Architecture and Planning staff share an ethos based upon Geddesian dialogues between theory and practice, localism and the international, the synoptic view and specialism. The Geddes Institute for Urban Research, is the principle collegiate forum for research and scholarship by staff and post-graduate students, acknowledging synergies between the central concerns of Architecture and Planning.

Geddes’ concern with the synoptic view encompassing ‘land work folk’ defines a form of latter day humanism (an update on a renaissance ideal) by which we orient our research practices into the urban and rural environments. Research and scholarship is bundled into the following three outwardly directed trajectories:

Spatial Governance includes research across urban and environmental governance and policy, Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), sustainability assessment of the master-planning, community planning, and building design processes, and environmental assessment of buildings.

Design and the Environment includes design practice-led research in buildings and spaces in the urban and rural environment, the development of appropriate contemporary architectural forms languages and technologies for rural and urban environments, and zero/low carbon design. This research is closely aligned with architecture studio teaching.

Intellectual Culture includes research and scholarship in history and theory of architecture and the city. It is closely aligned with design-led research and studio teaching, and collaborates with the arts, humanities, and social and physical geography, in order to augment the exploration of problems internal to its theoretical and aesthetic discourses with outward-looking problem-solving research central to policy and practice and design.

These three thematic clusters – social scientists working on policy and environmental governance, designers working on architectural language, and writers in intellectual culture – represent an interdisciplinary core of social and humanist thinking in the environment that embraces practical and theoretical concerns, and that can engage collaboratively with other disciplines. We collaborate formally and informally with other groups within and outwith the University, including: