stages and scenes all in one place. This complicated and well-crafted machine rotates, rises or sinks the stage and thus creates new stage-levels with a dramatic impact. The story I have chosen to represent is entitled Alicia. It depicts the relationship and interiority of a family, specifically the relationship between two sisters, one of whom suffers from severe depression.

Interior Design MA

Goneta Heta


The older we get, the lonelier we become. Why do we start the cycle alone and end up alone? With technology taking over, we are becoming an isolated society where the growing number of people living alone is increasing. At the same time, as we are getting older, we are constantly moving and seeking new home/space to accommodate our shifting lifestyles. How can we form a future where we can build a living space that changes with us? What can we learn from past examples and adapt to future living? The growing path of this thesis will exploit the future lifetime home, determined by relationships and

investigating the mixture of different generations in relation to space and creating a unique system that will overcome loneliness in the future. Creating a system that has a transparent barrier, where even though you are alone in a space, you won’t feel that way, because you are part of the interaction surrounding you. Each individual family will set up their own configuration to suit their changing lifestyles and transitions within the space as they get older and go through different stages of life, creating a lifetime home.

Interior Design MA

Yasmeen Jafri

Untold Stories from the Streets

Storytelling is the essential human activity. The harder the situation, the more essential it is. Tim O’Brien

Homelessness is an issue that has become a major problem in the United Kingdom in general and London in particular, with the numbers being as high as 750 people sleeping on the streets of London daily. As it was aptly mentioned by the author, Timothy Pina, ‘Homelessness is neither a disease nor a crime but a very serious problem!’ Rather, the bigger problem is the attitude of ignoring the issue. It could in fact be a contributing factor to the problem of homelessness. The fact that the urban design of London, in particular, is subtly being changed to become more hostile in the face of the increase in homeless people can be regarded as an added source of concern.


Being exposed to the harsh streets makes a person vulnerable and unable to intermingle and join the mainstream society. The thesis will involve investigating ideas that provide a platform that bridges the gap faced by the homeless to move from the streets back to normal lives. The concept is to generate an empathetic environment that enables the homeless person to narrate their personal stories to people. This would be an in-between space, providing a connection from the streets to mainstream society whilst offering a socio-political opportunity for others to engage with a collection of narratives.

Interior Design MA

Edward Jalmaani

Towards Death: The Slow Passing of North Woolwich Old Station

Forsaken buildings are appreciated in Western culture to a far greater degree than happens, for example, in the Philippines – a place suffering economic decline and visited by natural disasters. It seems the further away from real life poverty and misfortune, the more appealing they appear to be. A great number of modern photographers and artists find delight in such modern ruins. However, the trend isn’t new; as early as the 18th century, European artists and architects were interested in ruins as art and as design consideration. There are large number of abandoned sites in London, especially in the east of the city. One such site is North Woolwich Old Station. Opened in 1847, it served as a train station for a number of years, underwent a few renovations, was converted into a museum in 1984 and finally abandoned in 2006. From this point

of view we can consider it being trapped in the vicious circle of neglect. Although the structure has already accumulated some historic value, it has no purpose in its current state. Hence the idea of giving it the death it deserves. But how can a dignified death of a building be achieved? The site is surrounded by a rich growth of nature that slowly takes over the building, while the building itself gets gradually taken apart. It is an image of a dying organism, emerging beautifully into the green grave of Nature but still contributing to life, serving as a venue for numerous events. Re-imagined as a live art installation that is slowly diminishing in appearance, absorbing unaware public into the spectacle of the Passing of North Woolwich Old Station.

Interior Design MA

Soo Lai

The Arcade Re-imagined

In what way does interior architecture form genuine connections with the people around you? How do we make connections between the past and present, and how can they play a part in encouraging people to interact face to face? Most of us are attached to technology in order to communicate, the scarcity of the human presence in the act becoming more and more apparent. The motivation for this proposal is an attempt to break the barriers of people’s lack of intimacy and connections due to this contemporary malaise. The formal approach is to reinvent the 19th century arcade and imbue it with a programme that fosters close communication. Reinvention uses three historical systems of geometric order to drive new forms. Also, a series of orthographic drawings will show an exploration of three variables of musical harmonious rhythm which are translated into the proposed space by incorporating mathematical calculations. The three harmonious rhythms create a fusion between three variable sequences. This project specifically focuses on the adaptive reuse of the whole South Bank sweep. This is a piece of post-war landscape which does not consist of urban issues but only modernist objects. 19th century arcade typology from the North Bank of the River Thames has been selected. The South Bank has been selected as my site, which has a number of object buildings – The Hayward Gallery, Royal Festival Hall and National Theatre. The re-imagined arcade placed in between Waterloo Bridge and the National Theatre serves as an experimental instrument, adjusting and augmenting existing urban condition.


Interior Design MA

Can Onal

A Human Library in St James Square

In the 21st century, with cyber information, different communication devices and globalism, people have the potential to be more integrated than they have ever been. This is especially true in capital cities such as New York, London, Berlin and Paris where many different individuals share the same urban environment. Gender, race, age and nationality are only a few of the differences urban dwellers have between each other. For a healthy cross-cultural interaction one would require the elimination of any kind of biases or preconceptions; however, classifications and labels are still the biggest block for a genuine nonviolent multicultural environment. Building on this premise, my research focuses on a specific area in London, St. James, which is the location of a number of exclusive gentlemen’s clubs allowing male membership only. The fact that these clubs have not moved from their traditional policies raises

questions about inequality, exclusivity, prejudice and discrimination, which are some of the issues I wanted to address in my thesis. My aim was to create the most inclusive interior; an ‘urban room’ accommodating a function that not only integrates different people, but also becomes the setting for breaking down barriers, stereotypes, bias, prejudice and discrimination. The function I chose to facilitate is a Human Library, a format that encourages respectful conversations between different individuals where ‘books’ are people from protected characteristics under the Equality Act (2010). In the Human Library, ‘readers’ can borrow ‘books’ to challenge their stereotypes and prejudices through dialogue. The structure I designed to accommodate the Human Library is temporary and modular and although I placed it in St. James Square to contrast its elitist surroundings, it is a model that can be easily deconstructed, transported and installed anywhere.

Interior Design MA

Jehan Osman

Urban Nomad

This project takes an analytical approach in order to examine and question the term ‘nomadic’ and what it personifies within an urban realm, often referred to as an itinerant. The question is rooted in the twentyfirst century problem that urges an individual to worship a fast paced life and devote their time and energy to quotidian monotony. Human correlation with time has radically changed perhaps starting with the development of agriculture and the rise of the machine. This project examines traditional nomadic lifestyles as a reference to indicate how our society has shaped itself today. This was predominantly focused on environmental survival skills which pinpoint key routes in annual migrations. The research streams included literature sources and video archives to support the study. In addition, this analysis has exposed me to other methodology streams to conduct first hand research, for example short backpacking experimentation, interviews whilst long distance walking, and public interaction. In doing this I will be able to build my argument and create a profile of the urban nomad.


Disconnection from nature deprives an individual’s wellbeing and tranquillity. We live in pressured working environments that require full attention and causes psychological and social, as well as physical, ailments to our bodies. We struggle with diminishing success and opt to become mechanical in order to prosper. My aim was to investigate how we can, as a society, withdraw ourselves from this venomous routine and learn from previous nomads who lived by the expression ‘hand to mouth’ to spare beyond basic necessities and move only to survive brutal conditions. My intrigue in this topic has been sparked from the political division that we have in the present day. A nomad is greater than a specific ethnic group or a certain upbringing. There are citizens who feel marginalised and demeaned by the political system in London, in particular the ‘juvenile youth.’ This topic has a political dimension and focuses on current issues referred to as ‘squatting’ or ‘squatters’.

Interior Design MA

Tanya Rabee

New Experiences in the Space of Transition

This project examines a number of questions in regards to transitional spaces in education. The main aim is to facilitate this with the redesign of the transitional spaces in the fourth and fifth floor of the University of Westminster. It could be said that by engaging with the space and having a sensory response, this increases the significance of the occupied space. One issue is the fact that as the occupant slows down, it creates a change in their psychological state of mind. The idea of a transitional space is not necessarily a physical corridor or passage from A to B, but the movement from one threshold to another. A threshold is the ending of one space and the beginning of the next. In addition to this, it is also the sensory response to your navigation and how responsive one is to light. The lost potential of these spaces could be further utilised when the user is forced to slow down. The space then becomes one in which movement and experiences are the ultimate aims.

By engaging with the critical analysis of light, circulation and thresholds in educational and public spaces and focusing on the way in which educational spaces are used, it was possible to redesign the studios incorporating their specific design requirements. The use of montages and diagrams create a visual representation that summarises the research aspects. The design creates a relaxing environment for both students and staff whilst including a number of necessary functional spaces. The vertical transition spaces have been redesigned to include a double height garden space, spa and an interactive technology study space. The horizontal transitions reduce the speed in which occupants move through the studios. The interaction between open spaces and enclosed study areas and the play between transparency and materiality echoes the functions of each space, reducing the stress levels for users.

Interior Design MA

Manuela Vibi

The Archive of Stories

Due to aging, the number of people living with dementia is increasingly growing while both the cause and the cure are still unknown. These are individuals facing a progressive loss of independence and memory who need a gradually increasing level of assistance to carry out their daily activities and preserve their existing skills. As a consequence, the provision of quality residential care services for people with dementia is rapidly becoming one of the greatest challenges of our times. Unfortunately, moving people with dementia to a care home is highly disruptive for them. Indeed, most care homes are segregated environments where residents find it difficult to conduct their life because of the lack of caregivers or for safety reasons. Through my research I explored how to re-design care homes adequately to mitigate the residents’ loneliness and isolation and support them during the evolution of their disease. My thesis suggests a new scenario where the care home is not a closed environment but a key element of a wider system of facilities (shops,


gym, library, etc.) that attract the local community and encourages social interaction and mutual support. The elderly enjoy sharing their own stories and this becomes even more important for people living with dementia who in the late stages of the disease are not able to verbally express themselves anymore. In my project, residents with dementia gradually store their memories into the Archive of Stories, which is part of the building itself, in the form of objects, words, images, sounds and videos in order to share these with local visitors as well as to recall their memories when needed. The Archive of Stories becomes a tool facilitating interaction between residents and the local community, increasing awareness about dementia as well as driving the sensory stimulation of the residents themselves. Further, due to a flexible bedroom system, residents can reinstall their own bedroom bringing their private space with them into the care home.

Interior Design MA

Yating Xiao

Transformation of Chinese Herbalist Centre

London is a global metropolis. Migration from different countries brings different cultures to London. Along with social development, Chinese culture is taking a more prominent role in the city, beyond the obvious locations. There are Chinese supermarkets, stores, restaurants and medical centres in Chinatown and beyond. Over the past decade, one can observe the rapid development of Chinese Medicine Centres as an important asset to the health and well-being ecosystem. Chinese Medical Centres in London are not only places for treatment, but also offer a way to present Chinese culture. The fundamentals of traditional

medicine are based on herbal remedies. As a way of promoting study and expose this ancient tradition to a wider audience, this project explores the bold idea of a major addition to the existing courtyard of The British Library. The new centre will augment the current research culture based on literary media with a programme that introduces the study of plants and botany based on traditional Chinese principles. It will also offer welcome relief to busy readers who can enjoy the traditional teahouse nestled in the centre of the new scheme. The project is formally a contemporary interpretation of a traditional Chinese palace.

Interior Design MA

Ruiquan Yang

Anxiety Antidote. Urban Decompression

The initial idea about this thesis project was born from a multitude of negative accounts expressed by international students regarding their experience of rented accommodation. Students’ mental health has gained extensive attention in modern society, where mental problems such as anxiety, depression, panic and insecurity are caused by many factors born out of the built environment, which naturally involves interiors. The project involved utilising manifold research methodologies, including extensive site investigations, model making, literature studies, research into examples of compact space, lighting technology, KAROSHI and the working


environment, and a questionnaire survey. The project deals with the problems in against the broad background of the contemporary world, subsequently focusing on the student accommodation, and looks for tangible solutions. From a formal point of view, the scheme is based on a common courtyard typology, but rather that incorporating fixed patterns, it looks for flexible arrangements which are able to respond to seasonal demands, both long and short, offering dynamic, reactive solutions to shifting social and emotional conditions.

Interior Design MA

Huiping Zhong

Caslon Foundation

The project is situated in St Luke’s Church in London. Celebrating one of the most influential typeface designers, William Caslon, who is incidentally buried in the churchyard, the scheme’s aim is to install a small graphic design school into this unusual shell. The school will be solely focused on ‘analogue’ design, reviving and teaching traditional techniques which are being lost with the advent of computer and digital design tools. Formally, the tracery for the design is

generated by geometry akin to that of traditional typeface design. The modulation of natural light and space became one of the main drivers for the scheme. A dialogue between new generative geometry and ergonomic needs of design stations informed studies in the later stages of the project.

Masters | Architecture & Environmental Design MSc

Rosa Schiano-Phan (course leader), Colin Gleeson, Nasser Golzari, Jon Goodbun, Juan Vallejo & Zhenzhou Weng Full-time students Yanal Abukhalaf, Lina Alsafarini, Daniel Buban Ngu, Noorihan Deraz, Vaishali Enos, Phillip Ssentoogo, Jil Schroth, Bilal Shibib

Part-time students Yr 1: Urszula Bajcer, Marta Frascoli, Andrzej Kukla, Daniel Owen Yr 2: Jose’ Puchol-Salort

Architecture and Environmental Design MSc The Architecture and Environmental Design MSc responds to the needs of current and future professionals for a deeper understanding of the principles of environmental design and their effective application into architectural practice worldwide. The course reacts to recent developments in the discipline, responding to new research and experimentation, addressing the lack of environmental criteria in the creative design process and considering comprehensive performance prediction and feedback protocols. Students gain the knowledge and tools to make informed design decisions, based on post-occupancy feedback and performance analysis, towards a new paradigm of environmental architecture which is environmentallyand energy-conscious, yet sensitive to the contextual and socio-cultural landscape we live in. The course teaches environmental design methods which relate to the various stages of architectural design, enabling the evaluation of existing buildings and the design of new ones following a combined bioclimatic and building user-focused approach. The core design modules follow an evidence-based approach where the acquisition of specialised software and analytical

tools are directly applied to an evaluation and a design project. The course is interdisciplinary and international providing the skills that can be applied to diverse building typologies and global climatic, environmental and contextual issues. The modules focus on the understanding of the principles and methodology of environmental design and on the development of critical thinking to challenge established practices, positively driving change towards a better and sustainable future. This year the MSc students were engaged in a number of extra-curricular activities which included: fabrication of a rammed earth test sample during Play Week in November 2015; participation in the Latitudes Network International Competition, December 2015 (final short list); field trip to the Centre of Alternative Technology in Wales, April 2016 (partially sponsored by Westminster Architecture Society); design and fabrication of the ‘Nice-cream’ pavilion at FabFest 2016 (commendation for the best Corex pavilion).

