School of Architecture


  • Place, Culture and Identity Research Group

    Space and architecture are shaped by the culture and the identities of communities as much as those communities are shaped by their perception and use of space and architecture. Members of the group investigate this dynamic dialectical relationship from different disciplinary perspectives, including architecture, anthropology, urban conservation and history. Focusing on different types of places in various parts of the world (including urban, rural, contemporary, historic and vernacular ones), they aim to gain a better theoretical understanding of both the nature of the process of place-making and the way it dialectically relates to aspects of culture, identity, aesthetics, memory, tradition, representation and architectural practice.

  • Research themes

    Anthropology of Architecture

    Staff working on the theme of anthropology of architecture set out to provide an understanding of the social and cultural importance of architecture, as well as of the characteristics of an anthropological approach to its study.

    See projects »

    Architecture and Conflict

    The work of this research group investigates the impact that conflict has on the production and perception of architecture, space and place making, as well as the effects that architecture, space and place have on conflict.

    See projects »

    Histories of People and Places

    Researchers working under this theme are collectively investigating the relationship between people and places across several continents, spanning the period from the seventeenth to the twenty-first century.

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    Urban Conservation and Regeneration

    The work of this research group focuses on the conservation, regeneration and management of the historic built environment.

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    Therapeutic Environments

    Staff working on the theme of ‘Therapeutic Environments’ evaluate the effects of the built environment on people and the contributions of architecture and interior design to well-being.

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    Paul Oliver Vernacular Architecture Library

    This is a unique multi-disciplinary collection of books dealing with vernacular architecture worldwide. Collected over a period of more than 50 years by Professor Paul Oliver, it includes works by architects, geographers, architectural and art historians, planners, folklorists, archaeologists, conservationists and anthropologists.

    Go to Library »


    External links

    Recent publications


    • Maudlin, D. & Vellinga, M, 2014,Consuming Architecture. London: Routledge
    • Webster, Helena, 2010 Pierre Bourdieu for Architects. London: Routledge
    • Piquard, B. & Grindsted, A. (eds), 2009 Cities and Crises. Bilbao, Spain: Universitad de Deusto Press
    • Mikellides, Byron, 2009, Colour for Architecture Today (editor, with Tom Porter), Taylor & Francis, London
    • Orbasli, Aylin, 2008 Architectural Conservation: Principles and Practice. Oxford: Blackwell
    • Vellinga, Marcel; Oliver, Paul & Bridge, Alex, 2007 Atlas of Vernacular Architecture of the World. London and New York: Routledge
    • Swenarton, M, Troiani, I. & Webster, H. (eds), 2007 The Politics of Making. London: Routledge
    • Oliver, P, 2006 Built to meet needs: cultural issues in vernacular architecture. London: Architectural press
    • Vellinga, M & Asquith, L (eds), 2006 Vernacular Architecture in the 21st Century: Theory, Education, and Practice. London and New York: Taylor & Francis
    • Piquard, B. & Gibbons, P. (eds), 2006 Working in conflict, working on conflict. Bilbao, Spain: Universitad de Deusto Press
    • Vellinga, M, 2004 Constituting Unity and Difference: Vernacular Architecture in a Minangkabau Village. Leiden: KITLV Press
    • Oliver, P, 2003 Dwellings; the vernacular house worldwide. London: Phaidon
    • Orbasli, Aylin, 2000Tourists in Historic Towns: Urban Conservation and Heritage Management. London: E & FN Spon.
    • Oliver, P (ed), 1997 Encyclopedia of vernacular architecture of the world. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 3 volumes

    Articles and book chapters

    • Orbaşlı, A. (2013) ‘Archaeological Site Management and Local Development’ Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites, 15 (3-4), pp. 237-53.
    • Beech, Nick. (2013). Groundworks: Constructing Everyday Life at the South Bank 1948. In: Ákos Moravánszky, Christian Schmid, Lukasz Stanek (eds), After the Urban Revolution London: Ashgate.
    • Webster, H. (2013). On the Other Side of Sorrow: Reimagining the Highland Longhouse. TDSR, Vol. XXV, No. 1, pp. 59-70.
    • Vellinga, Marcel. (2013) The Noble Vernacular, The Journal of Architecture 18(4), pp570-590.
    • Vellinga, Marcel. (2013) 'Built to meet needs': Paul Oliver and the study of vernacular architecture. In: M. Correia, G. Carlos and S Rocha (eds), Vernacular Heritage and Earthen Architecture: Contributions for Sustainable Development, Boca Raton, CRC Press, pp. 3-8.
    • Carless, Tonia. (2013). An Architectural Gleaning. In: Cairns, G. (ed.) Reinventing Architecture and Interiors - a socio-political view on building adaptation, Oxford : Libri Publishing, pp. 157-175.
    • Beech, Nick. (2012). Demolition Figures: The appearance and expression of the mattockman and topman in lcc contracts, 1941–1951, arq, vol. 16, no. 3, 245–52.
    • Beech, Nick. (2012). ‘Et tu, Peter? Some kinds of real–(and not so) politik at the Festival of Britain’, in Mathew Aitchison and John Macarthur (ed.) Townscape, a special issue of Journal of Architecture, vol. 17, no. 5 (2012), 747–62.
    • Mikellides, Byron, 2012, ‘Colour psychology: The emotional effects of colour perception’, in Janet Best (ed.), Colour Design Theories and Applications, pp 105-129.
    • Piquard, B & Swenarton, M. (2011). Learning from architecture and conflict. Piquard, B. & Swenarton, M. (eds) Architecture and Conflict, Journal of Architecture, Taylor & Francis; London.
    • Vellinga, Marcel. (2011). The end of the vernacular: Anthropology and the architecture of the Other Etnofoor 23(1), 171-192.
    • Carless, Tonia. (2011). The Productive Space of Drawing Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and Extra Urban Studies, Volume 1, issue 1 Common Ground Publishing, USA, ISSN: 2152-7857. Associate Editor Volume 1, Issue 2.
    • Vellinga, Marcel & Foruzanmehr, A. (2011). Vernacular Architecture: Questions of comfort and practicability. Building Research & Information 39(3), 274-285.
    • Troiani, Igea. (2010). An Architectural Genogram: Writing Architectural history based on the transfer of Social Capital' The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences.
    • Webster, Helena. (2010). Assessing Design Quality in Architectural Education' Sharr, A. et al (eds) Quality out of Control: Standards for measuring architecture. London: Routledge.
    • Vellinga, Marcel. (2010). Marked off: On taboos in architecture. Perspecta 43, 4-13.
    • Carless, Tonia. (2010). Reclaiming Public Space: A Critical Architecture. Occupation: Negotiations with Constructed Space. The University of Brighton Publication and CD, ISBN: 978-1-905593-73-6 978-1-905593-74-3 2010
    • Troiani, Igea. (2010). Stirling's Worth: The Florey building, Oxford' Sharr, A. et al (eds) Quality out of Control: Standards for Measuring Architecture, London: Routledge, pp. 137-147.
    • Orbasli, Aylin. (2009). 'Conservation of Coral Buildings on Saudi Arabia's Red Sea Coast' Journal of Architectural Conservation, 15(1) pp. 49-64.
    • Piquard, Brigitte. (2009). Gated Populations; Walled Territories. Impacts on the Notion of Space and on Coping Mechanisms in the case of the West Bank Wall? Piquard, B. & Grindsted, A. (eds) Cities and Crises, Universitad de Deusto Press, Bilbao, Spain.
    • Vellinga, Marcel. (2009). Going beyond the mud hut and noble vernacular: The need for tradition in sustainable development. Space Magazine, vol. 493.
    • Piquard, Brigitte. (2009). Gli umanitaristi e la guerra: scommesse intorno alla nozione di spazio umanitario? Calloni M., Umanizzare l'umanitarismo? Milano, Italy, pp. 147-156.
    • Orbasli, A & Woodward, S. (2009). 'Tourism and Heritage Conservation' Handbook of Tourism Studies, (eds T. Jamal and M. Robinson), Sage, London.
    • Mikellides, Byron, 2008, ‘The love affair between psychology and architecture’, in Jane Wernick (ed.), Building Happiness: Architecture to Make you Smile, pp 86-97.
    • Vellinga, Marcel. (2008). Adjusting the popular image: Diversity and dynamics in Minangkabau vernacular architecture. R. Schefold et al. (eds), Indonesian Houses, vol. 2, Leiden: KITLV Press.
    • Orbasli, A. & Woodward, S. (2008). 'A Railway Route as a Linear Heritage Attraction: the Hijaz Railway in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia' Journal of Heritage Tourism, 3(3) pp. 159-175.
    • Webster, Helena. (2008). Architectural education after Schon: cracks, blurs and boundaries. Journal for Education in the Built Environment.
    • Beech, Nick. (2008). Telling Places A special issue of Multi: The RIT Journal of Diversity & Plurality in Design, vol. 2, no. 1.
    • Vellinga, Marcel. (2008). Tradition or modernity: Vulnerability, cultural choices and the vernacular. Numan, I. et al. (eds), Medi-Triology: Coastal Settlements, Culture and Conservation in the Mediterranean Basin. Eastern Mediterranean University, Famagusta.
    • Vellinga, Marcel., Troiani, Igea. (2008). Viva Stirling's Florey building' Van den Heuvel, D. et al (eds.) (2008) The Challenge of Change: Dealing with the Legacy of the Modern Movement, Amsterdam: IOS Press, pp.121-126.
    • Vellinga, Marcel. (2007). Anthropology and the materiality of architecture. American Ethnologist. vol. 32 (4).
    • Troiani, Igea. (2007). Architectural history, friendship and filmed conversations. J Rendell et al (2007), Critical Architecture, London: Routledge.
