Professor Robert Brown

Professor Robert Brown

Professor of Architecture

School of Art, Design and Architecture (Faculty of Arts and Humanities)


Head of Architecture


Royal Institute of British Architects 
Chartered Architect, Architects Registration Board, UK
Registered Architect, State of Illinois, USA
Senior Fellow, Higher Education Academy

Work Experience
2005- BT Studio - Private practice and consultant work
2001 - 2005 Max Lock Centre, University of Westminster, London: Research Assistant for urban design / planning consultancy group
1996 Housing International, Pune, India: Secondment to Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority; Collaboration with Shelter Associates on social housing projects
1989 - 2001 Levitt Bernstein Associates, London: Position: Associate, Specialising in social housing / urban regeneration / community consultation
1986 - 1989 Tigerman McCurry Architects, Chicago, Illinois: Project architect / designer on housing, commercial and institutional projects
1984 - 1985 Bradley & Bradley Architects, Rockford, Illinois  

Teaching Experience
2002 - University of Plymouth
1997 - 2002 University of East London: Lecturer
1997 - 2002 University of Westminster: Visiting Lecturer

Master of Architecture, University of Illinois
Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies, University of Illinois
National Certificate in Tenant Participation, Institute of Housing

Professional membership

Royal Institute of British Architects

Roles on external bodies

RIBA Council

RIBA Education Committee

RIBA Research Grants Committee

Plymouth Design Review Panel 

European Architectural History Network Review Panel
Architectural Humanities Research Association Steering Committee
Institute for Sustainable Solutions Research Board (Plymouth University)
Pedagogic Research Institute and Observatory (Plymouth University)
Association of Architectural Educators
Standing Conference of Heads of Schools of Architecture
Plymouth City Council Housing Strategy Advisory Group
RIBA Validation Panel
Invited referee for various journals and conferences
Open House International editorial board
Strutton Housing Association Board Member 

Staff serving as external examiners

University of Lincoln School of Architecture - M Arch Program)
Central St. Martins (External Advisor to candidate M Arch Program)

Research interests

Identity and Place 
Urbanism (symbiotic urbanism; urban regeneration; community participation)
Architectural Pedagogy

Other research

2001- 2005 University of Westminster, London: Research Assistant Department for International Development (UK) funded research on community development in Eastern / Southern Africa

Grants & contracts

Plymouth University Pedagogic Research Institute and Observatory Research Award
Plymouth University Pedagogic Research Institute and Observatory Research Award
University of Plymouth Research Award
TQEF Research-Informed Teaching Award, Higher Education Funding Council of England
Centre for Education in the Built Environment: Commissioned study on learning one subject through another
Daiwa Foundation
Sasakawa Foundation
Japan 21 Foundation
Teaching Fellowship Award, University of Plymouth
Quality in Learning and Teaching Research Award, University of East London
RIBA Trust Research Award (with D. Moreau)

Creative practice & artistic projects

2010 'The Purposes of Drawing', invited group exhibition, May, Cube3 Gallery
Private practice 

2014 'Transgressing Origins - Dialogical narratives in contemporary Japanese architecture', in D. Littlefield and L. Rice, eds., AHRA Critiques: Critical Studies in Architectural Humanities. London: Routledge (forthcoming).

2014 'The Schmitt Problem - Some perspectives for a praxis of inclusive disjunction', in K. Nawratek and S. Bradbury, eds., RAdical Inclusivity. Plymouth: Plymouth University Press (forthcoming).

2013 ‘Emplacement, Embodiment and Ritual: Some considerations from shikii wo matagu for our understanding of place and identity', in S. Bandyopadhyay and G. Garma-Montiel, eds., The Territories of Identity: Architecture in the Age of Evolving Globalisation. Taylor and Francis.

2013 'Facilitating Creative Thinking Through Play', Robert Brown and Patrick Clark, in Field, Vol. 5 No. 1, November [Online] Available at 5                 

2012 'A Critique of Origins, or, the Case of Palimpsest' in M. Miles and J. Savage, eds.,Nu-topia – a critical view of future cities. Plymouth: University of Plymouth Press.

2012 'Concepts of Vernacular Architecture', (with D. Maudlin), in G. Crsyler, H. Heynen and S. Cairns, eds., Handbook of Architectural Theory. London: Sage.

2011 'The Elusiveness of Culture', in Engaging in Architectural Education. London: London Metropolitan University.

2011 ‘The City as Palimpsest: Towards the Sustainable City’, in Sustainable Cities, special issue of Open House International

2011 ‘You Can't Go Home Again: The place of tradition in "Firefly's" dystopian-utopia and utopian-distopia', in Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review, Spring. Jeffrey Cooke Prize (Honourable Mention) for outstanding research by the International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments (UoC, Berkeley).

2011 ‘Mapping the Unmappable, Knowing the Unknowable’, in C. Ulrik Anderson and G. Cox, eds., Public Interfaces. Aarhus: Aarhus University.

