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Claire Jamieson

PhD Work

NATØ: Exploring Architecture as a Narrative Medium in Postmodern London

This thesis is concerned with the way that architecture, (that is space, buildings, cities

and urban environments), has been and continues to be speculated upon through a rich

palette of narrative methods. Taking NATØ, the group of young architects led by Nigel

Coates that emerged from the Architectural Association in the early 1980s as its subject

matter, the thesis questions how architectural production is able to narrate and the modes

and methods it employs. The research reveals echoes and resemblances between NATØ

projects and a wider artistic, filmic and literary culture that emerged from the specific

political, social and physical conditions of 1980s London.

Supervisors: Barry Curtis and Professor David Crowley


  • Claire Jamieson
  • PhD


    School of Humanities


    Critical & Historical Studies, 2011–2015

  • MA Degree


    School of Architecture


    MA Architecture, 2009

  • Claire Jamieson is an architecturally trained historian and theorist. She completed her PhD at the Royal College of Art in 2015 and is currently pursuing a career in academic research and teaching. Her thesis centred on NATØ – 'Narrative Architecture Today', the 1980s architecture group – and developed an understanding of architectural narrativity, as well as a study of the London's specific cultural milieu and physical form during the late 1970s and 1980s. More broadly, she is concerned with how the historical, social, political and material aspects of a city or a place contributes to and shapes the creative practices that develop within it.  She has established a specific interest in the cultural history of London in the 1970s and 1980s, a period characterised by the particularly intense and disruptive nature of the city. 

  • Degrees

  • MA Architecture, Royal College of Art, 2009; BA (Hons) Architecture, University of Cambridge, 2006
  • Experience

  • Research Associate, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, 2015; Associate Lecturer, Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, London, 2014; Visiting Tutor, The Royal College of Art, London, 2013; Writer and Editor, Design for London GLA, London, 2011–14; Lead Researcher, ADAM Urbanism, London, 2010–11; Programme Coordinator, RIBA Building Futures, London, 2009–11; Architectural Assistant, S333 Architeture + Urbanism, London, 2008; Architectural Assistant, Maccreanor Lavington Architects, London, 2007
  • Awards

  • AHRC Studentship Award, 2011
  • Conferences

  • Writingplace, Delft University of Technology, 2013; International Conference on Narrative, Manchester Metropolitan University, 2013; Ekphrasis: From Paragone to Encounter, University of Hull, 2013; Spatial Perspectives 1850–Present, Oxford University, 2012
  • Publications

  • Claire Jamieson, Rebecca Roberts-Hughes, ‘Two Modes of Literary Architecture: Bernard Tschumi and Nigel Coates’, Architectural Research Quarterly, 2015; Claire Jamieson, ‘“WAKE UP AND DREAM FOR THE 80S”: Nigel Coates 1975-82’, Journal of Architecture, 20:1, 2015, 122-151; Robert Adam, Claire Jamieson, ‘Identifying Trends in Masterplanning: a Typological Classification System’, Urban Design International, 19:4, 2014, 274-90