MPhil/PhD Research Architecture

Can spatial practice become a form of research? This innovative practice-driven PhD programme invites applications from architects, artists, filmmakers and other interdisciplinary scholars and practitioners dealing critically with issues of spatial analysis and politics who would like to develop long-term practice-based research projects. The PhD groups we have put together operate in an innovative and robust exchange and a peer-to-peer mode. Each group (we are recruiting for the third group – "Table III" – now) has its own emphasis, but they are each designed to allow members to develop active, 'in the world', rigorous practice-based scholarly research that push forward and substantiate individual practice.

The Centre for Research Architecture has already brought together two separate groups – Table I (2005-2009) and Table II (2009-2013) – of leading international practitioners – architects, artists, activists, urbanists, filmmakers and curators – to work collectively in a roundtable mode on individual projects. The core questions of the research centre are issues of spatial politics, activism, and their relation to aesthetic practice. We have become internationally recognised as a world leading centre within the fields of architectural research, urbanism, conflict, human rights, politics, and mapping. Amongst our PhD candidates are extremely innovative and internationally renowned directors of architectural and art institutions, architects, filmmakers and artists of the first line. We have developed an experimental form of pedagogy that capitalises on the knowledge-basis of the group. It was evaluated by the latest Research Assessment Exercise as producing research of a world-leading quality.

Our PhD programme is organised around monthly weekend-long roundtable seminars (about 9 a year). The seminars are organized around a theoretical or political issue and include visits by cutting edge scholars or practitioners, and a common discussion of their work. The rest of the seminar is dedicated to close reading of texts and to the presentation of members’ projects. Once a year or more, we organise a seminar in another location, usually at the invitation of leading universities and cultural institutions worldwide. We have held invited seminars in the context of the Istanbul biennale, in the KW and HKW in Berlin, at the Staedel School in Frankfurt, in the University of Nicosia, in the School of architecture at Reunion Island, at the Human Rights Council in Geneva, at the Cooper Union in New York City and at the Slought foundation and UPenn in Philadelphia, in the Goethe institute and the Townhouse Gallery in and Cairo, and organised events at the Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA) in Glasgow, the Athens Biennale, in the context of Manifesta7 in Trento, and the 2008 Venice Biennale amongst other places.

Online applications and more information are available at:
You can contact the programme director, Eyal Weizman, at:

Recent guests to Research Architecture Seminars included
Michel Agier, Fareed Armaly, Pier-Vittorio Aureli, Bart de-Baere, Patrick Ball, Marshal Berman, Beatrice von Bismarck, Rony Brauman, Mark Cousins, Keller Easterling, Amos Gitai, Steve Goodman, Avery Gordon, Derek Gregory, Graham Harman, Stefano Harney, Thomas Keenan, Laura Kurgan, Scott Lash, Thomas Levin, Reinhold Martin, Yates McKee, Sandro Mezzadra, China Mieville, Sina Najafi, Marion Von Osten, Trevor Paglen, Robert Jan van Pelt, Gilles Peress, Walid Ra’ad, Juliana Rebentisch, Felicity Scott, Michael Sorkin and Grupa Spomenika.

Research Fellows
Ayesha Hameed, Alessandro Petti, Thomas Keenan, Avery Gordon

Research Project: Forensic Architecture
The Centre for Research Architecture was selected by the EU to leading a four-year ERC-funded project entitled Forensic Architecture: The Place of Law in War.

"Forensic Archi­tec­ture refers to the present­a­tion of spa­tial ana­lysis within con­tem­por­ary legal and polit­ical for­ums. The pro­ject under­takes research that maps, images, and mod­els sites of viol­ence within the frame­work of inter­na­tional human­it­arian law and human rights. Through its pub­lic activ­it­ies it also situ­ates forensic archi­tec­ture within broader his­tor­ical and the­or­et­ical contexts."

The project is organized around a series of international seminars and workshops with distinguished practitioners in the field, publications, and exhibitions. It also undertakes major international investigations together with the UN, HRW, B'Tselem, MigroEurope and the spatial and image based evidence it produce is presented in international courts worldwide. Members of the Centre undertaking the PhD and MA participated in the activities developed throughout the project.

More info at:

Academic Environment
The Centre for Research Architecture is part of the Department of Visual Cultures, a culturally diverse and intellectually challenging environment for exploring and producing new forms of contemporary art-theoretical practice. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, VC look at art in an international context and consider the ways in which it engages with urgent social, cultural and political issues in the world today. The department is well known for its experimental and innovative engagement in the field of visual culture within a framework of critical theory, philosophy and cultural studies. Included are issues of cultural difference, performativity, visual display, aurality, encounters with audiences, spatial practices and the production of subjectivities. As a member of the MA in RA, you will have the opportunity to participate in a weekly-lectures programme and long-day workshops and other activities organized by the department.

More info at: