Dr David Garrard

BA, BPhil, MSc, PhD

Senior Lecturer in Historic Conservation

School of the Built Environment


I am the director of the MSc/PG Dip/PG Cert programme in Historic Conservation (PL78) - a course of which I am myself a graduate. As well as having overall charge of the course, I am module leader for three of the compulsory modules (Conservation Theory, Law and Practice, Building Construction and Repair and the Dissertation), and contribute to the teaching of other elements. I am also academic adviser for all Historic Conservation students.

Teaching and supervision


Modules taught

I am module leader for the following modules:

  • Conservation and Regeneration: Theory, Law and Practice
  • Building Construction and Repair
  • Conservation Dissertation


My research draws upon my academic background in philosophy, and attempts to develop a systematic account of the values and concepts at work in conservation practice. Key themes include:

  • Philosophical (ethical, political, metaphysical and conceptual) issues in the theory and activity of conservation
  • The development of conservation thought and practice, and its place in the history of architecture and ideas
  • Conservation policy, its justification and evaluation
  • The role of expert judgment and popular opinion in determining what is conserved and how
  • The rationale for conserving/preserving the built environment as compared with other kindred practices, e.g. nature conservation, gallery and museum work, the perpetuation of cultures and languages
  • The ethics and aesthetics of architecture and the environment
  • 19th century architecture and culture

More information about my research: https://oxfordbrookes.academia.edu/DGarrard

Further details

Before coming to Oxford Brookes, I worked in a variety of roles across the historic environment sector, including as Conservation Adviser at the Victorian Society, Designation Adviser at English Heritage and Senior Conservation Officer at the Royal Borough of Greenwich. l have also taught courses in philosophy at King's College London and architectural history at the University Studies Consortium.

I regularly lead walking and cycling tours on the architecture and history of London for organisations including Open-City, Architectural Dialogue and the Victorian Society.