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Student Showcase Archive

Dr David Knight


  • David has been a Tutor in the School of Architecture since 2012 and is also a director of the architecture, planning and research studio DK-CM. David completed his PhD, on the politics and language of public planning, in 2018.

  • Biography

  • Dr David Knight is a designer and author, and founding co-director of DK-CM, an architecture and research studio based in London. David has exhibited, lectured, taught and published internationally, including twice at the Venice Architecture Biennale, and his PhD work at the Royal College of Art represented the UK at the Hong Kong & Shenzhen Biennale of Urbanism & Architecture.

    David has taught in London architecture schools since 2005, as a lecturer and unit master at Kingston University School of Architecture and Landscape and at the University of East London (2005-11). He has taught ADS2 at the RCA since 2012.

    Prior to forming DK-CM, David worked on a variety of research projects including SUB-PLAN: A Guide to Permitted Development (2009, with Finn Williams and Europa, at The Architectural Association), The Rule of Regulations (2008, with Finn Williams, exhibited at The Architecture Foundation and the Berlage Institute, Rotterdam), and prior to that David was project co-ordinator at General Public Agency (2005-8). He is appointed to the Greater London Authority Specialist Assistance Team, serves as a trustee at The Architecture Foundation and is a member of the Architectural Humanities Research Association. 

    His practice DK-CM received a Special Mention in the 2016 European Prize for Urban Public Space and is part of the GLA Architecture and Urban Design Framework. 

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  • Practice

  • David founded DK-CM in 2012 with Cristina Monteiro. In its first year of practice, the company was an invited participant in the 13th Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale. Since then, the practice has built a reputation for strategic, ambitious and beautifully resolved design, from buildings and spaces through to strategies, policy and research.

    The practice has designed urban strategies across London, a new town square and public park in Barkingside (£2m, London Borough of Redbridge, Special Mention in the 2016 European Prize for Urban Public Space), a series of nine public projects in Southall (£1.8m, London Borough of Ealing), design guidance for the London Legacy Development Corporation and Thurrock Council, and commissioned research for the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. The practice is currently engaged in strategic and workspace projects for Haringey Council, and housing projects in London and Moscow.

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  • External collaborations

  • Trustee, The Architecture Foundation
    Member, Architectural Humanities Research Association
    Session Convenor, Society of Architectural Historians (2017)
    Member, Greater London Authority Specialist Assistance Team

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  • Publications, exhibitions and other outcomes

  • Selected Press Coverage

    Campbell, T. (10.11.2014) 'For the sake of our cities, it's time to make town planning cool again', The Guardian

    Moore, R. (19.10.2014) 'Is it time to rethink Britain's green belt?', The Observer

    Campbell-Dollaghan, K. (28.01.2014) 'The Subtle Art of Breaking Building Laws', Gizmodo

    'RCA Architecture Research Guides Students at Hong Kong-Shenzhen Biennale', Royal College of Art, (11.12.2013) 

    Wainwright, O. (12.10.2012) 'Should the London pub get Unesco World Heritage status?', The Guardian 

    Self, J. (03.09.2012) 'A spiritual experience in a box',

    Ramchurn, R. (23.08.2012) 'DK-CM's Folk in a Box at Venice', The Architect's Journal

    Ahmed, F. (06.2012) 'Folk in a Box', Icon Issue 108

    Ruhnau, D. (05.2012) 'Privataudienz', Deutsche Bauzeitung

    Pallister, J. (15.03.2012) 'Folk in a Box gives a whole new meaning to portable music', The Architects' Journal

    Christiansen, R. (05.03.2012) 'How a folk concert in a box almost brought me to tears', Daily Telegraph

    Parafianowicz, L. (22.02.2012) 'Folk in a Box', Frame

    Manaugh, G. (05.02.2012) 'Making Planning Popular', BLDGBLOG, 

    Pallister, J. (12.2011) 'The Nation of Shopkeepers', Creative Review

    Lu√≠s Oct√°vio Costa (25.09.2011) 'Wallpaper Porto e "a cidade que muda todos os dias"', P√∫blico, 

    (12.11.2010) 'Everything is Permitted', things magazine

    Manaugh, G. (18.09.2010) 'The Permission We Already Have', BLDGBLOG

    Hunter, W. (08.2010) 'Top Ten London Architecture Units', The Architectural Review 

    Hunter, W. (22.07.2010) 'Delight', 

    Bordone, S. (06.2010) 'Mapping the Invisible', Domus

    Pallister, J. (06.2010) Review of 'Mapping the Invisible', The Architectural Review 

    (12.2009) 'Industry Picks', Building Design 

    Devlin, P. (12.2008) 'The regulation of designs: applying current UK legislation to Le Corbusier', Architectural Research Quarterly 12/3-4 

    Manaugh, G. (13.09.2008) 'The Rule of Regulations', BLDGBLOG

    Ely, A. (04.09.2008) Review of The Rule of Regulations, Architects Journal 

    Selected Exhibitions

    Fittja Pavilion, 14th International Architecture Exhibition, Venice, June-September 2014.

    Liquid Boundaries, The UK Pavilion at the Hong Kong/Shezhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture, Shenzhen, 6.12.2013-02.02.2014.

    Common Ground, 13th International Architecture Exhibition, Venice,  2012.

    Participation in the commission Public Monument by Sean Dockray, at Shadowboxing, Royal College of Art, London. 18.03-03.04.2011. 