2010 'Andrejsala is not an Island - Joined-up approaches to the layered city', in U. Bratuskins, et. al., eds., Architecture and Planning - The Scientific Journal of Riga Technical University. Riga: Riga Technical University

2008 'Redefining the Edge', in N. AlSayyad, ed., Reinventing Traditions for the Modern World - Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Working Paper Series, Vol. 211

2008 'My Kind of Town - A study in representing the city', in R. Lucas and G. Muir, eds., Sensory Urbanism Proceedings 2008, Edinburgh: The Flaneur Press

2007 ‘Learning through Ritual’, in Transactions, Vol. 4, No. 1, April, pp. 55 – 72, [Online], Available at

2006 ‘Don’t Forget the Critical in Critical Regionalism’, in J. Odgers, F. Samuel and A. Sharr, eds., Primitive – Original Matters in Architecture, Abingdon: Routledge

2005 The Rough Guide to Community Asset Management (with R. Kalra and M. Theis), London: MLC Press

2005 ‘Community Asset Management’, Open House International special issue, guest editor (with Dr. Michael Theis)

2004 ‘The Social Environment of Learning’, in Enhancing Curricula, A. Davies, ed., London: University of the Arts

2002 ‘Finding Your Way in the Dark’, (with D. Moreau), Shared Visions Conference, Brighton University; ‘Finding Your Way in the Dark’ [Online] Available at

2002 ‘Communicating Desire’, in C. Gandelsonas, ed., Communicating for Development, London: ITDG Publishing

2001 ‘Between Myth and Reality: The self-image of the architect’, (with D. Moreau) in N. Caglar, ed., Re-Integrating Theory and Design, Leuven, Belgium: EAAE

2001 Involving Tenants in the Design Process (with Levitt Bernstein and Rod Laird) London: The Housing Corporation

2000 ‘Through the Looking Glass’, (with D. Moreau), in Research By Design, Delft, the Netherlands: DUP Satellite

2000 ‘The Search for a New Paradigm for Practice and Education’, (with D. Moreau) in S. Scrivener, L. Ball, A. Woodcock, eds.,  Collaborative Design, London: Springer-Verlag

2000 ‘Seeing the World through another Person’s Eyes’, (with D. Moreau), in D. Nicol and S. Piling, eds., Changing Architectural Education, London: E & FN Spon

1998 ‘Design Games: Community Participation in Urban Design’, Urban Design Quarterly No. 65, January

1997 ‘Personalisation Made Easy: Use of the Computer to Facilitate Personalisation by the Individual User in User-participatory Design’, in Open House International, Vol 22 No 1, March


Reports & invited lectures

2013 'Escape from New York - The abuses of disorder and the need for (some) order', Interface Lecture Series, Plymouth University
2012 'It's Not What You Think - a dialectic of affordance and sensibilities', keynote talk, Spatial Thinking 2 Conference, Innsbruck University
2011 'Secret Labour - Legitimacy and Creativity', Presenting Le Corbusier - Aspects of the Life, Work and Influence Symposium, Plymouth University
2011 '(Re)Inventing Tradition - sensibility and habitus in the architecture of Japan's new generation, Fixed Conference, University of Plymouth.
2011 'Mapping the Unmappable, Knowing the Unknowable', Public Interfaces symposium, Aarhus University.
2010 'A Dialectic of Inside and Outside', The Post-Socialist City Does Not Exist Symposium, University of Gdansk.
2010 'Performance and Palimpsest: Reconstructing National Identity in the Landscape of Riga, Latvia', Architecture, Design and Nation Conference, Nottinham Trent University.
2010 'Palimpsest - A challenge to authenticity and authority in architecture', The Cultural Role of Architecture Conference, Lincoln University.
2010 'The City as Palimpsest -  A tactical manifesto', invited lecture at Carleton University.
2009 '3 Cities, 3 Ports, 1 Paradigm', Contesting the City symposium, University of Latvia.
2009 'Simultaneous Situational Ambiguity', Architectural and Phenomenology Conference, Kyoto Seika University.
2007 'Fighting it out over Utopia', Utopian Studies Conference, University of Plymouth.
2005 'The Life of Buildings', invited lecture at Cardiff University.
2005 'Ritual Practices', Territorial Practices Conference, Clemson University.
2005 'The Dancer, The Architect, The Designer and The Shrine', UIA 2005 conference, Istanbul.
2004 'Be Careful What Lessons You Think You Are Learning', invited lecture at Cardiff University.
2004 'Don’t Forget the Critical in Critical Regionalism', Primitive Conference, Cardiff University .
2002 'Finding Your Way in The Dark' (with D. Moreau), Shared Visions Conference, Brighton University.
2002 'Be Careful What Lessons You’re Learning', Mind the Map: The Third International Conference on Design History and Design Studies, Istanbul.
2001 'Where Have You Gone Joe Dimaggio? Environment-behaviour studies and its absent place in architectural education' (with D.Moreau), Architectural Education Exchange 2001, Cardiff University.
2000 'Teaching, Perceiving, Communicating' (with D. Moreau), Architectural Education Exchange 2000, Sheffield University.


Other academic activities

Visiting lecturer / guest critic at: Aoyama Gakuin University (Tokyo), Cardiff University, Carleton University, University of Central England, University of the Creative College of Arts (Canterbury), University of East London, University of Innsbruck, Tama University of the Arts (Tokyo) 

PedRIO Fellow