As Postgraduate Programme Lead, I am focused on establishing Oxford Brookes as an international leader in architectural education. In this role, my primary concern centers on further developing the programme to reflect the transforamtive impacts of BIM and Integrated Practice models.
In the classroom, I teach all of my courses based in the concepts of integrated practice, and to that end expect students to be conversant with technology and engage in multi-disciplinary design explorations.
Areas of expertise
Licensed architect with eighteen years of professional experience in residential and commercial design and in preparation of construction documents. L.E.E.D. Accredited Professional. Participated in numerous design competitions including the competition for the memorial design for the World Trade Center. Extensive knowledge of codes and construction management; excellent writing skills; and extensive experience in technical and architectural photography.
Teaching and supervision
- Humanitarian Action and Peacebuilding (MA, PGCert)
- Applied Design in Architecture (ARB and RIBA part 2) (MArchD)
- Architecture (MArch)
- Development and Emergency Practice (MA, PGDip, PGCert)
- Sustainable Architecture: Evaluation and Design (MSc)
- Research Led Design (Module Leader) - These modules form a yearlong design studio focused on the creation of design dissertations where students investigate a specific topic of their interest, research that topic, and produce a design that tests their theories.
- Research Methods for Design - (Past Module Leader) this is a course focused on preparing postgraduate students to conduct design research
- Advanced Technology for Design: (Technology Tutor) This module covers materials and construction methods, and in this module I have created a yearlong programme of lectures to introduce students to all phases of the construction process
- Dissertation for Sustainable Architecture, Evaluation and Design (MSc Dissertation supervisor) Supervising students in the production of their MSc Dissertation.
Taught at previous institutions:
- Design Theory, focusing on human and social factors in design as well as current trends in design theory. This module made extensive use of film, literature and current events to help students develop design projects.
- Fourth Year (Capstone) Design Studio, focusing on design in the urban context, systems integration and integrated practice. (B.I.M) This studio served as the culmination of the student’s university experience, and as such, was expected to demonstrate the ability to incorporate all the coursework into one comprehensive design project.
- Architecture History, a survey module that covered the major architectural styles in Western Traditions, and explored their socio-political context, and how architecture was shaped by those forces.
- Architectural Drawing Theory, hand drafting and sketching to teach introductory ordering systems and design fundamentals with a strong focus on traditional drawing skills and composition.
- Residential Construction, and Commercial Construction, modules that examined the materials, construction methodologies and construction documents in order to provide students with a comprehensive overview of construction delivery
- International Building Codes, examining both the Zoning Codes and the International Building Code
Accomplished at teaching architectural design, design theory and history, sustainable building technology, construction materials and methods, and computer media. Strong background in design studio instruction, from introductory to senior level, with a consistent emphasis on use of renewable resources, design theory, Building Information Modeling, and digital presentation techniques. Extensive experience in using and teaching Revit, 3-D Studio Max, PhotoShop, InDesign, and Premiere.
As faculty adviser, led student team to win back to back awards in the 2008 and 2010 Leading Edge Design Competitions. Received recognition for the development of “WTC Rebirth/Reincarnation” design studio. Student work presented formally to New York’s Rebuild Downtown, Our Town (R.Dot), to Pratt Institute Center for Community and Environmental Development and to other groups involved in the site redevelopment of New York City's World Trade Center (WTC).
Served as a thesis supervisor for numerous Masters Students
My research is focused around authenticity in architectural identity, design theory, and the incorporation of digital media into the design process, specifically, how the changing cultural context related to ideas of work and home, developments in material technologies and digital fabrication, and digital design methodologies are leading to dramatic shifts in architectural design.
Research group membership
- School of Architecture Design Theory and Practice Group (Group Lead)
- Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) - Peer Reviewer and contributing member
- International Society of Interdisciplinary Social Scientists - Peer Reviewer
Research grants and awards
- Sponsored Studio 2009 – This was a grant from the Jacoby Development Group to run a studio tasked with visioning development ideas for Marineland in Florida.