Guest Critics: Klaus Bode (Chapman+BDSP), Luisa Brotas (London Metropolitan University), Joana Goncalves (University of Sao Paulo, Brazil), Catherine Harrington (Architype), William McLean (University of Westminster), Jon Moore (Arup), Kartikeya Rajput (Chapman+BDSP), Vera Sarioglu (Arup), Yara Sharif (NG Architects), Riccardo Zara (Arup) Special thanks: Kevin Burchell (PSI), Meytal Ben Dayan (Architype), Camilo Diaz (WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff), Christian Dimbleby (Architype), Byron Mardas (Fosters & Partners), Tony Lloyd-Jones (University of Westminster), Phil McIlwain (Westminster Council), Fergus Nicol (Oxford Brookes), Amedeo Scofone (WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff), Zoe Shattock (Waverley Borough Council), Ben Shaw (PSI), Fred Stewart (PSI), Filippo Weber (FWA)


Urszula Bajcer, Vaishali Enos, Jil Schroth: Microclimatic Façade

Architecture & Environmental Design MSc

Yanal Abukhalaf

Ramallah’s Summer and Winter House

For decades electricity in Palestine has been bought from the Israeli government as the country has no resources to generate its own. Growing population numbers and energy consumption levels due to Palestine’s current and continuing political situation are threatening Ramallah’s electricity availability, which presents the highest usage and demand within the country. Encompassing the socioeconomic change within the city led to massive and vast constructions which not only neglected the environmental aspects, but resulted in the severity of the energy crisis.


This dissertation aims to understand the visual and thermal performance of a typical house in Palestine and propose design strategies that will minimise heating and cooling demand. The final output considers local materials to improve the thermal envelope, distributes the building layout according to space orientation and use, and integrates seasonal environmental strategies that will mitigate the current energy crisis and meet the occupants’ comfort requirements.

Ramala, Palestine [photo © Ralf Lotys]

Architecture & Environmental Design MSc

Lina Lina Alsafarini Alsafarini

 nvironmental Retrofit of Historic Buildings in Amman: E Adaptive Reuse of Ibrahim Hashim House

Historic buildings in Jordan are under threat as the city’s inhabitants try to adapt their current lifestyle to the challenges posed by a changing climate and a predefined urban density. This has led inhabitants either to relocate to another area or to alter the existing buildings in ways that are detrimental to the architectural appearance and the original environmental performance. This project explores the current performance of Ibrahim Hashim House, a historic building from the 1920s located in downtown Amman, and identifies design opportunities for the adaptation and extension of the house to new functions.

The proposed design for a library and university building derives from users’ needs and responds to the different climatic seasons in Amman. Daylight levels have been improved and shading elements have been proposed to protect from excessive solar gains during the warm season. Outdoor comfort conditions were also ameliorated to promote social integration among the users. The final outcome serves as an example to local architects and designers to preserve the architectural heritage and integrate sustainable lifestyles.

Architecture & Environmental Design MSc

Daniel Buban Ngu

Shaping the Future of Cameroon through Sustainable Train Station Design

The railway business in Cameroon has had a significant positive impact on the country’s economy and with a new policy in place to modernise its train stations, the opportunity arises to create stations which are not only sustainable, but can help the nation economically and environmentally. This dissertation thereby proposes an exemplary design of a sustainable train station model which can be replicated throughout the country. The sustainable station prototype would not only aim to improve comfort by implementing passive strategies


based on different climatic traits, but also serve as a gateway to bring back the traditional elements of construction which were lost with advancements to technology, whilst also getting different communities involved by taking part in its development. This study also establishes different refurbishment proposals for some of the existing train stations in Cameroon, as we question the relevance of ‘African Modernism’ and whether or not it is worth preserving.

Architecture & Environmental Design MSc

Lina Alsafarini Noorihan Deraz R eshaping Architectural Choice Through Adaptation in Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia

The oil discovery in the 1930’s triggered a transformation of the architecture in Al-Khobar with respect to the social, environmental and educational aspects. Most contemporary buildings in Al-Khobar isolate their indoor environment from the outside, and rely completely on mechanical systems in the name of privacy. The increasing demand for ‘control’ and ‘comfort’ and pursuit of ‘luxury’ despite the harsh climate encouraged people to construct habitats which neglect their environmental impacts. Local architectural education does not question social norms and seldom offers a sustainable alternative to the aesthetics of the conventional architecture and

international style. This, coupled with the subsidised energy expenditure, dropped the architectural quality and changed people’s understanding of comfort. This dissertation explores the potential of implementing environmental strategies whilst meeting users’ expectations to demonstrate that ‘luxury’ does not necessarily mean energy-intensive and unsustainable. The project discusses alternatives to the mainstream architectural choices by addressing the dilemma affecting Al-Khobar’s housing. Seasonal adaptive approaches are proposed to respond to the climatic dynamics. Cultural and social aspects of people’s daily lives are infused into the design, which also motivates occupants’ adaptive behaviour.

Architecture & Environmental Design MSc

Vaishali Marlene Enos

Resilient Urban Edges: Adaptive and Mitigative Design in Chennai

This dissertation investigates responses to El Nino-mediated climatic disturbances. While 90% of such episodes have resulted in a significant drop in rainfall and droughts in extreme cases, the 2015 Chennai urban flooding was caused by a complex interplay of climatic and manufactured factors. For instance, concretisation due to urbanisation resulted in urban heat islands and disallowed percolation and surface run-off. To mitigate this, layers of permeable surfaces are proposed to be introduced in the urban and building fabric. These surfaces will form living and working typologies built by the local community and revolve around productive networks to alleviate the socially


polarised riverfront area in the city centre, severely affected by the floods. The methodology involves: review of literature and precedents to speculate upon a future lifestyle contributing to the permeability of the city’s fabric; on-site interviews to identify local responses to climatic disturbances; testing through simulations of intervention strategies that employ recycled materials to assess suitability for 2050. This project aims to rethink the development of cities through an environmental approach adaptively responding to urbanisation and diurnal, seasonal and extreme events.

Architecture & Environmental Design MSc

Phillip Ssentoogo

R etrofitting Low-income Housing in Katanga, Uganda

This thesis aims at improving the living conditions in informal settlements in Uganda through retrofitting low-income housing as well as considering the increasing urban density due to migration, especially in the capital city of Kampala. The thesis consulted precedents in developing countries in Africa with comparable conditions through analytical and literature studies, particularly those published by UN Habitat. Fieldwork was conducted in one of the two large informal settlements. The local residents were surveyed, and spot measurements and structural sampling were also taken to understand the environmental performance of the existing buildings.

Katanga, Uganda [photo Š Shack Dwellers International]

The project produced retrofitting guidelines and demonstrated how alterations can be made according to the occupants’ needs with minimal compromises between spatial quality, safety and sustainability. Reshaping the roof and finishing with highly reflective materials improve solar control. The rooms and operable windows are arranged to enhance natural ventilation for temperature and humidity control. The design of a semi-outdoor kitchen was proposed to encourage social interactions between neighbours. Construction using locally-sourced materials was also discussed to reduce the environmental impacts of the fast growing building stock.

Architecture & Environmental Design MSc

Iil Schroth Jil Schroth

 nvironmental Densification Strategies of Berlin’s Urban Blocks: E Mitigating the Urban Heat Island

Berlin’s built environment is rapidly changing due to urban growth, whilst its impact on the microclimate is widely neglected. The city’s climate is already challenged by the urban heat island, resulting in uncomfortable outdoor conditions during the summer. It will be further exacerbated in the future by climate change and a growing urban density. Hence, the dissertation investigates environmental densification strategies combined with general urban design guidelines to mitigate the urban heat island. The core focus of the analysis is the typical Berlin block as the main central morphology.


The investigation starts with fieldwork at one typical block to understand the present urban layout. Further computational simulations with specialist software – ENVImet and Ladybug – predict the climatic behaviour of different block configurations, comparing horizontal and vertical extensions. The results evidence that a sensible placement of new mass and a protection of horizontal gaps can help to balance the temperatures in the problematic urban canyon due to control of solar access and air velocity. Overall, the study exemplifies climatically responsible solutions within the ongoing discussion about providing new living space in Berlin.

Architecture & Environmental Design MSc

Bilal Shibib

Semi-permanent Housing for Construction Workers in Dubai

Since the discovery of oil in Dubai in 1966, United Arab Emirates (UAE) has become popular for labour migrants, who now make up 90% of the country’s total population. Labour camps were built to house four to six, or even more, workers in one room, to reduce the expenses for the companies. Poor living conditions and hygiene are major issues in many camps. This project reveals such issues through an insight into the labour camps, with photographs and interviews of this important social group who built Dubai into the iconic city of extravagance it is today.

The design of semi-permanent housing units was proposed to meet their needs and improve living standards. The environmental performance and cost were the key concerns. The units are shaped and arranged to form a zigzag façade for solar control and natural ventilation. Meshes and buffer spaces allow the inner living space to be decoupled from the outdoor environment during the warmer period. The units are portable and can be assembled near the sites where the inhabitants work, thereby mitigating both commuting time and the associated environmental impacts of transportation.

Architecture & Environmental Design MSc

Iose Puchol-Salort Jose Puchol-Salort

 ustainable Retrofit for Flooding Resilience: S Houses Close to the Girona River, Spain

Strong and dangerous flash floods are becoming more frequent at the end of the summer in some Mediterranean towns, usually located in floodplains near to the sea. These floods are always due to torrential rain and it is a fact that due to climate change and anthropogenic action their severity will increase.


The Spanish town of El Verger, located in the Valencian Community, was tragically affected by flood when the Girona River burst its banks in 2007. Previous research studies based on this basin or others with similar features proposed to create more green areas around the riverbed or adapt the existing houses. However, this project adopts an architectural and environmental design approach to the retrofit of these houses. This was done using a combination of fieldwork and computational environmental analysis in order to test strategies for the simultaneous improvement of environmental conditions, reduction of flood risk and adaptation during periods of potential flood.

Masters | Urban Design MA

Bill Erickson (course leader), Krystallia Kamvasinou, David Mathewson, Marion Roberts, Louise Thomas Houda Almutairi, Deena Bent, Kirsty Braes, Zita Chen, Pieter de Kock, Greeshma Girish, Nutan Godse, Prachi Khairnar, Harpreet Lota,

Kate Parker, Audrey Plouvier, Clara Rands, Nishant Sharma, Nilambari Tupe, Zhi Zhang

Urban Design MA The Urban Design course at the University of Westminster provides a coherent approach to issues that face our cities, combining structured academic study with live design projects, allowing students to develop practical skills, a theoretical understanding and an informed approach to sustainable urban development. It overlaps and incorporates elements of town planning, architecture, landscape design, urban regeneration, transportation and infrastructure planning, drawing students from these varied backgrounds. Cities are essential to modern life; they are the place where most people make their homes, but also they are the sites where our economic and social life are situated and where most resources are consumed. They evolve over time becoming a cultural asset reflecting values of the people who inhabit them, around which shared experiences revolve and daily life is shaped. This process is well understood in the European context, however in the global context the pace of change is both dramatic and accelerating, creating new challenges for city design and management.

Drawing on the cultural and economic forces acting in the city, the course focuses on understanding and shaping the physical setting in which it takes place. It considers how buildings, streets and urban spaces are combined to create vivid environments that can nurture daily life, provide efficient urban systems and make memorable places we value. The work presented here is based on students’ dissertations. Most opt to prepare a written dissertation in which they identify particular impacts on the design of cities and how, in the light of these, urban form can best be adapted to our current and future needs. The practice of urban design is emerging as a distinct profession and is underpinned by a growing knowledge base informed by research; these studies represent a critique of and contribution to that knowledge.

Special thanks: Turley Associates


Houda Almutairi: Mural of Salvator Aliente, Superkilen Park, Copenhagen, Denmark

Urban Design MA

Houda Almutairi

Terrains Vagues: On the Social Value of Leftover Spaces

This study concerns leftover open spaces in cities. Leftovers are defined as non-designed, unregulated plots of land in cities, ‘negative’ spaces that lie in between formal, regulated and designed buildings and open spaces. This project is an attempt to discuss and analyse the character of leftovers, their function within the urban fabric and their potential. Focusing on the idea of the social value of this kind of open public space, our current views on the value of leftovers and our tools to measure it are presented here, seeking to further our understanding of these transient places, the leftovers.


Theoretical approaches are identified and case studies are presented, highlighting different stands as to how leftovers are created and managed. Moreover, this paper goes on to identify the inherent complexities and the conflicts that often arise; the role of the private and public sector; and also the responsibilities of local communities and urban designers. Drawing from these analyses, the study outlines proposals and actions as to how leftovers can be better integrated into the urban fabric, adding to the social life of cities.

Derelict railway arches, Manchester

Urban Design MA

Deena Deena Bent Bent

I dentifying Opportunities and Constraints for the Implementation of Biophilic Design in UK Urban Design Practice

This dissertation researches biophilic design in the context of the street, neighbourhoods and cities. Studies on biophilic design used in current practice have focused on most aspects of the city except nature. I sought to identify how biophilia and biophilic design is defined in the context of urban design, identified opportunities and constraints to implementing biophilic design in the UK, and assessed international case studies from Singapore, Birmingham (UK) and Portland, Oregon (USA) in order to extrapolate design implications that could be considered in urban design practice.

