Intellectual Culture aims to clarify thinking about the urban and rural environment through text-led research in the history, theory, and aesthetics of architecture and the city. Intellectual Culture treats the built environment and it's spaces as a human artefact with the capacity to reflect the social and psychical condition of its subjects. With its approach to the artefact as an object of reflection, humanities research has affinities to design research in contemporary architectural languages. Its outputs include peer-reviewed journal papers, book chapters, and monographs, which focus on problems in modern and contemporary architectural thought. Research methods include the close critical reading of texts and buildings, and juxtaposition of text, images, and diagrams.

One of the central concerns of Holm’s work is to articulate the concept of the human subject for architecture; his work links theories of space with theories of the self in the disciplines of architecture, art, philosophy and psychoanalysis. Holm also works closely with Geddes Fellow Paul Guzzardo on the effects of digital culture on urban social formations. This work is embedded in a grouping of texts that include Rattray’s publications on contemporary Dutch architecture, Spens’ publications on contemporary landscape, and Deckker’s publications on Brasilia and modern cities. An AHRC Connected Communities grant in 2011 [Architecture >< Community] set an agenda for humanities informed architectural research into the well-being of communities. By means of outwardly focused research projects that incorporate history and theory methods in collaboration with other disciplines, staff in this cluster bring humanities thinking to bear on questions of resilience and sustainability.