    • Webster, Helena. (2007). Auschwitz State Museum: collective memory and the contested landscape. Swenarton, M., Troiani, I. and H Webster (eds) The Politics of Making: Theory, Practice, Product. London: Routledge. pp.208-220.
    • Piquard, Brigitte. (2007). Islamic Humanitarianism: Past and Present Perceptions of Da'wah, Jihad and Relief, Gemelli, G. (ed.) Religions and Philanthropy, Global Issues in Historical Perspective. Baskerville, Bologna, pp. 267-295.
    • Piquard, Brigitte. (2007). Paintings, Murals and Graffiti on the West Bank Wall: Coping Mechanisns and acts of Resilience Van Teeffelen T; (ed.), Challenging the Wall, Towards a Pedagogy of Hope, Culture and Palestine Series. Bethlehem, OPT, pp. 111-120.
    • Webster, Helena. (2007). The analytics of power: re-presenting the design jury. Journal of Architectural Education.
    • Vellinga, Marcel. (2007). The inventiveness of tradition: Vernacular architecture and the future. Perspectives in Vernacular Architecture. vol. 14 (2).
    • Orbasli, Aylin. Piquard, Brigitte. (2007). The Politics of the West Bank Wall: Symbolic Violence and Spaciocide, Swenarton M., Troiani I., Webster H. (eds.), The Politics of Making. Routledge, London and New York, pp. 25-35.
    • Orbasli, Aylin. (2007). Training Conservation Professionals in the Middle East Built Environment. 33(3), pp. 307-322.
    • Orbasli, Aylin. (2007). Tourism and the Islamic Town: social change, conservation and tourism in traditional settlements Travellers, Pilgrims and Traders: Tourism in the Middle East (ed. R. Daher) Channel View, pp. 161-187.
    • Vellinga, Marcel. (2006). Engaging the future: Vernacular architecture studies in the 21st century. L. Asquith and M. Vellinga (eds.), Vernacular Architecture in the 21st Century: Theory, Education, and Practice. London and New York: Taylor & Francis.
    • Troiani, Igea. (2006). Deserved Exposure: Stuart McIntosh's Architecture, 1953-63 Fabrications. 16, 2: 28-43.
    • Webster, Helena. (2006). A Foucauldian look at the design jury. Art, Design & Communication in Higher Education.
    • Piquard, Brigitte. (2006). De la mondialisation de la violence: violence politique, conflit armé et culture de guerre in 'Revista de Estudios Jurídicos' Monográfico la crisis des Estado-Nación : El fenómeno supranacional y autonómica'. 7/2006, Jaén, Spain, pp 407-426.
    • Piquard, Brigitte. (2006). Towards a Better Understanding of the Culture and Heritage of War, Working in Conflict, Working on Conflict. Gibbons P. & Piquard B., Universidad de Deusto Press, pp. 171-188.
    • Piquard, Brigitte. (2005). Nation-building in Afghanistan: War Heritage and Sustainable Peace process. In: Fischer, H & Quenivet, N. 'Post-Conflict Reconstruction: Nation- and or State-Building', Bochumer Schriften zur Friedenssicherung und zum humanitären Völkerrecht. Berlin, pp. 65–93.
    • Troiani, Igea. (2005). Writing architectural history as documentary The Journal of Architecture. 10, 3: 275-284.
    • Troiani, Igea. (2005). From Bauhaus to the Queensland house: Legacies of Hayes and Scott' Andrew Wilson (ed), Hayes & Scott: Post-war houses. University of Queensland Press: St. Lucia, pp. 92-101
    • Vellinga, Marcel & van der Beek, Zita. (2005). Man the collector: Salvaging Andamanese and Nicobarese culture through objects. Journal of the History of Collections. vol. 17.
    • Vellinga, Marcel. (2005). Anthropology and the challenges of sustainable architecture. Anthropology Today. vol. 21.
    • Orbasli, Aylin. (2005). 'Guidelines for Preparing Management Plans for Prehistoric Sites' Mediterranean Prehistoric Heritage: Training, Education and Management (eds. I. Hodder & L. Doughty) Cambridge: McDonald Institute Monograph.
    • Doughty, L and Orbasli, A. (2005). 'Visitor Management at Prehistoric Sites' Mediterranean Prehistoric Heritage: Training, Education and Management (eds. I. Hodder & L. Doughty) Cambridge: McDonald Institute Monograph.
    • Vellinga, Marcel. (2004). A family affair: The construction of vernacular Minangkabau houses. Indonesia and the Malay World, vol. 32 (92).
    • Vellinga, Marcel. (2004). Sustainable architecture in an age of gentle apocalypse. Building Research & Information, vol. 32 (4).
    • Orbasli, A and Shaw, S. (2004). Transport and Visitors in Historic Cities' Tourism and Transport: Issues and Agendas for the New Millennium, (ed. L.M. Lumsdon & S.J. Page) Amsterdam: Elsevier, pp. 93-104.
    • Piquard, Brigitte. (2004). Understanding the Afghan Conflict Heritage: A Key for Sustainable Processes of Peace Settlement and Rehabilitation? Humanitäres Völkerrecht. Jahrgang 17, Helf 2, Berlin, pp. 73-78.
    • Vellinga, Marcel. (2003). Drawing boundaries: Vernacular architecture and maps. Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review. vol. 14 (2).
    • Vellinga, Marcel. (2003). The attraction of the house: Architecture, status and ethnicity in West Sumatra. P.J.M. Nas and G. Persoon (eds.), Framing Indonesian Realities: Essays in Symbolic Anthropology. Leiden: KITLV Press.
    • Vellinga, Marcel. (2003). The use of houses in a competition for status: The case of Abai Sangir. R. Schefold, P.J.M. Nas, and G. Domenig (eds.), Indonesian Houses: Tradition and Transformation in Vernacular Architecture. Leiden: KITLV Press.
    • Oliver, Paul. (2003). Technology transfer: A vernacular view. R.J. Cole and R. Lorch (eds), Buildings, Culture and Environment, Blackwell Science; Oxford.
    • Williams, J. (2000). Tools for achieving sustainable housing strategies in rural Gloucestershire. Planning Practice & Research 15 (3), pp.155-174. 
    • Smith, H. (1990). Innovation at large. In: James, S., (ed.) Science and innovation.  Manchester: Novon, pp. 46-50.

