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Architecture & Social Movements

School of Architecture Research Group

The Architecture & Social Movements research group examines the practical, conceptual, and disciplinary questions that social movements present to architecture and urban design.

This research recognises social movements, popular organisations and similar non-governmental institutional forms as important agents of social innovation and institutional creativity. This is particularly evident in the case of citizen movements in cities across the world, exploring alternative mechanisms for addressing issues of race, gender, and other forms of social exclusion, or, in the case of indigenous and peasant communities, inventing new forms of resistance against socio-environmental exploitation. In both cases, important experiences and knowledges are being produced, which are however often erased or ignored by academia.

This research group aims to develop new collaborations between architecture and social movements, and explores what approaches to design and research might emerge from considering their demands and knowledges. In the context of an increasing strain being placed upon traditional systems of political representation and the limitations of existing models of architectural research and practice, this research is both timely and important.

Some of the questions addressed by this research group are: What design, research, and practice methods have to be developed so that the spatial demands of social movements can be adequately described? What types of spatial knowledge are emerging from urban, territorial or environmental struggles today? How can architecture participate in more democratic and equitable processes for design and city making? What is the role of architecture within collective processes of transformative politics?

Staff Members

Dr Adam Kaasa
Dr Adrian Lahoud
Christina Leigh Geros
David Burns
Dr Godofredo Pereira

MPhil/PhD Students & Supervisors

Bruna Montuori, ‘From Participation to Correspondence: Understanding the Role of Design in Community Development’. Supervisors: Dr Adam Kaasa and Dr Adrian Lahoud

Georgia White, 'Popular Organisation Support in Urban Regeneration Processes: A new type of Design Platform'. Supervisors: Dr Harriet Harriss and Dr Godofredo Pereira.

Raül Avilla Royo, ‘Community Architecture in Barcelona’. Supervisors: Dr Sam Jacoby and Ibon Bilbao (Escola Tècnica Superior d'Arquitectura de Barcelona)

Collaborators and Partners

Barcelona en Comú, Spain

Dr Susana Caló, Newham College

Research Projects

Godofredo Pereira, CERFI: Collective Equipment and Institutional Programming (2017–18)

Adam Kaasa, Designing Politics (2014–17)

Outputs & Events

Arts Catalyst: Collective Equipment:Intersection, Solidarity and Transformative Politics (with Anne Querrien), 2018

RCA & Barcelona en Comú: Research Partnership Launch, 2017

Architecture and Transformative Politics = Coup d’Funk, 2017


+44 (0)20 7590 4281
[email protected]