learning architecture


a PhD in live projects and architectural education

In Manchester

Last time I was in Manchester, I got (metaphorically) legless at a wedding. This time,  a few days later, it seems a Mancunian has become legless (completely unmetaphorically) before a wedding. Tragic.

I’m in town at The Manchester Architecture Research Centre‘s Politics of Design conference for the next two days. Assorted ruminations due shortly.

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Field: Let loose the loganberries of war. No really, you can let them loose now

Six months ago I plugged an article co-written by myself and Tom Warren entitled Let loose the Loganberries of war: making noise and occupying space in Govanhill, which had just been ‘published’ in volume 3 number 1 of the peer-reviewed journal Field. Due to technical difficulties, it hasn’t been available for download until now. (pdf)

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Seminar: mediating reality: live projects and architectural education

Oops. Not too hot on the self-promotion here. As part of my duties to CBER, my research cluster at Queen’s, I’ll be delivering a seminar on my research tomorrow afternoon (Friday 11 June) at 15h00 in Seminar Room 2 of the David Keir Building. It’ll be a nice gentle meander through ’til four o’clock which, depending on your outlook, could be an acceptable Friday evening going-home-time.

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Video: Requiem for Detroit

I shan’t ask how, but the entirity of Julien Temple’s 2010 film Requiem for Detroit has made its way from BBC Television and onto YouTube. Although my work here hasn’t led to many concerted explorations of postmodern studies, I’m fascinated by Detroit – perhaps the only postmodern American city.

If, like me, you combine passions for automobile design with architecture, urbanism, race / gender studies and urban agriculture, you should find 75 minutes of your time to watch this.

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Apply now: RIBA Research Trust Awards

Later this year, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) will be making up to four awards of up to £7,500 each to support early-career researchers. If you’re interested, follow the link. The deadline is in less than three weeks.

Official release:

RIBA Research Trust Awards have been offered since 2009 following a mergence of the Modern Architecture and Town Planning Trust and the Historical Research Trust.

The scheme is administered by the RIBA Education Department is open to applicants interested in a wide range of subject matter relevant to the advancement of architecture, and the arts and sciences connected therewith, in the United Kingdom. Applications from outside the United Kingdom may be submitted; however, the research work must in the main be undertaken within the United Kingdom. The supervisor must be domiciled in the United Kingdom. Project proposals where research is carried out outside the UK will be accepted only in exceptional circumstances.

In 2010 four awards not exceeding £7,500 each will be made.

The primary objective of the awards scheme is to help graduates at the beginning of their career further understand the role of research. It is hoped that a number of recipients will go on to be accomplished researchers in the architectural field.

RIBA Research Trust Awards are awarded for a closely defined piece of architectural research and are not available to pay course fees and subsistence costs whilst enrolled on PhD/MPhil or Masters programmes.

The closing date for submitting complete applications is Friday, 25 June 2010.

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This just in via the weekly QUB Students’ Union newsletter, reporting crime statistics relating to students at Queen’s.

Off Campus Discipline Statistics: 1 August 2009 to 14 May 2010

243 Queen’s Students disciplined for anti-social behaviour

£7,425 worth of fines were imposed during the period

173 warnings were imposed during the period

40% were first years

33% were second years

17% were third years

No word on the cleaner-than-clean postgraduate community, then.

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About the project

learning architecture is an academic blog of James Benedict Brown, previously a doctoral candidate in architectural pedagogy at the School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering at Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland. James passed his viva in September 2012 and graduated the following December.

About the author

James Benedict Brown has worked and studied in England, Northern Ireland, France and Canada. Following the completion of his PhD at QUB, he was appointed Lecturer in Architecture at Norwich University of the Arts. A short bio is here.

About the supervisors

The project is supervised by Prof. Ruth Morrow and Keith McAllister. Prior to his appointment at Qatar University in 2009, Prof. Ashraf Salama also supervised the project.


Click here for the bibliography to date.


Click here for a selection of peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed writing.


Click here for a glossary-in-progress of key terms used in the project.

Conference diary

Conferences and seminars of interest to the project.


All images are used for illustrative purposes only, and the copyright remains with the artist and/or creator. Please contact me if I have misappropriated an image or incorrectly credited it.


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