- Perkins Grant 2013 - this grant funded the construction and equipping of a 4-D Modelling Lab and development of support courses to create a programme in Architectural Digital Visualization at the Community College of Denver.
- Perkins Grant 2014 – This grant funded equipment for materials testing equipment to support Construction Technology courses at the Community College of Denver
- The Authentically Divine – This collaborative research project with Dr. Joseph Juhasz Emeritus Professor of the University of Colorado examines how the quest for authenticity in the built environment intersects with the concept of “the divine.” This research connects the concepts laid out by Mircea Eliade, the musings of Antonin Artaud, and the Nietzschean “death of god,” with the creation of a modern place of spiritual inhabitation.
- The Office of the 21st Century - In the new work environment of the 21st century, the office has become a concept as much as a place. The conjunction of advances in technology, the introduction of social media, and the economic pressures that drive an expectation of twenty-four hour work, have transformed the workplace into something that is as much a state of mind as a physical place. This shift has significant implications for both the culture and the architecture of the 21st century. This thesis draws concepts from Dalton Conley’s cultural analysis presented in his book “Elsewhere U.S.A.,” as well as the stream of consciousness presented daily in the social media sphere, and weaves together a picture of the changing architectural and cultural landscape of the modern white collar workforce. There is an opportunity for the Architecture of the Elsewhere Office to contain solutions to the dilemmas faced by today’s white collar workers. From new ways to envision the office setting to ideas to rehabilitate the cubicle dweller, architecture can act as a mediator in the lives of the people inhabiting it.
Sworts S, Juhasz J, 'Dreaming of a Flat Earth'
International Journal of Interdisciplinary Civic and Political Studies 17 (1) (2022) pp.99-113
ISSN: 2327-0071 eISSN: 2327-2481Abstract Published here Open Access on RADAR
Sworts S, 'The Dream Quest of Authentic Urbanism'
International Journal of Architectonic, Spatial, and Environmental Design 13 (4) (2019) pp.57-72
ISSN: 2325-1662 eISSN: 2325-1670Abstract Published here
Sworts SC, 'The Poltergeist Office: Re-envisioning the Office in an Era of Boundary-less Work, Ghost Connections, and Virtual Lives'
International Journal of Interdisciplinary Organizational Studies 8 (3-4) (2014) pp.1-11
ISSN: 2324-7649Abstract Published here
Memberships of professional bodies
- American Institute of Architects (AIA)
- 7/19 - Speaker. Presented a paper “Architectural Tupperware” at the International Conference on Interdisciplinary Social Sciences in Athens, Greece
- 7/19 - Speaker. Presented a paper “The Mythologization of Architecture” at the International Conference on Interdisciplinary Social Sciences in Mexico City, Mexico
- 7/18 - Speaker. Presented a paper “The Dream Quest of Authentic Urbanism” at the International Conference on Interdisciplinary Social Sciences in Granada, Spain
- 6/18 - Speaker and Moderator. 4 Hour intensive session at EDRA, Oklahoma City. Presented a paper on the influences of cultural identification on the development of ethnic neighborhoods in Birmingham and Denver
- 5/17 - Speaker and Moderator. 4 Hour intensive session at EDRA, Raliegh. Presented a paper on the Elements of Architecture as Authentic Shelter.
- 5/16 - Speaker and Moderator. 4 Hour intensive session at EDRA, Raliegh. Presented a paper on the The Digital Disconnect.
- 5/14 - Speaker and Moderator. 4 Hour intensive session at EDRA, New Orleans. Presented a paper on the Mythologization of Architecture.
- 7/13 - Speaker. Presented a paper on The Poltergeist Office and the Conference on Interdisciplinary Social Sciences in Prague, Czech Republic.
- 5/13 - Speaker. Presented as part of a 4 hour Intensive at EDRA, Providence.
- 2/09 - Speaker. Teach-In on the Environment and Global Warming. Presented paper on various social factors involved in climate change and the effects of societal disconnection.
- 10/08 - Speaker and Moderator. Savannah College of Art and Design Faculty Retreat. Presentation on Integrated Practice and ways in which the educational process can mirror professional practice.