    Conference papers


    • Built to meet needs: Paul Oliver and the study of vernacular architecture. ICOMOS-CIAV 2013, Portugal, Vellinga, Marcel 2013
    • New Vernacular Architecture. 6th International Seminar on Vernacular Settlements, Eastern Mediterranean University, Cyprus. Vellinga, Marcel 2012
    • Vernacular architecture: What next? New Light on Vernacular Architecture Studies in Britain, Ireland and the Isle of Man, University of Liverpool. Vellinga, Marcel 2012
    • 'Principles of the Islamic City: Heritage Conservation and Tourism' ICUDBE2011, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Carless, Tonia 2011
    • Conservation and Sustainability keynote presentation to State Parties meeting to discuss the Future of the World Heritage Convention, UNESCO, Paris Orbasli, Aylin 2009
    • Training Conservation Professionals in the Middle East keynote presentation, Heritage and Conservation Conference, Jordan Association of Engineers, Dead Sea, Jordan Orbasli, Aylin 2008
    • Tradition or modernity: Vulnerability, cultural choices and the vernacular. Meditriology 3, Gazimagusa, Cyprus Vellinga, Marcel 2007
    • Responding to mobility, shopping, leisure and tourism needs in old centres Keynote presentation, 47th International Federation of Housing and Planning Congress, Vienna, Austria Orbasli, Aylin 2003