The effects of urbanisation on biodiversity have been broadly studied. One way of managing the complex and evolving nature of cities could be for urban designers to influence or guide developers and built environment technocrats through planning and design propositions that are based on the urban ecological knowledge and sustainable principles that underpin biophilic design.

Garden by the Bay, Singapore: mimicking of natural systems (trees) in order to provide similar environmental functions to a city [photo Š Khairul Nizam]

Urban Design MA

Kirsty Kirsty Braes Braes

 rowds in Public Spaces: How Design and Management can Contribute C Towards Maintaining Order and Ease Movement in Crowds

Urbanisation has led to an increase in crowds in urban areas. This is due to factors such as an increase in public transport use and the growing popularity of music and sporting events, along with the rise of the night-time economy. Crowded public spaces can encounter problems as a result of a competition for resources and high crowd densities which can lead to violence, serious injury and loss of life. Crowds are an inevitable part of city life, but it is important to ensure that the flow of pedestrian


movement within them is not disturbed and critical crowd densities are not reached. There are many ways in which the design and management of the urban environment can help to maintain orderly pedestrian flow within the crowd and prevent ‘hotspots’ for undesirable behaviour. Thus effective design and management can then contribute towards creating safer environments that are better prepared to prevent incidents happening.

(left) Crowds at Oxford Circus Station (photo: © Andreas Kollmorgen); (right) Crowds leaving Wembley Stadium [photo © Ronnie Macdonald]

Urban Design MA

Zita Zita Chen Chen

 rban Design in the Digital Age: The Impact of ICTs on the Use and U Design of Public Space in Central London and the City of London

This dissertation examines how the fast development of ICTs in the digital age has impacted upon the use of public and semi-public space in central London and the City of London. Starting with the arrival of the internet and the development of internet cafĂŠs, through to the marketing of Starbucks and other High Street outlets using digital technology to draw in the public for business purposes, this study looks at this early experience and research for indicators of trends in urban usage and design resulting from technological development. It examines the effect of 3G and 4G technology, the arrival of handheld devices, computer applications, social media and computer games on urban wayfinding, transport, navigation and movement. Through interviews with companies that provide fast, reliable location and travel information, and consulting companies whose job it is to advise on city development, this dissertation outlines some of the current urban design developments, and looks at the public spaces in the City of London and central London and how they are being used and changing.

unSocial Networking [photo Š Alan Brown]

Urban Design MA

Pieter de Kock

Trees Don’t Shout

Humans and trees in nature have enjoyed a special relationship since the dawn of time. Humans in cities have by contrast had a more challenging relationship with trees. Girouard refers to ‘two myths: The myth of the city as a fabulous Eldorado…and the myth of the country as a Garden of Eden’.1 One could argue that there is also a third myth: that trees are able to somehow turn Eldorado into a Garden of Eden. Trees are defenceless and rely on good urban design for validation in our cities. This study explores two recurring strands of a central theme of how trees and the space formed by trees remain relevant to urban design – the practical and the magical. Practical relevancy embraces environmental, health, social and economic considerations. Magical relevancy lies in the ‘sense of wonder’ – a fine mist through which people invested in the evolution of our towns and cities are drawn. In building our cities urban design should ideally precede most other interventions and, for anyone who wishes to fully understand urban design, there can be no better place to start than to understand a tree. And the first thing to notice about a tree is that trees don’t shout. 1


p  .379: Girouard, Mark: A Social and Architectural History (New Haven: Yale University Press)1960

Are trees still relevant to urban design?

Urban Design MA

Greeshma Greeshma Girish Girish

 patial Implications of Splintering Urbanism and S Informality In Mumbai: The Case Of Dharavi

Infrastructure liberaliSation has, over time, created splintered cities and the rehabilitation schemes proposed in post-colonial cities like Mumbai only add to the fragmentation of the urban core by market forces. Although the informal settlement of Dharavi is located in the heart of Mumbai in close proximity to high value areas like the Bandra Kurla Complex, it remains isolated through spatial barriers and social class distinctions from the formal parts of the city. Since Dharavi occupies prime land in the city, the government has announced its intention to redevelop

the area to include housing for slum dwellers as well as commercial-led real estate development as part of the Dharavi Redevelopment Project. Unfortunately most proposals put forward so far do not seem to look beyond the boundaries of Dharavi and in fact add to the splintering process. The research objective for this dissertation will be to understand the unique nature of informal settlements and splintering urbanism in Mumbai and illustrate how these splintered parts of the city can integrate with the larger urban fabric through urban interventions at several scales.

(left) Urban strategy diagram: Intergrating dharavi as part of a larger development plan; (right) Map displaying the location of Dharavi within Mumbai

Urban Design MA

Nutan Godse

Integrating Informal Settlements into the Urban Fabric

Cities across the world are rapidly expanding and forced to accommodate the urban growth. Rapid urbanisation and rural-urban migration are the main causes of the formation of new slums, multiplying the squatter and informal settlements all around the cities of the developing world. Informal development is the dominant form of urbanisation in the developing world. The kind and degree of informal urbanism which lies in Asian cities (cities of the global south) is dissimilar to the West (the global north). This dissimilarity includes everything from informal settlements and buildings to floating populations, public transport, regulations, informal economies and street markets. Informal settlements are often assumed as settlements with different cultural values and behavioural patterns and seen as a threat by the people living in formal settlements. Cultural and mental barriers, physical and


built environments are some of the conditions which separate these two worlds. The main reasons for this lack of interaction are poor road networks and transportation, lack of amenities and public spaces, and concern for safety. The project proposed in Pune will attempt to explore the spatial relationship between informal and formal settlements and analyse the edge or border conditions shared by informal and formal settlements. My thesis will research and attempt to understand the effect of spatial characteristics of movement patterns and street patterns at the edges in the integration process of informal settlements with their surroundings. By learning from literature reviews and case studies, it will derive the principles and design strategies which will be applied to the site.

Saigon Skyline [photo Š Gareth Williams]

Urban Design MA

Prachi Prachi Khairnar Khairnar

 ew Trends in Urban Housing Development in India: N Buy a Flat, get a City Free

India is witnessing a massive transformation in the practice of urban housing development. With the privatisation of the mass-housing sector, many states of India such as Maharashtra, Gujarat, have started adopting the 2005 Integrated Township Act. The increased ‘new’ class of workers in the global economy – political forces, real estate developers, urban elites – are collectively shaping the image of the Indian city. Significant importance is placed on the aestheticisation of urban space and lifestyle by developing and cordoning off the available land on the outskirts of the old metropolis for residential, leisure and business purposes.

Uniworld City, New Town, Kolkata [photo © Kolkatan]

The study discussed in this dissertation is an attempt to show the emergence of privatisation and integrated townships within the Indian context. It analyses if the newly emerged form represents the avoidance of social discomfort. The study also explores the marketing trends and styles of these projects to create place identity. With the help of four prominent case studies from Mumbai and Pune, this study focuses on the residents’ social, physical and environmental experience, and underpins the inward orientation of these developments. The learning from this, as well as the questions it raises, is also discussed towards the end.

Urban Design MA

Harpreet Lota

Dimensions Of Diversity

Cities are made up of intricate pieces woven together like a complex, multi-faceted puzzle and if pieced together pensively, create lively and vibrant places in which people can live, work, wander and play; but if the pieces of this complex and inter-related puzzle are brashly smashed together, they can just as easily self-destruct. Cities can at times be complex creatures to understand but one thing that is inherently clear about their composition is the ubiquitous principle of their


need to be diverse to be successful in their offering, in their formation and in their inhabitants, for it is a city’s innate, functioning order that brings it to life. This thesis is rooted in the premise that in order to design successful, sustainable places, they have to provide something for everyone and be created by everyone within them and that the absorption of diversity into the urban design process is just as vital in creating place as the physical fabric itself.

Kings Cross: is this diversity? [photo: Š Matt Kieffer]

Urban Design MA

Kate Parker Kate Parker

 ow Urban Industrial Heritage Contributes to Place Identity H and How it Informs Authentic Urban Design

As the forces of de-industrialisation occurred from the early 20th century there have been severe and long-lasting effects on industrial cities. The emergence of the ‘post-industrial’ city seeks to learn from the past context to create continuity with the future. The relationship to the past and the world as it exists is being redefined. What has already been achieved in Britain in terms of conservation and re-use of industrial heritage is substantial, but the potential remains enormous. The study explores the meaning and value of industrial heritage alongside its role within creating place identity

and its contributions to authentic place. The study then conducts a comparative case study analysis to ask how urban development has been conducted in areas of industrial heritage and how should engagement continue with industrial heritage sites through urban design. Focus is given to the material and physical elements of these places and how they in turn add value to urban design. The physical remains of industrial heritage can be anchors of the urban and historical imagination, and sources of strong emotional bonds of affection or dismay.

Urban Design MA

Audrey Plouvier

The Integration of Rivers in Cities

Many great cities around the world are located around rivers, however the spaces surrounding them are not always used to their full potential. Although rivers can contribute to a better quality of life, a sense of community and the identity of a city, it often appears that rivers are poorly integrated within the urban fabric. The aim of this dissertation is to identify why this is so regularly the case in many important cities in the western world, more precisely in Europe, and to then


propose ways to improve the river’s integration. It will do so by relying on existing literature and by providing examples that have proven successful in the past. The objectives to achieve this aim are to develop an understanding of how river-cities evolved to cities in need of waterfront redevelopment by looking at the history of western waterfronts in urban centres and, by identifying criteria of success when looking at waterfront redevelopment projects, to propose a design based in London that can be seen as successful.

(this page) River integration in city centres; (opposite page) The Sky Garden, 20 Fenchurch Street [photo Š Colin]

Urban Design MA

Clara Clara Rands Rands

 xploring the Integration of Alternative Elevated Social Spaces E Within Tall Buildings, given that they are on the Agenda

As buildings continue to grow in height and the urban fabric increases in density, there is a greater and much needed scope for joining high-rise structures with public space, to not only soften their integration within the urban realm, but to provide the opportunity for public interaction and enhance the social and health benefits of the community. This presents a similar format to the previous ‘streets in the sky’ principle, albeit a more advanced and successful one.

Sky gardens, sky bridges and sky courts present an appropriate and viable means of integrating alternative elevated social spaces within high-rise structures. However, due to their semi-public nature and restricted access, elevated social spaces cannot provide a sufficient replacement for the public realm as a whole. These elevated spaces do not provide the same benefits as public space at ground level, however they do complement it by offering alternative benefits, such as scenic views.

Urban Design MA

Nishant Sharma

The Effect of Urban Sprawl on the Morphology of Delhi

Delhi is one of the rapidly growing metropolitan cities of the world, both economically and physically. A large proportion of Delhi’s 25 million inhabitants live in substandard housing conditions in illegal unauthorised settlements. The current master plan of Delhi does not provide planning guidelines for unauthorised areas considering their rapidly growing nature, lack of mapped records and illegal expansion.

Based on this framework, the study further examines five unauthorised colonies of Delhi which are at different stages of expansion. Spatial sprawl patterns developed during the expansion of these settlements are analysed through a chronological study of satellite images. A detailed investigation based on the case study of Ghitorni in south-west Delhi is also conducted through interviews, mindmaps and land survey data.

This study suggest a framework, developed from similar studies and existing literature, to study the morphology and understand the socio-spatial patterns developed in the expansion of unauthorised settlements in Delhi.

This study analyses the spatial change Ghitorni has observed and establishes the impact social factors have on expansion of settlements at micro and macro level.


Rooftop Dreams, Varanasi, India [photo Š Yasmin Mund]

Urban Design MA

Nilambari Tupe

Impact of Bodies of Water on Open Public Spaces

With densification and urbanisation nowadays, cities are left behind when it comes to open public spaces because these spaces are used for urban infrastructure and new developments. Therefore, open public spaces are eventually reduced and there is limited scope for people to socialise outdoors. People have also forgotten the importance of nature. Why did the Greeks, Romans and Persians in centuries past include so many gardens, so many spaces for nature? Were they designed for people to come together and relax in nature? Or was it just for entertainment? What was the reason so much money was invested in public spaces? There are so many cities which have good open spaces with piazzas, plazas and squares. Studying these cases, I want to understand what the driving factors are which make them so happening and successful. In most cases, it is the presence of water (natural or manmade).

Water has been used as a design element for centuries in different ways. The research topic taken for this dissertation is a good opportunity for me to find out what is unique about water and why it has been used as a design element in open public spaces throughout the ages (physical, psychological, visual). The research will look at the qualities of water as an element, and find how its presence changes a public space. It will analyse factors which contribute to the character of water, including its setting and containment. The research considers what the consqeuences are of designing a public space with a body of water body as the main element within it. Lastly, the dissertation will propose interventions introducing water as a design element in open public space.

Urban Design MA

Zhi Zhi Zhang Zhang

 istoric Churches in Urban Contexts as Monuments H to Manifest Collective Memory

The dissertation is about historical churches in an urban context and how to deal with them as monuments. The historical church, among its roles, is something to be seen, to be remembered, to meditate in and to worship at. Making it a monument to bare collective memory is a special design problem, and a rather new one. In the course of exploring this new problem, the dissertation looks at churches in Europe as evidence to support the claim that historical churches can act as monuments in a city. This study suggests a series of means to make historical churches


monuments in a city and keep collective memory in the church from the point of view of the city. This study mainly aims to understand how to make historic church buildings monuments to retain collective memory in the urban context. The intention is to discover practice options in the treatment of historic church buildings. In addition, this study has a wider and longer term aim which may contribute to conservation in China in the realm of urban design.

