School of Architecture & Design Research at UCA

The School of Architecture & Design is home to a vibrant research culture.

Founded in 1952, the school’s research directly informs both teaching and professional practice in the field. Led by Professor Colin Holden, research extends across a range of subject areas including spatial analysis; the social and political production of the built environment, expanded spatial practices and digital fabrication.


Our Projects

In four public art projects, Gabor Stark explored the overlaps between architecture, installation and sculpture, and investigated how collaborative art practice can positively impact the creation of civic urban realms. This practice-led research contributes to theoretical and professional discourse about the role of the arts in urban regeneration and participatory placemaking.

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Research exploring the feasibility of using data-fusion, mobile devices, and digital fabrication to create physical, location-specific artefacts.

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The Isovist app, created by Sam McElhinney, is a free software tool that helps students and practitioners to learn and adopt spatial analysis techniques. The software can be used at all levels, from undergraduate study to advanced research, or in design practice, and is available for download from The research has made a significant contribution to developing the design processes of individual professionals, and enhanced the way in which practices communicate with clients.

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Mutual City is a collaborative teaching and research agenda for just, equitable models of social, spatial production.

Sci Fi Vernaculars is an ecological practice-based research project that includes the design and build of two pavilions at UCA Canterbury. The Geodesic Dome (2017) and the Forest Table (2018) both explored the relation between machine fabricated materials and hand worked elements, including the sourcing of local sapling wood from nearby Blean Woods. Both pavilions were collaborations with second year Interior Architecture, MA Architecture and MA Interior Design Students at UCA


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Explore more projects

Head to our UCA Research Online platform to browse all our School of Architecture & Design research projects.


PhD Students

  • Pierre Shaw - Critical design praxis: creating conditions and pedagogies of support
  • Pingwei Gong - A Study on the impact of interior design on social value