    The Rule of Regulations, Berlage Institute, Rotterdam 25.11-19.12.2008

    The Rule of Regulations, The Architecture Foundation, 29.08.-13.09.2008

    Selected Essays & Conference Papers


    'Toward a History of Popular Planning' Paper delivered at The Edge of Our Thinking: RCA International Conference on Research in Art and Design. 19.11.2011

    'Good Laws Rightly Applied: A History of Deciding the Future' Mini-lecture as part of Ruth Beale's residency at the Department of Overlooked Histories, Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridgeshire. 12.11.2011

    'SUB-PLAN: Working with Permitted Development' 'Further Reading Required', Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London. 17.02.2011. With Finn Williams

    'The Subversive Survey' Paper delivered at Field/work: 6th AHRA International Conference, Edinburgh. 20–21.11.2009

    David has been a guest lecturer at the following institutions:

    The Architectural Association (London), The Architecture Foundation (London), The Bartlett, University College London, Botkyrka Konsthall (Stockholm), Camberwell College of Arts (London), Cambridge University, Central Saint Martins (London), Chelsea College of Arts (London), City University London, The Garden Museum (London), The Institute of Contemporary Arts (London), Kingston University (London), KTH (Stockholm), The Landscape Institute (London), London College of Fashion, London Metropolitan University (The Cass), New London Architecture, Newcastle University, Nottingham University, The Romanian Cultural Centre (London), The Royal Geographical Society (London), The School of Life (London), Sheffield Hallam University, Sugarhouse Studios (London), TEDxHackney (London), This is Not a Gateway Festival (London), University of the Creative Arts (Canterbury), University of East London, University of Porto, University of Westminster, (London), 14th International Architecture Exhibition (Venice).

    Articles & Essays

    Knight, D., Holland, C., and Williams, F. (2014)'Icon of the Month: The Metropolitan Green Belt' in: Icon #135, September

    Knight, D. (2014) 'The Lansbury Estate', contribution to S. Jacob 'Exploring a century of ideas about housing with the AA Night School' in: The Architects' Journal, 12th July

    Knight, D. (2014) 'On Barkingside' in PEAR Issue 6: Landscape/Ecology

    Knight, D. (2013) 'Today's Lesson' in Domus 970, June 

    Knight, D. (2013) 'Alright, Still' in Fulcrum #66: High Street Decline?, 11th February

    Knight, D. (2013) 'Debate: Is it too late to save the British pub?' in Building Design, 1st February

    Knight, D. (2012) 'Making Planning Popular' in The Edge of Our Thinking, Royal College of Art

    Knight, D. (2012) 'Insight: SUB-PLAN' in Architectural Research Quarterly Vol. 16 No. 3

    Knight, D. (2012) King's Cross Urban Actions Field Guide. Architecture Foundation

    Knight, D. (2012) 'What planning can learn from aspirin' in Future Frontiers: Architecture Annual 2012. Royal College of Art

    Knight, D. (2012) 'The Unlimited Edition' Issue 2: Speculation. Guest editor of ultra-local newspaper produced by We Made That for the High Street 2012 Initiative

    Knight, D. (2011) 'The Postmodern Plan' in Architecture Today Issue 221, September

    Knight, D. (2011) 'Travellers and Squatters', SQUASH Campaign Blog, 3rd September

    Knight, D. (2011) 'Experiments in Freedom', Strange Harvest, July

    Knight, D. (2011) 'The Guide' in Dear... On Courtesy, Copenhagen, June 

    Knight, D. (2011) Wallpaper* City Guide: Porto. Wallpaper*/Phaidon Press, June 

    Knight, D. (2011) 'Planning without Planners' in Seismic Shifts: Architecture Annual 2011. Royal College of Art

    Knight, D. (2011) 'High Street Fashion', in High Street London: Architecture Exhibition 2011, June. Kingston University School of Architecture and Landscape.

    Knight, D. (2011) 'Plotting' in Punkto Issue 2, May 

    Knight, D. (2011) 'When a plan comes together' in Building Design, 13th May

    Knight, D. (2010) 'Living on Infrastructure: Community and conflict on the canal network' in D. Naik and T. Oldfield (eds) Critical Cities, vol. 2

    Knight, D. (2010) 'Under the Radar' in Architecture Today Issue 212, October 

    Mitchell, M. (2010) Learning from Delhi. Ashgate (Showcases a case study project by Cristina undertaken in Delhi's urban periphery)

    Knight, D. (2010) 'Building without Bureaucracy' in l'Architecture d'Aujourd'hui Issue 378: Uncertainty. Guest edited by Winy Maas, MVRDV and The Why Factory. June/July 

    Knight, D. (2010) in L. Orta (ed) Mapping the Invisible, London: Blackdog

    Knight, D. (2009) SUB-PLAN: A Guide to Permitted Development

    Knight, D. (2009) 'The Rule of Regulations' in Hunch 12 : Bureaucracy, March

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Selected work


Research interests

David’s PhD (2018), ‘Making Planning Popular’, is concerned with the relationship between statutory planning in the UK and popular agency and discourse. He has written widely on architecture and related subjects, with a particular focus on alternative communities, the politics of planning and spatial justice. He has written for a wide range of publications, including Architectural Research Quarterly, l’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui, Architecture Today, Building Design, Domus, Hunch, Icon and PEAR.

Current and recent research

'Making Planning Popular: Popular agency, online discourse and English statutory planning’ (PhD, 2018) The research sets out an approach - through thesis and through design - to re-establish a popular discourse about planning, one rooted in the agency of popular activity and founded on ideas of socially organised systemic knowledge.

'The Tenement: Collective city dwelling before Modernism’ (Society of Architectural Historians Conference 2017). David co-convened, with Irina Davidovici (ETH Zurich), a session exploring the Tenement’s global history and relevance, including technological and morphological characteristics but also engaging with various legislative structures, regulations, economic principles and patterns of inhabitation.