Masters | International Planning & Sustainable Development MA

Tony Lloyd-Jones (course leader), Robin Crompton, Bill Erickson, Ripin Kalra, David Mathewson, Johan Woltjer Julia Gouvêa, Jennifer Chua, Emily Hall, Douglas Igben, Marcia Klein,

Rosemary Korawali, Vidar Lao, Alvaro Lee Polick, Nicola Mastini

International Planning and Sustainable Development MA The course explores contemporary theories, public policy and practice in planning for sustainable development in cities, regions and communities in a rapidly urbanising world. It spans both developed and developing world contexts, in locations facing a wide range of growing climate change and other environmental, economic and social challenges, reflected in the student project work illustrated here. There are two pathways through the course. The Spatial Planning Pathway has a strong urban design component and an emphasis on development planning. The Urban Resilience Pathway provides a sustainable development-focused route with a core emphasis on climate change risks and adaptation planning.

The course is aimed at built environment professionals and others with a relevant disciplinary background that wish to pursue a planning or development-related career in the UK and/or international practice. The course is aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and we are a Habitat Partner University, with several students who have worked as interns with UN-HABITAT. The course is aimed at full-time international, UK and EU students, but it is also open to parttime UK-based students who want to explore an international development planning career pathway. The MA course is fully accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) as a ‘combined planning programme’.

Guest critics: Teresa Ciambellini, Martyn Clark (Tripleline), Dr Rob Cowley (King’s College), Professor Ian Davis, Dr Sebastian Loew, Catalina Gallego Lopez (Atkins), Professor Circe Monteiro (UFPE, Brazil), Professor Michael Mutter, Robert Sadlier, Matthias Nohn (Rapid Urbanism, Berlin), Geoff Payne (Geoffrey Payne Associates), Dr Elizabeth Rapoport (King’s College) Special thanks: Dr Judith Allen, Professor Nick Bailey, Dr Camillo Boano (DPU/UCL), Duncan Bowie, Darshana Chauhan, Tim Edmundson, Dr Isis Nunez Ferrara, Sara Hafeez, Professor Simon Joss, Dr Krystallia Kamvasinou, Dr Tony Manzi, Professor Peter Newman, Federico Redin, Professor Marion Roberts, David Seex, Professor Fred Steward, Dr Phu Phong, Professor Pat Wakely (DPU Associates), Professor Ya Ping Wang (University of Glasgow)


Nicola Mastini: Milan Expo Strategic Plan

International Planning & Sustainable Development MA

Julia Julia Gouvêa Gouvêa

 cological Design Applied to an Area of Social and E Environmental Vulnerability: The Capivari River Bank

This study examines the role of ecological systems as spatial mediators in peri-urban areas characterised by social and environmental vulnerability. The design thesis focuses on the Capivari River corridor, located in Campinas, the second largest urban centre of São Paulo State, Brazil. This section of the city is characterised by a continuous urban sprawl, vacant land, high social inequality and environmental fragility. The study involves a literature review of urban and environmental policies, innovative urban legal instruments and relevant key concepts. It explores case studies that address similar complex issues examining different design approaches and governance arrangements. McHarg’s ecological planning method,


the concept of Ecological Urbanism, and evolving GIS (Geographic Information Systems) spatial data analysis techniques were employed in developing the design approach. This work attempts to revive a conversation between the urban fabric and natural environment. It examines the role of open space as a mediator between conservation, recreational facilities and complex social environments. Ecological urban design solutions involving green and blue infrastructure aim to promote a resilient urban fabric able to integrate social and environmental demands.

Analysis diagram developed with the data from SEPLAN – Municipality of Campinas

International Planning & Sustainable Development MA

Jennifer Chua

Rediscovering Enclave Urbanism

This study aims to explore the rationale behind the rise of the concept of enclave urbanism and the increasing preponderance of gated communities in cities worldwide in order to better understand its success or failure as a mode of masterplanned urban development. Through a literature review of western scholarly works, key spatial, social and psychological attributes are identified that clarify why the concept has become so popular from the perspective of the middle and upper class social groups, whilst urban planners have viewed it much more negatively.

Cité Bourgogne, Shanghai [photo © Peter Potrowl]

The study involves a comparative analysis of gated communities in China and the United States. Most gated communities in the US are driven by fear of crime and the ‘territorial club’ economy; whilst status, location and consumption impact on the creation of an urban middle class identity in China. The study argues that modern middle-class identity is built, no longer by culture, but by means of spatial exclusivity, as well as increased consumption power. This new trend has wiped out the unified social origins formerly attached to China’s community-based housing.

International Planning & Sustainable Development MA

Emily Emily Hall Hall

 n Urban Morphological Assessment of the Urbanisation of Poverty in A Data-poor Developing World Cities: Evidence from Kaduna, Nigeria

Concepts, definitions and the measurement of urban poverty are part of an evolving and contested field and of increasing importance given very rapid urbanisation occurring in Africa. This paper looks at whether urban morphology can be a tool to assess and develop policy responses to the growing problems of multiple deprivation evident with the ‘urbanisation of poverty’ in the data-poor cities of the developing world, using an in depth case study of Kaduna, Nigeria.


Greater Kaduna Settlement Typology

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It is shown that urban morphology reflects different income groups within the city and that households in the least wealthy areas are subject to a wide range of deprivations relying more heavily on unimproved drinking water sources, shared sanitation facilities and dirty fuels. In addition, households in the wealthier areas spent no more than their poorer counterparts on fuel for cooking and on water. The study reveals significant infrastructure deficits within the city and where poverty-focused policy could be targeted. The study demonstrates a successful area-based approach to using these indicators for pinpointing multipledeprivation and poverty in the data-poor cities of the developing world.

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Legend Settlement type 1 Settlement type 2

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Settlement type 3 Settlement type 4 Settlement type 5 Other urban land uses


Mapping urban poverty in Kaduna, Nigeria [Source: Max Lock Centre, 2016]

International Planning & Sustainable Development MA

Douglas Douglas Igben Igben

 rban Design as a Tool to Regenerate African City Centres: U The Case of Kaduna, Nigeria

Cities are composed of complex and dynamic systems. They are a reflection of the many processes, which propel development, with the centre of the city being the prime generator of such complexity.

economic opportunities, addressing disused spaces within the city, making the urban landscape more attractive and restoring historic connections between the city centre and suburban areas.

The successful physical regeneration of city centres and their marketing through an updated and improved image is commonplace in many developed countries where there has been urban decline. However, despite Africa being at the forefront of rapid urbanisation, mostKaduna citiesMaster in Africa have not been able to follow in the Plan Option 1 same direction because they lack effective strategies to attract investment. Regeneration through urban Transport Interchange designRailprojects is a valuable tool for activating new Line

This report is a study of the central business core of the city of Kaduna, in Nigeria, using an urban design method to explore the spatial planning issues. Through a scenario planning approach, it develops a proposal for revitalising the city centre which has suffered from economic decline since the 1980s.

KadunaDouglas Master Plan IgbenOption 1 Transport Interchange Rail Line

International Planning & Sustainable Development MA

Marcia Marcia Klein Klein

I ntegrating Water and Waste Management with Community Hubs in Southern Africa

The aim of the study is to investigate how to implement feasible solutions to integrate water and waste management at a more rapid pace, considering the urgent needs of the growing population and the fact that Southern Africa did not meet the Millennium Development Goal in this area set for 2015.

childcare, sports, bathrooms with showers, water pumps, laundry facilities, a school-restaurant, a kitchen garden, waste collection and recycling, and small business stalls. It should have a green roof equipped with solar energy capture, which could provide the facilities with electricity and internet.

The proposal is to unlink the investment in water supply and treatment and waste management from the process of informal settlement upgrading. It is usually planned, but rarely concluded, to invest in smaller but faster community design solutions that combine several needed services such as school, healthcare,

Much of the water and waste management needs can be met through this approach. Improved health, knowledge and skills, income increases and community empowerment are benefits that can generate a virtuous cycle, making it possible to enable the next step of a whole housing and neighbourhood solution.


Women’s Opportunity Centre, Sharon Davis Design, Kayonza, Rwanda [photo Š Debra Swersky / Xizi Luo]

International Planning & Sustainable Development MA

Rosemary Rosemary Korawali Korawali

 rban Planning, Culture and Resilience for Cities U and Towns in Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea (PNG) is undergoing a paradigm shift towards sustainable development as indicated in its publication of policy document STARS (2nd edition) National Strategy for Responsible Sustainable Development for Papua New Guinea 2014. In an attempt to fulfil its proposed objectives through the lens of sustainability, it also emphasises that PNG is far from reaching its development objectives as espoused in the country’s National Constitution. Although many of these objectives reflect the need to improve the quality of life for the people, they do not reflect the rich cultural diversity the country is

acclaimed for as a key driver to achieving the social, economic and environmental factors of sustainable development. This shift not only lacks in considering the strategic role of culture but also resilience, which is significant for an island nation impacted by climate change and rapid urbanisation. This research analyses the argument behind the institution of culture and its role in planning for sustainable urban development and how culture can strengthen resilience for cities and towns in Papua New Guinea.

(left) Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, stilt houses [photo © Elyse Patten]; (right) Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, development [photo © Hitchster]

International Planning & Sustainable Development MA

Vidar Lao The Mainstream and Alternatives of Night-time Economy in Vidar Lao  London: A Case Study from Taiwan

When I first came to London, I wondered why such an international city, well known for its creativity, does not offer more options for night-time activities for people, other than those involving drinking alcohol. People who work, study and live in this city have different cultural backgrounds and social preferences and the limited options have served to exclude them from the city’s night-time spaces. The current ‘mainstream’ night-time economy is youthoriented, encouraging alcohol consumption, and giving rise to popular images of the city at night relating to excess, ecstasy and excitement. This has generated exclusion of various social groups and classes, and also


a lack of attention to a variety of forms of leisure and relaxation. My own experience became the prompt for initiating this research. This study aims at exploring how to maximise the opportunities to diversify the night-time economy in London by comparing the contexts of nightlife development in the UK with a case study of night markets in Taiwan, considered as an international good practice of diverse nightlife. The topic itself is a multidisciplinary discussion involving sociology, economy, planning policies, the ecology of nightlife and cultural geography studies.

Keelong Miaokow Night Market, Taiwan [photo © Matt Weibo]

International Planning & Sustainable Development MA

Alvaro Alvaro Lee Lee Polick Polick

 antagallo-Huerta Perdida Regeneration C Plan in the Historic Centre of Lima

Historic centres in Latin America represent a place where culture and history are mixed with modern and vibrating activities. Many cities have plans for their city centres for increasing the liveability of the streets, and preserving the heritage and history of the site for people to admire and protect. The historic centre of Lima, once considered the capital of the Spanish territories during the conquest of America, is rich in history and culture, as well as being well preserved. However, it also has some areas that are in need of action plans that can increase their urban and life quality.

This project aims to bring new activities and open public spaces to an area that currently is underdeveloped and left behind from the rest of the historic centre of Lima, not only in terms of activities but also in infrastructure, social spaces and quality of life overall. The design project is set to tackle those concerns by delivering a regeneration plan that can be beneficial for the area and its residents, and provide adequate spaces for people to move around.

International Planning & Sustainable Development MA

Nicola Nicola Mastini Mastini

 asterplan Framework for Post-Exhibition M Development: The Case of Milan Expo 2015

This dissertation examines potential postexhibition development options for the Milan Expo site through the design of a masterplan framework. The main focus is on the social and the environmental sustainability aspects in order to create a development that instils benefits for the local area as well as the wider city and region. The literature review research draws on mega-event development, post-industrial development and periurban agriculture in order to understand the main topics involved in this project. A selection of four case studies is used to review relevant examples in order to understand the major issues experienced at postexhibition developments.


The analysis about Expo are divided into two categories: the site analysis and the historical process of the Milan Expo. The first one is needed to understand the project’s context in order to deliver an integrated proposal; the second helped me to discern how Expo 2015 was perceived from the population and what was achieved. Through a SWOT analysis, three different scenarios are outlined in order to evaluate the different options. After that, a strategic plan is designed for the expo site and surrounding area. As a final step, the masterplan framework is designed for the Expo site itself, defining blocks, volumes, uses and public spaces.

The Department of Architecture has an international reputation for excellence in research and teaching, for attracting award winning staff and students, and for a wide range of research related activities. As contributors to the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment’s submission to the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, our research was placed in the top 50% of the 45 submissions in Architecture, Built Environment and Planning. 20% of its publications and research effort were deemed to be world leading [4*] and 45% internationally excellent [3*]. The four case studies of its research impact also scored very highly. This significant endorsement of our research capability has provided the foundation for expanding and enhancing our UK and international profile. Members of the department are currently participating in a number of significant European and UK grant-funded research projects., collaborating with institutions from around the world. Additionally, Christine Wall, a Reader in Architectural and Construction History, is codirector of ProBE Centre for the Study of the Built Environment, which undertakes innovative interdisciplinary research related to the production of the built environment; and we are also participating in Open Gaza, a collaborative project initiated by Michael Sorkin of New Yorkbased Terreform Studio to map and plan Gaza.


Descriptions of all of these projects follow in this section of the catalogue. Research in the Department is conducted in five research groups under the overarching umbrella of Architecture and Cities. These are: Architectural History and Theory; Environment and Technology; Expanded Territories; Experimental Practice (EXP); and Representation, Fabrication and Computing. These are loose alignments of staff, research students, designers and practicing architects who undertake joint research initiatives and organise events of common interest. Further information about the activities of these groups during 2015/16 can be found in the next pages. The department has an active PhD programme and an ambitious body of PhD students who are active both inside and outside the University. During 2015/16 we hosted a number of ADAPT-r fellows (Sam Kebbell, Colm Moore, Johannes Torpe, Anna Pla Catala, Hseng Tai Lintner and Dr Maria Veltcheva) and visiting research fellows (Mo Michelsen Stochhholmn Krag and Angelo Maggi) all of whom contributed to the department in various ways. We were pleased to host an inaugural lecture by Michael Sorkin, Visiting Professor in the Department of Architecture, titled ‘City States.’ For more information about these and other aspects of the department’s research activities, visit


Research | Architecture & Cities

Architecture And Cities Architecture and Cities is a research umbrella covering the strong and diverse research, scholarship, teaching and practice undertaken in the Department of Architecture at the University of Westminster. This structure encourages research through historical and socio-cultural research, design, practice and consultancy. It is organised into five distinct research groups:

Architectural History and Theory

Environment and Technology Expanded Territories Experimental Practice (EXP)

Representation, Fabrication and Computing

These are loose alignments of staff, research students, designers and practicing architects who undertake joint research initiatives and organise events of common interest. The Architectural History and Theory Group is made up of scholars and research students who conduct historical and theoretical research, consult on heritage matters, host symposia and conferences, write and edit books, journals and journal articles and curate exhibitions. Environment and Technology brings


together two overlapping fields of research in the Department – environmental design and practice-driven research into the history and ongoing technological development of architecture. Expanded Territories brings together the work of a number of scholars critically probing sites and practices previously considered outside the realm of architecture as valid sites for architectural research and speculation. Experimental Practice (EXP) supports, documents and generates experimental design projects that have acted or act as laboratories for the architectural profession, including built and un-built design projects, books, exhibitions and other forms of practice. Representation, Fabrication and Computing explores the nature of drawing and making as tools for research and as the vehicles for creative practice. For further details, visit our web pages here: Architecture and Cities is represented at ARENA, a new European-wide Architectural Research Network by Kate Heron and Ben Stringer:

Douglas Spencer: CCTV, Beijing , 2011

Research | Architecture & Cities

Architectural History and Theory Academic Staff: John Bold (Co-ordinator), Harry Charrington, Dusan Ducermic, Davide Deriu, Richard Difford, Jon Goodbun, Constance Lau, Samir Pandya, Andrew Peckham, Shahed Saleem, Christine Wall, Victoria Watson, Julian Williams

This group engages in a wide range of research in architectural history and theory, cultural studies, urbanism and heritage, exploring the ‘what, why, how and for whom?’ of architectural and building custom and practice and the changing meanings and interpretations which have been placed upon them. The approach is not tied to any particular school of thought or methodology – the catholicity of approaches reflects the breadth and depth of the subjects. It is this academic broad-mindedness which attracts scholars and students and enables them to conduct ground-breaking research, resulting in numerous contributions to books and journals, the organising of conferences, symposia and exhibitions, bringing international recognition. Publications in 2015-16 include Andrew Peckham’s forthcoming book Architecture and its Imprint; a chapter by Davide Deriu on British Views of Republican Ankara


Current PhD Students: Noha Alhamadi, Samra Khan, Sarah Milne, Emilia Siandou

in The City in the Muslim World; Victoria Watson’s essay on Mies van der Rohe’s Krefeld golf clubhouse; her artefact, Beyond Suprematism; and several chapters by John Bold on the rehabilitation of the built heritage of south-east Europe in a book (in the press) on the Council of Europe’s Ljubljana Process. Shahed Saleem’s forthcoming architectural and social history of mosques in England, carried out in association with Historic England, will be the first major study of this highly significant but strangely under-researched building type. Reaching out to the scholarly world, Davide Deriu continues to play a major role in the European Architectural History Network while John Bold, rather more locally, is once again the editor of the Transactions of the Ancient Monuments Society. Our PhD students have made excellent progress towards completion as well as contributing notable papers to international conferences and scholarly symposia. MArch student Marie Price continued our record of producing award winning architectural dissertations, receiving the RIBA President’s Medal 2015 for her outstanding and very entertaining analysis of ‘The Overlooked Back Garden’. Our lectures now take place in the Robin Evans lecture room, recently named to commemorate the legacy of a great scholar and teacher whose books The Fabrication of Virtue and The Projective Cast set a standard to which all researchers should aspire.

(top) John Bold: The Town Hall, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina following reconstruction, 2014 (opposite left & right) Photos of the ‘Air Structures’ workshop held as part of the ‘What’s at Play in Environmental Design’ symposium; (opposite centre) Air Structures cover

Architecture & Cities | Research

Environment and Technology Academic Staff: Nasser Golzari, Jon Goodbun, Will McLean, Rosa SchianoPhan, Pete Silver

Current PhD Students: Will McLean, Philippe Saleh, Pete Silver

Environment and Technology draws together two related strands of research in the Department of Architecture: environmental and ecological design, and practice driven research into the history and technological development of architecture. Specific areas of interest include a-typical construction technologies, the innovative and efficient use of materials, human comfort, building performance and passive methods for the heating, cooling and lighting of buildings. Research outputs include authored and edited books, regular journal/magazine articles and blogs, organizing and contributing to conferences/ symposia and PhD supervision.

entitled ‘Mud and Modernity’ is due for publication in the new architecture journal AJAR. Jon continues his research into the work of anthropologist Gregory Bateson and earlier this year attended a workshop at the Esalen Institute with the help of a research support grant from the university. NG Architects’ environmental technology project for self-builders was recently short-listed and exhibited by Grand Designs.

Rosa Schiano-Phan has initiated a new research project with the Fabrication Laboratory on the innovative design and fabrication of Artificial Skies for the physical modelling and simulation of daylight. Rosa is presenting at the 53rd ‘Making Cities Livable’ conference in Rome this summer with a paper entitled ‘Mitigative Urban Environments and their Microclimates’.

McLean delivered the keynote speech on his ongoing research into the innovative construction systems of Dante Bini at the 3rd annual conference of the Construction History Society, University of Cambridge. Silver and McLean are currently working on two new publications, an updated and enlarged version Fabrication: The Designers Guide and a new book on architecture, health and wellbeing.

Jon Goodbun’s recent research includes the curation of the symposium, ‘What’s at Play in Environmental Design’ hosted by the department in 2015, and a paper

Will McLean and Pete Silver are both currently enrolled in the PhD by Published work programme and recently published their fourth co-authored book Air Structures, Laurence King 2015.

Research | Architecture & Cities

Expanded Territories Academic Staff: Lindsay Bremner (Co-ordinator), Clare Carter, Corinna Dean, Krystallia Kamvasinou, Natalie Newey, Duarte Santo, Ben Stringer

Expanded Territories was set up in 2012 as an umbrella for a group of researchers, scholars and designers working on architecture in an expanded field. It is intellectually ambitious, innovative, and forwardlooking; it evokes a cultural project rather than merely a research field. It was formed to bring into dialogue the work of those probing sites and practices previously considered outside the realm of architecture - global mobilities, rurality, resource extraction sites, energy infrastructures, the underground, the ocean, the atmosphere etc. This work is framed by an emerging awareness of the planetary scale of urbanism, the trans-national scope of culture, by the discovery of the anthropocene and by the ethical imperative to work with the agency and rights of human and non-human actants (animals, plants, minerals) in the shaping of built environments. The group seeks to find new ways to conceptualise, speak about, represent and design architecture and cities in line with these conditions and objectives. Currently its work is focused around three themes: monsoon urbanisms, rurality and landscape.

Current PhD Students: Duarte Santo, Phillip Luehl

one book chapter) stemming from her Leverhulme Research Grant on ‘Interim Spaces and Creative Use’ (RF-2012-518). In addition to this, Expanded Territories cohosted (with the Centre for the Study of Democracy in the Faculty of Social Sciences and the Humanities) a conference titled ‘Design After Planning, From Epistemology to Topology’ in February 2016. Duarte Santo is guest editor of a special edition of the Urban Island Studies Journal, and Corinna Dean is currently working in the port city of Kochi in Kerala, India, to map the cultural and socio-economic impact of its recently established public art biennale.

Professor Lindsay Bremner is leading a research project on the monsoon in South Asia, focusing on three cities, Chennai, Delhi and Dhaka. Ben Stringer is leading the rurality research theme, taking up questions raised at the ‘Re-imagining Rurality’ conference held at Westminster in 2015. Krystallia Kamvasinou is currently co-ordinating a series of publications (including two refereed articles and


Krystallia Kamvasinou: Creative interim use at Canning Town Caravanserai, part of the Meanwhile London competition (2010-15, Ash Sakula Architects – makeshift raised beds for community food growing)

Architecture & Cities | Research

Experimental Practice (EXP) Academic Staff: Alessandro Ayuso, Peter Barber (Reader), Roberto Botazzi, Anthony Boulanger, Nasser Golzari, Sean Griffiths, Eric Guibert (ADAPT-r Fellow, KU Leuven), Katharine Heron, Gillian Lambert, Andrei Martin, Stuart Piercy, Shahed Saleem, Jane Tankard,

Maria Veltcheva (Experienced Researcher, ADAPT-r) Filip Visnjic, Camilla Wilkinson, Julian Williams, Andrew Yau

The Experimental Practice research group (EXP) supports and promotes research in innovatory and experimental architecture. Set up in 2003 by Professor Kester Rattenbury, it explores the experimental projects – buildings, books, art works, imaginary, ‘paper’ and teaching projects – which act as a ‘laboratory’ for the architectural profession. Its inaugural projects were the Supercrit series, www. where world-class architects come ‘back to school’ to be ‘critted’ on a famous project, and the AHRC ‘Oustanding’-ranked Archigram Archival Project, which made the work of this seminal architectural group available online.

Making Research; Researching Making, where Gill Lambert presented a paper called ‘Trust in the Maker’. Peter Barber (MArch tutor) won the Royal Academy Architecture Prize; Victoria Watson’s air grid piece, Three Towers, was also shown last summer at the Royal Academy Summer show; and Anthony Engi Meacock and Giles Smith (BA tutors), as part of the Assemble group, won the prestigious Turner Prize.

We act as an umbrella group for working practitioners throughout the department. This year Professor Kester Rattenbury was Visiting Scholar at the University of Auckland. Professor Sean Griffiths was Visiting Professor at Yale and featured in the Royal Academy Mavericks exhibition and events programme. He also gave the Keynote Speech at the Aarhus conference,

Current PhD Students: John Walter, Jason Pomeroy

EXP makes use of Ambika P3 to develop and exhibit research. An exceptional and provocative exhibition entitled the Alien Sex Club formed part of the PhD research of multimedia artist John Walter exploring sexual health in visual culture. We also work with RMIT’s PhD by Practice model of designbased research, where architects and other working designers develop their work in practice to PhD level. Kate Heron leads Westminster’s participation in ADAPT-r, and with Rattenbury, participates as Professor, supervisor and examiners, and hosting other ADAPT-r events, including culminating exhibition and Practice Research Symposium this autumn.

Assemble: Cineroleum Project. [Giles Smith and Anthony Engi Meacock of Turner Prize winners Assemble teach Architecture undergraduate studio BA3(2)]

Research | Architecture & Cities

Representation, Fabrication and Computing Academic Staff: Alessandro Ayuso, Roberto Bottazzi, Toby Burgess, Richard Difford, Steve Jensen, Arthur Mamou-Mani, Natalie Newey, Stuart Piercy,

Kester Rattenbury, Paul Richens, David Scott, Ro Spankie, Allan Sylvester, Filip Visnjic, Richard Watson, Victoria Watson, Fiona Zisch

The Representation, Fabrication and Computing research group sets out to explore the nature of drawing and making in its broadest sense – both as a tool for research and as the vehicle for creative practice. Intended to cut across disciplinary boundaries, the work of the group encompasses

a range of activities from historical analysis and the science of visual perception, to design-based research and the exploration of innovative new fabrication technologies. Research outputs including publications, conference papers, exhibitions and festivals. This work is organised through three sub-groups:

(1) Body, Space and Representation

(3) Spatial Interface

Individual Research included Alessandro Ayuso’s Keynote lecture at the DR_SoM The Empathic Turn Symposium at the University of Antwerp and the exhibition of recently completed models and drawings in the Bartlett’s Research Projects 2016 Exhibition. Ro Spankie’s presentation of ‘Within the Chimeras: Spaces of the Imagination’ paper at the Production Sites Conference at the Bartlett UCL and commencing her editorship on the new Interiors Design Architecture Culture journal.

Recent activities associated with the Spatial Interface group include a presentation, given by Richard Difford, as part of an inaugural event to launch the Robin Evans memorial lecture series; and a workshop exploring the use of stereoscopic photography. Also this year Filip Visnjic helped to curate ‘ACT’ a new arts and technology centre and festival in South Korea and was a member of the jury for Linz’s Ars Electronica festival.

   Co-ordinators: Alessandro Ayuso, Ro Spankie

Recent collaborations with the Design through Fabrication group in teaching included: a week-long Body Building workshop (along with the Fab Lab and Interior Architecture staff Mike Guy and Steve Jensen), and the Parallel Cities workshop at Parsons the New School, New York (in collaboration with William Haskas of Parsons).

(2) Design through Fabrication    Co-ordinators: David Scott

David Scott and the Fab Lab are hosting FAB FEST, an International Fabrication Festival featuring 60 pavilions and a one-day urban summer festival to be held in Ambika P3.


Gemma Hale, Natalie Roberts & Nicolas Salas: Body Agents

   Co-ordinators: Richard Difford

Architecture & Cities | Research

Architectural Research Forum

The Architecture and Cities Research Group hosts a regular research forum on the first Thursday of every month in the Ralph Erskine Room at 13.00. These are opportunities for staff, visiting fellows or PhD students to present work in progress and to stimulate conversation or provoke critical debate about their research. Seminars are open to all staff and students. During 2015/16, the programme included: Mo Michelson Stochholm Crag Transformation of Abandonment: A

New Critical Practice?

Isis Nunes Ferrera Design Thinking and Transdisciplinarity:

Critical Collaborative Practices in the Built Environment

Lindsay Bremner Monsoon Assemblages Douglas Spencer The Architecture of Liberal Democracy Paul Richens Virtual Heritage: Reconstructing a Lost


Kester Rattenbury The Wessex Project: Thomas Hardy


Ro Spankie Drawing out the Interior Alessandro Ayuso Body Agents: Subjective Figures in


Corinna Dean Making as Place: Mapping Creativity Richard Difford On Stereoscopic Depth and Pictorial

Space in Early Twentieth-century Art and Architecture

In addition to this, a new series of department-focused research development workshops was inaugurated in 2016 and delivered by Christine Wall and Katherine Hammersley. Three workshops have been run to date: an overview of the research landscape and internal mechanisms and processes for making funding applications; a session on choosing a conference to attend and writing a successful conference abstract, and a session on making successful bids for internal and external funding.

