Design, Theory and Practice (DTP)

Group Leader(s): Mr Scott Sworts


About us

The Design, Theory and Practice (DTP) group undertakes design research produced inside and outside the discipline of architecture in order to facilitate the advancement of architectural research as a creative practice. The group explores the relationship between the theory and practice of design-based research in architecture.

Members undertake research using methods typically used in architectural design as well as methods from other disciplines including: 

  • Architectural drawing/modelling/prototyping/live projects
  • Installation design and exhibition
  • Interior architecture
  • Painting and non-architectural drawing
  • Filmmaking and documentary making
  • Photography
  • Hypermedia and creative writing
  • Building information modelling
  • Virtual environments
  • Digital making

Black and white illustration

Related courses

Research impact

Interior of building

The research done in this group informs professional practice and explores the relationship between theory and built form. Our projects are wide ranging, looking at broad spectrum of topics as diverse as:

  • live builds
  • the impact of architectural design on the justice system
  • how architecture can promote mental and physical wellbeing.  

Using an evidence-based approach, and in collaboration with government and pressure groups, our research has resulted in the improvement of access to justice and improvements to the design and operation of justice facilities. In addition to these areas of inquiry, members of this group also research the more traditional architectural subjects such as the intersection of art and architecture, and how digital technologies are transforming the profession.  


Scott Sworts

Mr Scott Sworts

Post-Graduate Programme Lead

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Name Role Email
Professor Jane Anderson Programme Lead for Undergraduate Architecture
Dr Ricardo Assis Rosa Senior Lecturer in Architecture - Design and Technology
Mr Joël Chappell Senior Lecturer
Hannah Durham Lecturer
Ms Christina Godiksen Head of School
Mike Halliwell Lecturer in Architecture and Making
Mr Karl Kjelstrup-Johnson Programme Lead - Apprenticeships
Dr Andrea Placidi Senior Lecturer and Subject Coordinator for Interior Architecture
Dr Daria Ricchi Research Fellow (Architecture)
Dr Emma Rowden Senior Lecturer


Active projects

Project title and description Investigator(s) Funder(s) Dates

Supporting Online Justice

Covid-19 has forced radical changes upon the justice system with many trials taking place online from participants' homes, with no one being present in a physical courtroom. Through consultation with court users and the design of new online orientation content, this project addresses the lack of online support designed to prepare members of the public for appearing in court from their own home and to guide them around these new virtual spaces.

Dr Emma Rowden ESRC From: November 2020
Until: April 2022

Maggie’s Cancer Centres

The research team focus on the Maggie’s Centres buildings, their internal organisation and social interaction in order to assess the positive therapeutic impact of architecture in the context of a cancer support programme that aims to empower patients beyond traditional hospital settings.
Dr Andrea Placidi From: September 2017
Until: March 2022