    • Invited Speaker, ‘What is London Clay? A Social Democratic Solution’, Geological London (London, University of Westminster. Beech, Nick. 14 March 2013
    • 'Heritage Protection and Tourism Development in Abandoned Coastal Settlements' Red Sea VI Conference, Tabuk, Saudi Arabia, Carless, Tonia 2013
    • A therapeutic irritant: Bernard Rudofsky and the vernacular, International Seminar Bernard Rudofsky: Disobedient Critic of Modernity, Granada, Spain, Vellinga, Marcel 2013
    • Archive and Erase. Collage as Constructive reading. Plenitude and Emptiness Symposium on Architectural Research By Design,The University of Edinburgh School of Architecture, 4-6 September 2013
    • 'Work in progress: revised ICOMOS guidelines for conservation education and training', Imagining Conservation: the next twenty years, University of York, Carless, Tonia 2012
    • 'Contribution of archaeological site management to regional development', Heritage in Context, German Institute of Archaeology, Ankara, Turkey, Carless, Tonia 2012
    • 'The tale of two management plans: Catalhoyuk and Ani', Site Management and Privatisation in Cultural Heritage in Turkey, Koc University, Istanbul, Turkey, Carless, Tonia 2012
    • Drawing as discourse: Home and Island analysis of two sets of architectural research drawings. Joint paper with Igea Troiani Drawing Research Network Conference, Loughborough University Schools of Arts and Design, 10-11 September 2012
    • Open School: A Creative Approach to Pedagogy, Architecture Live projects Pedagogy, An International Symposium. Oxford Brookes School of Architecture, 24-25 May 2012
    • An Architectural Gleaning, 'Reinventing Architecture and Interiors: the past, the present and the future', Interior Educators and Ravensbourne London, 29-30 March 2012
    • Producing Space: The Confrontation between Abstract Space and Everyday Life, 6 July 2011, 'Economy', The Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University, Wales, 6 – 8 July 2011
    • Temporary Spatial Practices , 7 April 2011, 'Fixed? Architecture, Incompleteness and Change', School of Architecture, Design and Environment, University of Plymouth, 6 - 8 April 2011
    • Local vs Global Architecture sans Frontiers Local vs Global workshop Vellinga, Marcel 2011
    • A New Visibility: The Productive Space of Drawing, Virtual Presentation, 4 December 2010, 'Spaces and Flows': An International Conference on Urban and Extra Urban Studies University of California Los Angeles, USA, 4 – 5 December 2010
    • 'Tourism, Gentrification and Neighbourhood Renewal', Conservation and Creativity, Istanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture, Carless, Tonia 2010
    • 'Economic Impact of World Heritage Status: The Case of Bath, UK' Economic Values of World Heritage Sites, Beijing, China, Carless, Tonia 2010
    • Anthropology and Architecture Invited speaker, Toward an anthropology of religious architecture conference, University of Amsterdam Vellinga, Marcel 2010
    • Lecture series Aboriginal Environments Research Centre, University of Queensland, Brisbane Vellinga, Marcel 2010
    • World Heritage Sites without heritage, invited speaker, World Heritage for Tomorrow: what, how and for whom, Japanese-German Colloquium, Cottbus, Germany Orbasli, Aylin 2010
    • Cultural Heritage Management. Invited speaker, Euromed Heritage Forum: Cultural Heritage: a shared responsibility for the Mediterranean, Istanbul, Turkey Orbasli, Aylin 2006


    • 'The historic town as destination: experience, authenticity and conservation' Technion & Bezalel Universities joint lecture, Israel, Carless, Tonia 2013
    • 'The historic town as destination: experience, authenticity and conservation', Cambridge Heritage Research Group, University of Cambridge, Carless, Tonia 2013
    • 'Conservation and concepts of "heritage" in the contemporary Arab city', panellist and speaker, Forward Thinking: the Future of Architecture in the Arab World debate held at the RIBA, as part of the Mayor of London Festival: A window on contemporary Arab culture, Carless, Tonia 2011
    • 'Historic Towns in the 21st Century: living heritage or tourist destination?', Heritage Research Seminar, University of York, Carless, Tonia 2011
    • Value of Cultural Heritage to Tourism Development Public lecture, Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage, UAE Orbasli, Aylin 2009



    House after Two Years of Living Copyright: Igea Troiani; Script by Igea Troiani, Film/Editing by Cait Sweeney. 2010

    Conrad Gargett Architecture Produced by HAPPENiNC, Research/Narration/Script by Igea Troiani; Film/Editing by Shaun Charles 2005

    Building Mayne Hall Produced by HAPPENiNC, Research/Narration/Script by Igea Troiani; Film/Editing/Music by Shaun Charles 2004