Architectural Research Forum posters

Research | Funded

Open Gaza Co-ordinators: UK: Nasser Golzari, Yara Sharif USA: Professor Michael Sorkin, Vyjayanthi Rao, Quilian Riano

The Department of Architecture, led by Nasser Golzari and Yara Sharif and MArch Design Studio DS22, are participating in a collaborative venture with Terreform Office in New York and the Palestine Regeneration Team (PART) called Open Gaza. Spearheaded by Professor Michael Sorkin, this is a project to explore how design, planning and technology can aid in advancing Gaza as a more resilient and sustainable city. Participants include practicing architects, urban designers, academics and social scientists. In November 2015, a conference hosted by the University of Westminster brought together a number of these participants. Further events are planned, to culminate in an exhibition and a book to be published by UR Books in 2017, with contributions from the UK, USA, India, Latin America and Palestine.


This extends an on-going research by design project by Golzari and Sharif to explore spatial possibilities in Palestine. Stemming from the urgent need for an alternative practice able to heal and nourish physical space as well as the space of imagination, they have been looking at responsive design interventions to rebuild Gaza, while also thinking about creative forms to reconstruct and stitch the fragmented landscape. One of the key outcomes is the ‘Green Learning Room.’ This prototype was developed with alternative construction techniques in mind to re-read and reinhabit the city of Gaza. Oscillating between the scale of 1:1 and the scale of 1:10000, it is seen as a way to rethink domesticity in a city that is no longer lived in in a conventional sense. Where the relationship between the street, the room, the internal and the external is blurred, it is seen as a way to trigger possibilities for dwelling, stitching and empowering.

(left) Nasser Golzari & Yara Sharif (PART): Re-imagining the ‘Absurd-City’; (centre) Andreas Christodoulou (DS22): Open Gaza Flyer; (right) Santiago Rizo (PART): The Learning Room as a parasite

Funded | Research

ProBE Linda Clarke is co-director of ProBE, Professor of European Industrial Relations in Westminster Business School, and president of the European Institute of Construction Labour Research, based in Brussels.

Colin Gleeson is the deputy director of ProBE, a Reader in FABE and chartered building services engineer with a doctorate in energy and buildings.

ProBE continues to instigate and undertake innovative, interdisciplinary and international activity related to the production of the built environment. Current funded historical research includes the preparation of an archive and exhibition on the construction of key post-war architectural schemes (£23,500), an oral history project on inner city feminist housing activists, and research on the construction of Waterloo Bridge, which resulted in an enhanced

listing by Historic England to include the role of women. A number of projects focus particularly on labour in the construction industry, including recently the representation of women, supported by Thames Tideway Tunnel (£26,200) and research into blacklisting claims (£21,000). Other research has covered migrant labour, disability, diversity, wage relations, employment conditions, subcontracting, vocational education and training (VET), health and safety, bricklaying and furniture qualifications, and labour history in the construction industry across Europe.

Christine Wall is co-director of ProBE, based in FABE, and Reader in Architectural and Construction History.

ProBE is also engaged in the socio-technical analysis of low energy construction, renewable technologies and the energy performance gap with international research partners. Our work includes: the design process and its expression through the world of the construction site and its conditions of employment; analysis of low energy construction VET and qualifications across Europe and the development of thermal or energy literacy. Current funded research includes: an analysis of UK RHPP heat pump field trial results (£400,000); Adapting Canadian work and workplaces for Climate Change ($2.5m); and Green Transitions in the US and Europe ($40,000). Events, symposia and seminars, guided by the advisory group, are also regular features of ProBE’s work.

John Steeden: Crane erectors on the Barbican site

Research | Funded

Public Space and the Role of the Architect in London and São Paulo Principal Investigator: Professor Susannah Hagan Research Associates: Dann Jessen RIBA, Neal Shasore PhD: Jane Hall

This Anglo-Brazilian research project is a collaboration between the Department of Architecture, University of Westminster, and the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism, University of São Paulo. It takes advantage of the complex and often spectacular legacy of architectural modernism in both London and São Paulo as a way of reflecting historically on contemporary public spaces in both cities, and on the often neglected role of the architect in their production. In a contemporary social context of growing demand for greater democratic authorship and ownership of the built environment, in particular its public realm, the role of design needs to be understood by designers and their clients in a far more informed way. If public space is co-constituted, then attention needs to be paid to the space as well as to the public. Today, there are marked similarities between London and São Paulo: they are both financial capitals, and they 100

Project Partners: B  ritish Council, Design Council, RIBA, RTPI, 20th Century Society (UK); University of São Paulo: Professor Jose Lefèvre, Professor Monica Carmargo (Brazil) Funding bodies: AHRC (UK); FAPESP (Brazil)

both have multicultural populations. They both suffer from a wide divide between rich and poor, and from chronic housing shortages. More importantly for this research, their cities tend to think about public space defensively, mirroring social segregation with spatial segregation. The emptiness of many public spaces in São Paulo, and its over-surveillance in London, are symptoms of social dysfunction unanticipated by the optimistic agenda of architectural modernism. The project examines whether, in a very different contemporary political and social context, the positive aspects of its modernist case studies could be transferred to address the low quality of much contemporary public space design in both cities. It also explores the implications of modernist top-down design in both cities versus the contemporary fashion for more participatory approaches. Does greater democracy mean greater quality? Greater popularity? If so, what is the role of the architect in achieving such conditions?

Susannah Hagan: Centro Cultural São Paulo (CCSP) by Eurico Prado Lopes, 1978

Funded | Research

Monsoon Assemblages Principal Investigator: Professor Lindsay Bremner Research Associates: Michele Vianello and Beth Cullen PhD: To be appointed in January 2017    DS18, 2016 – 2019

In 2015 Professor Lindsay Bremner was awarded an ERC Starting Grant for a five-year research project titled Monsoon Assemblages. The ambition of the project is to undertake interdisciplinary design-driven inquiry into the impacts of changing monsoon climates in three of South Asia’s rapidly growing cities: Chennai, Delhi and Dhaka. This will be undertaken at a time when extreme weather events, all attributed to the monsoon’s capricious nature, are resulting with increasing frequency in water shortages, power failures, floods, out-breaks of disease, damage to property and loss of life. In responding to these events, the project will challenge the dominant view of the monsoon as a natural meteorological system outside of and distinct from society. Instead it will study multiple monsoons as co-productions of physical and social processes

Funding: This project received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (Grant Agreement No. 679873).

entangled within historic lived environments that can be analysed, worked with, shaped and changed. An unconventional interdisciplinary team comprising spatial designers and environmental anthropologists will advance research of lived environments as indivisibly natural, social and political and propose models for intervening in them through design. One of the unusual features of the grant is the inclusion of Master of Architecture level design students in the project team for three years. This means that DS18, led by Professor Bremner and Roberto Bottazzi will undertake research and design in Chennai, Delhi and Dhaka from 2016 to 2019 and the outcomes of their research will feature in the final Monsoon Assemblages exhibition and book in 2020.

(left) Monsoon Assemblages Graphic; (right) Indian Air Force Relief and Rescue Operation during Tamil Nadu Floods, December 2015 [Source:]

Research | Funded

ADAPT-r: Practice-based Research ADAPTr comprises seven international partners led at Westminster by Professor Katharine Heron. Funded by the EU and Marie Curie, the training network expands the ground-breaking PhD by Practice model developed and established at RMIT. It has employed Dr Maria Veltcheva is an architect and urban planner, based in Rome and Berlin, currently teaching at the Faculty of Architecture Sapienza University in Rome. She has specialised in the development and management of complex projects while working with Renzo Piano on Theater Potsdamer Platz in Berlin and with Zaha Hadid on the Museum of Modern Art MAXXI in Rome. Her research is dedicated to the concept of public space in the contemporary urban, architectural and social context.

Anna Pla Català is an architect based in Barcelona who worked at Sir Norman Foster & Partners and Eisenman Architects before founding APC_Studio. The office focused on the research and development of models of higher integration between advanced digital technologies and everyday architectural production, from its conception to its construction on site.

Sam Kebbell founded KebbellDaish Architects on his return to his native New Zealand having worked in Boston, New York and Amsterdam. Their projects are underpinned by a combination of pragmatism, geometric clarity, and playfulness, from ‘Law Farm’ to the Courtyard House which redesigned this arts and crafts house to become a showcase for its style. 102

42 researchers (creative practitioners) who have a pre-existing body of work which they reflect on and investigate through their own research, developing and exchanging their findings across the partnership guided by the partners’ Scientific Committee.

Funded | Research

ADAPT-r: Practitioners The practitioners affiliated with the University of Westminster demonstrate the rich and varied background of creative practice of ADAPT-r researchers. as illustrated below. ADAPTr concludes in late 2016 with a Practice Research Symposium, many related events and a major exhibition in Ambika P3.

University of Westminster leader: Professor Katharine Heron. The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme FP7/2007-2013.

Hseng Tai Lintner is a partner and co-founder of EACR, a design research forum focused on the creation of architectural environments that explore the intersection of emergent technological, ecological and cultural impetuses.

Johannes Torpe is the Danish founder and vision behind Johannes Torpe Studios, working across several fields including interior, product and graphic design. His intuitive approach to the world of design has led to him being approached by a wide range of clients and including electronics brand Bang & Olufsen where he worked as their group creative director from 2011 to 2015.

Colm Moore established Clancy Moore Architects in partnership with Andrew Clancy in 2006. The practice is dedicated to creating beautiful spaces and objects through an open and collaborative process with clients and craftspeople. Moore’s attention to detail has led to the practice receiving numerous national and international awards for their work including the RIAI House of the Year for Slievebawnogue Houses.

Research | PhD

PhD Students The department has capacity to supervise PhD students in research areas in which its staff have expertise. Enquiries should be directed to the director of Architectural Reserch, Professor Lindsay Bremner, email: Current PhD students registered in the Department of Architecture are:

Full time:

May Aljamea

From Trauma to Preservation

Supervisors: Lindsay Bremner, Samir Pandya

Abdullah Almuraiqeb

Shopping Malls as Public Spaces in Riyadh Supervisors: Marion Roberts, Nasser Golzari

Denise Bowes

The Importance of Role Models for Women in the Quantity Surveying Profession Supervisors: Christine Wall, Linda Clarke

Samra Kahn

The Sethi Merchants’ Havelis in Peshawar, 1800-1910: Form, Identity and Status Supervisors: John Bold, Davide Deriu, Lindsay Bremner

Phillip Luehl

Rethinking Architectural Practice as an Active Agent of Socio-Spatial Decolonisation in Namibia Supervisors: Lindsay Bremner, Isis Nunez Ferrera

Sarah Milne

City Space and Mercantile Guilds: Locating the London Estate of the Drapers’ Company, c. 1540-1640 Supervisors: John Bold, Lindsay Bremner

Philippe Saleh

Towards Nearly Zero Energy Buildings in Lebanon: Bioclimatic Design and Experimental Building Strategies Supervisors: Rosa Schiano-Phan, Colin Gleeson

John Walter

Alien Sex Club: Using Art and Design to Educate Audiences about Continuing Rates of HIV Transmission Supervisors: Lindsay Bremner, Victoria Watson, Francis White


Part time:

Duarte Santo

Assembling (is)landscapes: Land, Sea and Tourism in Madeira Island Supervisors: Davide Deriu, Helen Farrell, Lindsay Bremner

Emilia Siandou

Modern Architecture in Cyprus as Heritage Supervisors: John Bold, Davide Deriu, Panayiota Pyla

PhD by Publication: William McLean

A Sociotechnical History of Architecture and Invention Supervisors: Christine Wall, Lindsay Bremner

Peter Silver

On Engineering Architecture: Contributions to an Understanding of Building Science and Architectural Technology by Three Publications Supervisors: Lindsay Bremner, Harry Charrington

PhD | Research

May Aljamea Supervisors: Professor Lindsay Bremner, Samir Pandya

From Trauma To Preservation This research examines the transformation of the Saudi home environment after the discovery of oil, and its transformative impact on Saudi society and culture, through the concept of cultural trauma. This will add to ideas of loss, bereavement and discontinuity through which other scholars have interpreted these events. The originality of the research lies in the synthesis and application of the concept of cultural trauma, and using the discourse around cultural trauma to add to the architectural discourse.

A museum built as an extension of a home in an oil company estate

The research reviews the concept of cultural trauma across different contexts such as medicine, psychology, economics and culture, to clarify its usefulness in interpreting the post-oil architectural transformation of the home environment in Saudi Arabia. It then explores and interprets how a new phenomenon, the ethnographic museum, discovered in the course of field work, has multiplied in home environments within Saudi society at the same time. It sees this as a way of preserving Saudi cultural heritage and reads this in different ways.

Research | PhD

Abdullah Almuraiqeb Supervisors: Professor Marion Roberts, Dr Nasser Golzari

Shopping Malls as Public Spaces in Riyadh Shopping centres have long been criticised for their generic formulae, impersonal-global architecture and for their disruptive effect on the urban fabric. However, unlike their counterparts in western cities – to which malls have been the anti-thesis – malls in Middle-Eastern and East Asian cities have been an integral part of the urban process.1 For Riyadh, an accelerated urbanism, compressed spatio-temporal development and the environmental challenges of the past three decades increased the demand for urban spaces for which the mall offered a solution. Progressively, it emerged as the dominant typology for public space and became a favoured place for leisure, entertainment and consumption. Some studies argue that the built environment in Saudi Arabia has proved an inadequate response to the local social climate due to its westernised and imported nature and has ultimately led to a sense of detachment and resentment from locals towards their city.