- 9/02 - Speaker. College of Architecture, University of Colorado, Boulder, public lecture. Addressed the causes of the September 11 World Trade Center structural failures and discussed the redevelopment efforts at the site.
- 9/02 - Speaker. Rebuild Downtown, Our Town meeting, New York City. Presented student designs for temporary structures to meet immediate civic needs in Downtown Manhattan.
- 4/02 - Speaker. Rebuild Downtown, Our Town meeting, New York City. Presented student designs for the redevelopment of Ground Zero.
Architectural Design Projects:
- TMA Construction Services (With dcb Construction) - Designed corporate headquarters for a large concrete construction supply company
- The Brew - Design of a new coffee shop for Longmont, Colorado in a historic structure. Project earned firm an award for “Best Full Service Historic Preservation Firm”
- Ficco Industrial Park (With dcb Construction) - Design and Construction Administration for 60,000sf of office/warehouse space in Wheat Ridge, Colorado
- 7 Leaves Retail and Production facility - Design for a 10,000sf MIP manufacturing facility and 3,000sf retail store in Pueblo, Colorado.
- Welby Business Park (With dcb Construction) - Design and Construction Administration for 60,000sf of office/warehouse space in Adams County, Colorado
- Kipling Self Storage (With dcb Construction) - Design and construction documents for a 100,000sf multistory self-storage facility in Littleton, Colorado.
- Adams County Self Storage (With dcb Construction) – Conceptual design for a 200,000sf multistory self-storage facility in Adams County Colorado
- Cooley Residence - 5,000 square foot house with indoor riding arena in Castle Rock, Colorado.
- World Trade Center Memorial Competition Entry - 5-acre memorial site and building design.
- Arlington Park Apartments (with Carvell Architects) - Design and construction documents for a 6 building residential complex for the University of Northern Colorado.
- Robert Clark Residence, 5,000 square foot ranch log home, with full basement in Elizabeth, Colorado. Nominated for Log Home of the Year, Log Home Illustrated Magazine.
Contract Drafting Projects:
- Christopher Carvell Architects: Taylor Hall Renovation, Western State College, Colorado
- DM Design: Numerous residential projects, Golden, Colorado
- JW Miller Associates: Grease Monkey, Longmont, Colorado
- William Warhola, Architect: Dollar Rent-A-Car, Colorado Springs, Colorado, Numerous residential projects, Colorado
- CHAIR OF ARCHITECTURAL TECHNOLOGIES, COMMUNITY COLLEGE OF DENVER
8/12-6/14 - Served as department chair, responsible for hiring and supervision of all Architecture faculty, program coordination and development, Perkins Grant preparation for the department, budget administration, class scheduling, and other administrative tasks. Prepared preliminary draft for conversion to a four year program. Served on the Academic Standards Committee and the Perkins Grant Committee. Taught Introduction To Design Theory, Architecture History, Architectural Drawing Theory, Residential Construction, CommercialConstruction, International Building Codes, AutoCAD for Architecture, Revit, and Advanced Revit.
- PROFESSOR, SAVANNAH COLLEGE OF ART AND DESIGN.
8/07-12/11 - Served on and chaired the department’s Curriculum and Assessment Committee and the College Council on Sustainability and Eco-Practices. Took a leading role in NAAB Accreditation. Taught Fourth Year Design Studio, Construction Technologies, Materials and Methods, Electronic Design I, 2-D and 3-D AutoCAD, Architectural Drawing.
- LECTURER, UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO, BOULDER.
1/01-8/07 - Taught fourth year design studio, officially involved in the re-development of the World Trade Center Site, as well as participating in design competitions. Served on the College of Architecture and Planning Web Page Committee and organized a student design competition for revising the College’s web page.
- ADJUNCT INSTRUCTOR, FRONT RANGE COMMUNITY COLLEGE, WESTMINSTER, COLORADO.
5/97 - 8/99 Taught: Design Studio, Site Planning and Urban Design, Intro AutoCAD, Intermediate AutoCAD, Advanced AutoCAD, and Residential Construction.