I would here ask: Why is it that the mall typology is increasing in popularity at the expense of traditional urban forms and practices? In this context, the mushrooming effect of the shopping mall seems to be challenging such propositions. Consequently, it becomes imperative to displace the discourse in order to investigate what it means for a Saudi conservative society to live in the postmodern-capitalist city of Riyadh? Acknowledging that shopping malls today are becoming the new Saudi public space – though not public public spaces – is essential if we are to understand the constraints put on any effort that seek inclusive and socially sustainable urban public spaces. Not only does the mall allow the exploration of architectural and social concerns that are specific to the typology as such, it is a vehicle that enables the evaluation of global and capitalist forces within which the social responsibilities of architects, urbanists and policymakers alike are to be exerted. 1

Jewell, Nicholas: Shopping Malls and Public Space in Modern China (Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate), 2015

Shopping Mall, Riyadh [photo © wanderingmark]

PhD | Research

Samra Khan Supervisors: Dr. John Bold, Dr. Davide Deriu, Professor Lindsay Bremner

The Sethi Merchants’ Havelis in Peshawar, 1800-1910: Form, Identity and Status This research focuses on the havelis constructed by the Sethi merchant-bankers (1800-1920) in the city of Peshawar. The city was an important frontier town of the Indo-Pak sub-continent, which saw the progression of invaders, traders, monks, travellers, adventurers and pilgrims from Central Asia and Afghanistan entering into India. The Sethi clan moved from Bhera to Chamkani and finally to Peshawar in the late 18th century, where they settled. Through

View of Sethi havelis

trade and travel to Afghanistan, Central Asia, Russia and China, the Sethis amassed their fortunes resulting in the construction of twelve family havelis from the early 19th to the early 20th century which displayed multiple cultural influences. These included Mughal and colonial architectural and decorative elements that were combined together to represent the unique plurality of the era. This thesis investigates the domestic architecture of Sethi merchants of Peshawar, as material representation of the historical transformation in Indian society from the late Mughal to colonial period India (18001920). The study endeavours to understand how these havelis developed and evolved their elements of designs and decorative styles in order to absorb and display the ever changing dynamics of economic, social, cultural and political elements of a society going from the pre-colonial into the colonial era. This study focuses on the characteristics of the Sethi havelis and how these manifest the changes and exchanges of Indian society. The havelis are studied through the elements of physical development, stylistic changes and appropriation of symbols of power which represent changing social relations and cultural identities. The research underlines the impact of trade, travel, commerce, culture and politics on the domestic house.

Research | PhD

Phillip Lühl Supervisors: Professor Lindsay Bremner, Dr. Isis Nunez Ferrera

Rethinking Architectural Practice as an Active Agent of Socio-Spatial Decolonisation in Namibia The overarching objective for this study is to grapple with the implications for an architectural practice that critically engages with and addresses the spatial and material needs of the majority of Namibia’s citizens to actively overcome colonial socio-spatial legacies in the case of Windhoek, Namibia. Its main research question is: How can informal economies be empowered through spatial co-production and what are the implications for professional architectural practice?

More specifically, this study aims to re-conceptualise the ‘informal’ as something not to be replaced by a pre-conceived (colonial) order, but as a site to excavate latent possibilities for more socially just cities, conceptually bridging the formal/informal dichotomy. It further aims to identify shortcomings of conventional, professional architectural practice in Namibia in the context of urban informality and bridge the distance between professionals and citizens to enable transformative co-production of space.

The informal market commonly known as ‘Herero Mall’ in Katutura, a former Apartheid era black township in Windhoek, is posed as a post-colonial space that ruptures structures of urban and territorial control first imposed under colonial rule. It offers a singular opportunity to challenge not only its actual existing spatial configuration, but also the very processes through which this space is (re)produced. It is the latter aspect that will be of relevance to re-thinking architectural practice in Namibia beyond this specific case study. For some, Herero Mall is an eye sore and the representation of underdevelopment and social decay; for others, it is an enabler of livelihoods and a hub of cultural identity and social interaction. While authorities regard it as a direct challenge to law and order, to traders and visitors of the Mall it provides a distinct sense of belonging and much needed room for social encounter, despite the inexistence of sanitation and other basic facilities. 108

Workshop with traders, professionals and municipal authorities to identify potentials for redevelopment of Herero Mall [photo © Nangula Shilongo]

PhD | Research

William McLean Supervisors: Dr Christine Wall, Professor Lindsay Bremner

A Sociotechnical History of Architecture and Invention It is not just the physics that have to work in the successful launch of new construction technologies, it is also other, external factors … the metaphysics. Dan Ptacek

The research proposal will investigate the presentation of an alternative history on contemporary construction technology and notions of invention and innovation in architecture. The work is presented in the form of an annotated portfolio of published books, texts, and articles, with accompanying commentary. How does the experimental work of highly individualised designers and engineers contribute to the wider field of technological development and innovation in architecture? And, to what extent is the development and implementation of new technologies

dependent on the ‘innovating entrepreneur’ as defined by economist Joseph Schumpeter? The proposal will investigate and present an alternative history of the social use of technology and technological innovation in contemporary architecture. Through an analysis of the published texts and a series of interviews, I will attempt to illustrate how the aberrant creative process of the ‘innovating entrepreneur’ enlarges the palette of technological possibilities for the architect and demonstrates the usefulness of local invention and adaption. New materials, innovative construction technologies, educational models and social trends are the predominant themes. The portfolio of publications includes: the magazine column ‘McLean’s Nuggets’ which appeared in 30 separate issues of Architectural Design (AD) over a five-year period from 2005-2009; four books – one authored, two co-authored and one edited – as well as a collection of published essays and articles up to and including 2016. The collected works survey and explore atypical and innovative technologies in relation to architecture. The texts operate as outliers (provocations in some instances) and establish an expansive view of both the range and potential of technology and its application as a socially beneficial design tool.

Pneumatic Wall for Graffiti manifesto, William Alsop, 1973. [Picture Courtesy of aLL Design]

Research | PhD

Sarah Milne Supervisors: Dr John Bold, Professor Lindsay Bremner

City Space and Mercantile Guilds: Locating the London Estate of the Drapers’ Company, c. 1540-1640 Through a case study of the Drapers’ Company, this thesis examines the role London’s livery companies played in the built environment of the early modern city. Broadly, it is concerned with tracing institutional topographies of the city and the spatial processes which were worked out through these systems of governance. Specifically it investigates the Drapers as administrators, landlords and landowners in a critical period of livery company history. Much of the extant literature on the London guilds sidelines their significant role in the development of the post-reformation city and fails to engage with their extensive property records. However, my research situates the guilds as increasingly active agents in the built environment and also considers how this change was represented in the Company Hall. Pushing against the ‘Elizabethan silence’ as perceived by architectural historians, I demonstrate how the accelerated development of the Drapers’ urban estate was motivated by competing priorities of individual and corporate profit within the mercantile city. The thesis therefore contributes to debates surrounding the survival of London’s guilds in the face of substantive change and apparent decline by writing the livery companies back into the story of city space.

livery companies as a source for urban architectural histories as it is about the guilds’ role as co-producers of city space. In giving voice to the architecture of the early modern city and its inhabitants, it argues that architectural historians must broaden their view of appropriate methodologies and legitimate evidence in relation to the urban environment if it is to be accurately interpreted.

Notably, the starting point for the research was an unusual book of accounts relating to thirty-six dinners held in the sixteenth century Company Hall. The ‘Dinner Book’ served as an unconventional entry point into an exploration of over 300 diverse documents in the Drapers’ Archive. Taking such a holistic approach to the Archive, the study is as much about what can be achieved in utilising the records of London’s 110

‘Portrait of a Merchant’ by Jan Gossaert, c. 1530, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.

PhD | Research

Philippe Saleh Supervisors: Dr Christine Wall, Professor Lindsay Bremner

Towards Nearly Zero Energy Buildings in Lebanon: Bioclimatic Design and Experimental Strategies The research is located in Beirut, Lebanon, the home country of the author and has the following characteristics: long, hot and humid summers; short, mild winters; heavy-weight construction; chronic power shortage; and different construction guidelines issued by numerous local bodies. The aim of the research is to find the best performing construction material or combination of materials that would allow reduced energy usage in order to achieve acceptable comfort conditions in residential new builds. By doing so, the power demand from the already disabled supply grid will be reduced. In addition to that, building thermal studies are usually done in four distinct ways: (1) solely based on thermal software simulation; (2) based on a monitored building followed by a calibrated thermal model; based on actual constructed test cells which could be either (3) reduced in size, i.e., scaled models, or (4) built at full scale.

The Four Methodologies of Building Analysis

The objectives to reach the aims are as follows:  

1 To understand how the commonly used construction materials thermally behave within the climate of Beirut

2 To find out which materials or construction techniques fit best the Beirut climate

3 To assess the calibration issue, which is a major step in any computer-based thermal study and could be based on either temperature or energy data

4 To identify which of the four distinct methodologies is best for thermal studies

In line with the above objectives, the methodology for each is the following:  

1 Literature review on the thermal performance of concrete and masonry construction in residential buildings and typological applications in Lebanon

2 Fieldwork of existing case study buildings to characterise the thermal performance of current construction through comparative monitoring of various residential typologies

3 Computer based thermal modelling and simulation of monitored buildings for the purpose of calibration of generic typological and construction models

4 Physical modelling by building full scale test cells to test optimised building constructions; validate computer thermal models; and refine the calibration process

Research | PhD

Duarte Santo Supervisors: Dr. Davide Deriu, Professor Lindsay Bremner, Dr. Helen Farrell

Assembling (is)landscapes: Land, Sea and Tourism in Madeira Island One cannot address the island without addressing the sea. In fact, as Cyprian Broodbank put it, landscapes in small islands cannot be addressed without addressing ‘the continuum formed by land, sea and islanders’, or islandscapes. The production and consumption of landscapes is in direct relationship with the multiplicity of gazes projected on to them, in permanent negotiation between the gaze of the population who inhabits and develops their identity from and within the landscape, and that of the tourist, fugacious and conditioned by individual memory and expectations generated by the desire to travel/escape and experience otherness. Moved by the force of desire, the tourism industry strives to deliver just that – the postcard-perfect landscape – often producing a sense of the ideal that clashes with the understandings of landscape of the locals themselves, their pace and sense of place.

The research roves around the concept of islandscapes, exploring tourism and the tourist experience as components of a complex system of relations in the island of Madeira, Portugal. The overall aim is to investigate the interface between the material landscape of the island and its imaginary and symbolic representations through tourism and the tourist experience, attempting to understand the construction of imagined landscapes in Madeira. It will engage with the fields of Island and Tourism Studies and explore (component and systemic properties of) assemblage as a matrix for emergence, while exploring an alternative praxis in the design and management of the islandscapes of Madeira.

Exploring an expanded notion of landscape in islands, ‘Assembling (is)landscapes’ addresses the landscape as subjective territory, tourism as producer and consumer of landscapes and islands as multidimensional devices/ artefacts used to fulfil their needs through their virtual and physical territories and their manifestations.


Land, Sea and Tourism, towards a construction of (is)landcapes of Madeira

PhD | Research

Emilia Siandou Supervisors: Dr John Bold, Dr Davide Deriu, Dr Panayiota Pyla (University of Cyprus)

Modern Architecture in Cyprus as Heritage This PhD research deals with the examination of modern architecture in Cyprus as heritage. Recent scholarship regarding modern architecture in Cyprus has indicated the wealth and the complexity of this kind of heritage. The designation of several modern buildings within the last ten years constitutes a conquest of the promoters of the value of modern architecture. Nevertheless, with the gradual raising of awareness, the need to upgrade the existing heritage evaluation and protection methods, law, policies and

management strategies in order to be able to include the modern architectural heritage in a systematic way came to the fore. As today heritage is widely accepted as the source of important benefits to society, this research’s purpose is to pose the following question: Could a heritage valuebased approach for the modern architecture in Cyprus aid its protection and its mobilisation in favour of the construction of a peaceful and democratic society and the promotion of sustainable development? The consideration of heritage values has gradually shifted from the periphery to the epicentre of the conservation theory and practice over the last twenty years, in light of fundamental changes which have transformed the heritage field and have been characterised as the ‘new paradigm’. Objective of this study is the development of a documentation, assessment and monitoring tool which can be used to inform heritage decisions, policy and law for the identification, evaluation, study, interpretation, protection, conservation and management of the modern architectural heritage of Cyprus. The study aims to highlight the opportunities provided by the integration of new heritage data, as heritage values, in heritage conservation planning for the mobilisation of the modern architectural heritage in Cyprus as a strategic resource for sustainable development.

The Nicosia International Airport, one of the case studies examined within the framework of this PhD [© Press Information Office, Republic of Cyprus]

Research | PhD

Peter Silver Supervisors: Professor Lindsay Bremner, Professor Harry Charrington

On Engineering Architecture: Contributions to an Understanding of Building Science and Architectural Technology by Three Publications To engineer architecture, architects employ science in order to understand its structural and environmental performance, and apply technology in order to assemble it. This paper provides a commentary on the material that the author has contributed as joint-author of three published titles in this field. Although the role of the architect has changed/evolved even within the author’s lifetime, the relationship between engineering science, construction technology and the design of the built environment has been at the core of architectural practice throughout history. Vitruvius commenced The Ten Books on Architecture with a chapter on ‘The Education of The Architect’, where he states: ‘The architect should be equipped with knowledge of many branches of study and varied kinds of learning, for it is by this judgement that all work done by the other arts is put to the test’.1 Vitruvius proceeds to explain and differentiate between practice and theory with the need for an architect to ‘have a thorough knowledge of both’.

across the three publications; and this is followed by a discussion of the underlying research contexts – the history and current state of technical specialisation in architecture; the importance of classification and information design; the pedagogic context – and how these were addressed by the publications. Since the commentary is concerned with three separate publications – as opposed to a trilogy – the author’s contributions to a missing understanding of the relationship between architecture, engineering science and construction technology is then summarised as their overall contribution to knowledge. 1

p  .5: Vitruvius: The Ten Books on Architecture [trans. M. H. Morgan] (New York: Dover Publications), 1960

The PhD commences with a summary of the key questions identified by the author, and hence the aims of the publications. It continues with a section on the methodologies adopted by the author for research into the content and assembly of information


Analytical Table of Mechanical Movements published by Harris and Mills, London, derived from the book of the same name (1830)

PhD | Research

John Walter Supervisors: Professor Lindsay Bremner, Dr Victoria Watson, Dr Francis White

Alien Sex Club: Using Art and Design to Educate Audiences about Continuing Rates of HIV Transmission Alien Sex Club is a practice-based PhD that addresses current modes of representation of HIV in art which grew out of the minimalist aesthetic developed during the earlier part of the AIDS crisis by artists such as Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Today, however, it is acknowledged that HIV is an interconnected web of problems that should be represented in a holistic way. Rates of HIV transmission are increasing among gay men in the West. HIV is no longer a life threatening illness due to the availability of highly effective antiretroviral drugs. A resulting decrease in the perception of risk, leading to condom fatigue, unprotected sex and recreational drug use may be some of a number of factors that are contributing to the increase in transmissions. Despite changes in the cultural, social and scientific context of HIV, artistic representations of the subject

have remained the same as those originated before effective treatment was available. In this PhD, I use art and architecture and draw from contemporary scientific and political approaches in ways that differ from previous modes of representation, to raise new questions about HIV. Alien Sex Club seeks to re-politicise art as an arena for addressing HIV by mobilising a range of visual and aesthetic genres in a curated installation. This takes the form of a cruise maze that addresses the complexity of contemporary HIV problems in an academic context. It makes use of spatial design and a maximalist aesthetic to update the representation of HIV. It transposes knowledge about HIV from science, sociology and philosophy into a visual art practice. It uses live art in the form of hospitality and fortune telling in order to question the existing conventions of the art gallery and engage audiences to consider HIV in new ways. It uses autoethnography, a qualitative research method drawn from the social sciences, to theorise the methodology of its making. The installation is used as a test site for gathering data of audience responses, which are subjected to textual analysis. In these ways, Alien Sex Club operates as a counter discourse to the prevailing minimalist representations of HIV. The PhD generates knowledge about how to educate audiences on continuing rates of HIV transmission and extends understandings of the nature of the artist as activist.

Pugvirus, inflatable sculpture, installed at The Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, 2015

Research | AmbikaP3


Ambika P3 provides a platform for research, being both a laboratory to develop new work and the place in which the outcome is disseminated. Here multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary research can flourish. Our closest relationships are with WSMAD and fABE, and with many external partners.

by Heather Blair, Ambika P3 hosted the London Contemporary Music Festival LCMF2015. Seven diverse performances were staged over seven days, to sell-out audiences. LCMF is a not-for-profit multidisciplinary arts commissioning agency specialising in music and performance.

In 2015 we presented Chantal Akerman NOW in collaborative partnership with A Nos Amours and the Marian Goodman Gallery, curated by Michael Mazière, Reader in Film and Video in WSMAD. This major exhibition of work by the internationally celebrated filmmaker and artist, was the first largescale exhibition in the UK and coincided with the UK premiere of No Home Movie at Regent Street Cinema. Tragically the artist died before the show opened. The curators ensured with painstaking loyalty, that this serve as an amazing and moving tribute. Adrian Searle, art critic of the Guardian, named the exhibition in his top 10 exhibitions in 2015 internationally.

An increased number of commercial lettings in the year affirmed our links with London’s booming creative industries. The range from alumna Vivien Westwood’s new collection launched in Fashion Week with an anti-austerity theme, to Twitter’s celebration of their tenth anniversary. The commercial area, managed by Niall Carter, negotiated an agreement with neighbours the Royal Academy of Music to stage Gavin Bryars’ Titanic and Rimsky-Korsakov’s May Night.

The year started with Under a multi-screen installation on the art of free diving by Martina Amati. In this film, the artist and BAFTA awardwinning filmmaker returns to her love of free diving. In a stunning beautiful installation, visitors could share the experience and practice the skill of holding your breath! In a new partnership, arranged

Future events include an exciting exhibition that will reveal the creative practice of design and architecture including landscape, in November 2016. In early March 2017, an exhibition of artists engaging with the University of Cambridge’s research project entitled Casebooks. Throughout the year there will a series of short bookings devoted to research development. Professor Katharine Heron Director

(top) Chantal Akerman: NOW (2015) [photographer: Michael Mazière]

(centre right) Chantal Akerman: In the Mirror (2007) [photographer: David Freeman]

(centre left) Ellen Fullman: London Contemporary Music Festival (2015) [photographer: Dimitri Djuric]

(bottom) Martina Amati: Under (2015) [photographer: David Freeman]


Department of Architecture | Publications

Studio as Book

Studio as Book is a new series of publications by the Department of Architecture to tender the extraordinary creative work undertaken in the Department of Architecture’s Part 1 and Part 2 architecture design studios – in detail. The series will include undergraduate and graduate level work, and is intended to sit alongside the Architecture department’s OPEN Exhibition and catalogue. Each book in the series will cover the work of a design

studio over the course of at least two years. They will record, archive and present the pedagogical programme and creative student outputs of a design studio; position the work of a design studio within a broader intellectual, scientific or aesthetic field; advance the design-driven research being undertaken in a design studio; and provide a reference for future iterations and variations of that studio.

Studio as Book books are available for purchase at and other online bookstores.

  Available now   Studio as Book No. 1

Architecture, Energy, Matter: DS18, 2013-2015 Edited by Lindsay Bremner & Roberto Bottazzi

  Forthcoming in 2016   Studio as Book No. 2 Dialogic Designs: DS3, 2012-2015

Edited by Constance Lau

  Forthcoming in 2017   Studio as Book No. 3 The Intrinsic and Extrinsic City: DS11, 2008-2014 Edited by Andrew Peckham & Dusan Decermic

  Studio as Book No. 4 Here Comes Everybody (or Teaching Architecture by Chance): DS15, 2013-2016 Edited by Kester Rattenbury & Sean Griffiths


Publications | Department of Architecture

Department of Architecture | Awards

Robin Partington & Partners (RPP) Material Practice Awards

As part of the second annual RPP awards, four students from the Department of Architecture were generously awarded Scholarship prizes of £1000 (each or for a team) from architectural practice Robin Partington and Partners (RPP). Two second year BA architecture students, Zaidoon Adel and Asa Vassallo received a prize for their ‘Bending Concrete’ project, and two first year MArch architecture students received prizes; Andreea-Laura Nica for ‘Scherk’s Minimal Surface’ and Mihai Chiriac for his ‘Elasticity’ project. Second year degree student Kiril Georgiev was also awarded a prize as part of the scholarship scheme, and he will receive the prize on his return from the exchange programme in New Zealand. Four of the winners presented their projects to staff and directors of RPP including alumnus Yashin Kemal and were joined by Will McLean and Scott Batty from the Department of Architecture.


Students presenting their work at RPP’s Studio

Awards | Department of Architecture

James Phillips Architectural Travel Prize The James Phillips Architectural Travel Prize was set up in memory of James Phillips, a partner at Make Architects, and enrolled as a student on the Westminster Part 3 Course, who tragically died aged 27 on Sunday 21st September 2014. In 2015 the James Phillips Foundation, was established as a charity in memory of James, and the Foundation has generously sponsored a prize of ÂŁ1000 per annum

for a Westminster architecture student in memory of James. The inaugural prize was awarded in June to Architecture MArch student Zhini Poh. As James cared about architecture and common space, photography and travel, the prize is being set up to facilitate travel and to promote photographic recording and analysis of public space. The photographs will be archived on the James Phillips Foundation website.

The Wates Family Enterprise Trust The Wates Scholarships are being offered to students studying within the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment at the University of Westminster. Ten undergraduate students will be awarded ÂŁ2000 each year for the duration of the course to assist towards their living costs as ABE students.

Photographs taken by James Phillips on his travels

Through their philanthropic giving, the Wates Family is committed to attracting and retaining students who are from lower-income families, helping to support and nurture more talented students to go on to shape the world of work through disciplines of architecture, planning and urban design.

Department of Architecture | Facilities

Fabrication Laboratory

The Fabrication Laboratory has completed its first full year after opening in April 2015. It has multiplied many times the space available for digital fabrication and has given the Department of Architecture and Built Environment a raft of new machines and manufacturing possibilities. This year we have been busy assimilating this rapid growth, building the technician team and introducing programmes to introduce the new technologies into our design studios and courses. We are seeing the results now in the range and quality of our students’ built-work, evident we hope in the present catalogue. We will continue to develop the lab next year and plan for the next few years to build on this new faculty investment in our making capabilities.

fabrication festival held in Ambika P3. Over fifty teams built innovative 1:1 pavilions from cardboard, Correx and other lightweight materials. Collectively, the pavilions formed the architecture for a fantastic urban summer festival which opened to the public on 2nd July. FAB FEST was a highly collaborative event with teams joining us from India, China, USA, Italy and Turkey, and professionals from over twenty architecture and engineering practices acting as design mentors for many of the Westminster teams. The festival was enjoyed by many, young and old, providing inspiration for current as well as future generations of architects. We hope to repeat the event next year, and welcome applications to participate.

As well as new possibilities for models, building components, prototypes and material experiments, the lab also expands the scale of what we can build. To make the most of this new opportunity, this year saw the launch of FAB FEST, an international

We want particularly to thank the Quintin Hogg Trust and DS Smith for their generous support with funding and materials for FAB FEST.

David Scott


Fab Fest 2016

Facilities | Department of Architecture

Department of Architecture | Staff



Zeljka Abramovic

Linda Clarke

Isabel Frost

Yota Adilenidou

Robin Crompton

Tina Frost

Wilfred Achille

Paul Crosby

Colin Gleeson

Yota Adilenidou

Ruth Cuenca

Nasser Golzari

Gayle Appleyard

Beth Cullen

Jon Goodbun

Alessandro Ayuso

Claire Dale-Lace

Sean Griffiths

Peter Barber

Miriam Dall’Igna

Eric Guibert

Scott Batty

Rita Darch

Michael Guy

Iain Blyth

Andrew Dawes

Susannah Hagan

Stefania Boccaletti

Corinna Dean

Wilfred Hampel

John Bold

Darren Deane

Rachel Harding

Roberto Bottazzi

Dusan Decermic

Catherine Hennessy

Anthony Boulanger

Davide Deriu

Katharine Heron

Eva Branscombe

Richard Difford

Andrzej Hewanicki

Lindsay Bremner

Orsalia Dimitriou

Gaby Higgs

Stephen Brookhouse

Julia Dwyer

Adam Holloway

Terence Brown

John Edwards

Edward Ihejirika

Toby Burgess

Anthony Engi Meacock

Bruce Irwin

Clare Carter

Bill Erickson

Steve Jensen

Ian Chalk

Elantha Evans

Dan Jessen

Harry Charrington

Stephanie Fischer

Andrei Jipa

Paul Chatham

Jonathan Fisher

Gwyn Jones

Alain Chiaradia

Theeba Franklin

Kate Jordan

Staff | Department of Architecture

Gabriel Kakanos

Natalie Newey

Duarte Santo

Juan Vallejo

Ripin Kalra

John O’Shea

Shahed Saleem

Maria Veltcheva

Krystallia Kamvasinou

Samir Pandya

Rosa Schiano-Phan

Michele Vianello

Joe King

Harry Paticas

Jonathan Schofield

Filip Visnjic

Maria Kramer

Amanda Pawliszyn

David Scott

Christine Wall

Debby Kuypers

Andrew Peckham

Rob Scott

Elly Ward

Gillian Lambert

Ruby Ray Penny

Yara Sharif

Richard Warwick

Constance Lau

Emma Perkin

Neal Shasore

Richard Watson

Dirk Lellau

Caroline Phillips

Gabby Shawcross

Victoria Watson

Chris Leung

Catherine Phillips

Gordon Shrigley

Zhenzhou Weng

Alison Low

Sue Phillips

Jeanne Sillett

Jason White

Gwyn Lloyd Jones

Stuart Piercy

Pete Silver

Emma Whiting

Tony Lloyd-Jones

Juan PiĂąol

Giles Smith

Andrew Whiting

Michael MacNamara

Alicia Pivaro

Ro Spankie

Camilla Wilkinson

Jane Madsen

David Porter

Afolabi Spence

Elizabeth Wilks

David Mathewson

Anthony Powis

Douglas Spencer

Julian Williams

Arthur Mamou-Mani

Virginia Rammou

Manos Stellakis

Mike Wilson

Andrei Martin

Kester Rattenbury

Joanne Stevens

Johan Woltjer

Will McLean

Tom Raymont

Bernard Stilwell

Nick Wood

Alison McLellan

Lara Rettondini

Ben Stringer

Andrew Yau

Clare Melhuish

Paul Richens

Allan Sylvester

Alessandro Zambelli

Sarah Milne

Marion Roberts

Jane Tankard

John Zhang

Richa Mukhia

Michael Rose

Louise Thomas

Fiona Zisch

Department of Architecture | Architectural Practice Links

Practice Links 2016


Erect Architecture

Lynch Architects

Sean and Stephen

aLL Design

Eric Parry Architects


Seda Zirek Design


ETH Zurich

Michael Sorkin Studio

SKM Architects


Exploration Architecture

Morph Structures

Square Feet Architects


Fielden Fowles

MRA Architects



Format Engineers

Natasha Reid Studio

Studio Bark

Atelier Chang

Foster and Partners


Studio Ben Allen



Nissen Richards Studio

Studio X Design Group


Gianni Botsford Architects


Tate Harmer Architects

Birds Portchmouth Russum Architects

Grimshaw & Partners

Optima Projects


Bradley Van Der Straeten Architects

Hayhurst & Co

Penoyre + Prasad


Honey Architecture

Peter Barber Architects


Houchell Studio

PLP Architecture

Waind Gohil Potter

Hut Architecture


Wandle HA

Isokon Plus

Public Works

Wates Construction


Rammed Earth Consulting

West Architecture

Johannes Torpe Studio

Robin Partington & Partners

Wilkinson Eyre Architects


Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

Witherford Wason Mann



Brinkworth Buro Happold Collective Works DaeWha Kang Design DSDHA East ech2o EDICCT


Karakusevic Carson Architects Lama Studio Lucy O’Riley


YO2 Architects

We wish to thank the following organisations for their support:




PG 2016

PG 2016


University of Westminster 35 Marylebone Road London NW1 5LS Tel 020 7911 5000 x3165


Department of Architecture

PG 2016

PG 2016  

University of Westminster School of Architecture Postgraduate Catalogue 2015-2016

PG 2016  

University of Westminster School of Architecture Postgraduate Catalogue 2015-2016