Image bar Centre for Research Architecture


This new and innovative research centre brings together architects, urbanists, filmmakers, curators and other cultural practitioners from around the world to work on expanded notions of architecture that engage with questions of culture, politics, conflict and human rights.

The aim of the centre is to give rigorous tools for urban research and practice to a variety of practitioners from various backgrounds. The work of the centre is based upon the idea of “practice led theory”. Students will pursue individual projects and undertake research and writing that incorporate contemporary Critical Theory, Philosophy and Cultural Studies.

Rather than merely supporting the productive process of architectural constructs, this process involves itself in radical critique of its nature.

Funding opportunities for MA in Research Architecture and MPhil/PhD in Research Architecture:

Goldsmiths is part of a new block grant AHRC studentship partnership, which means that we will be entering successful applicants to our PhD programmes to a competition for these studentships in the spring of 2014. More details of this process will be announced shortly.

The third iteration of the PhD Roundtable in the Centre for Research Architecture begins in the fall of 2014. If you wish to be considered for one of these awards, please note that you need to have been interviewed and accepted into the programme by mid-February. This means that you need to have made a formal application to the Centre for Research Architecture by 31 January 2014 and have had initial contact with us to discuss your proposal by early January 2014. Please address any inquiries to:

Please see below for details of other funding available to Research Architecture students.  All details, deadlines and how to apply are available from the following link:

AHRC funding (for MA candidates)


Useful links:

Forensic Architecture:

PhD: (RT1-2 archive)

MA: (previous MA projects)

Forensic Architecture (Research Project)

From 2011-2014, the Centre for Research Architecture has been engaged in a four-year ERC-funded project entitled Forensic Architecture. The project is organized around a series of international seminars and workshops with distinguished practitioners in the field, publications and exhibitions. Members of the Centre undertaking the MA or PhD programme will participate in the activities developed throughout the project. 

Short description: Because violations of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and human right (HR) conventions are frequently undertaken in cities and by means that deliberately manipulate the elements that constitute their built fabric, this project contends that organizations employing HR and IHL could benefit from a closer engagement with the operational procedures, conceptual assumptions, methodologies, and technologies of urban and architectural analysis. Legal claims of the kind that are brought to international courts and tribunals or made to circulate within the general media often invoke images of destroyed buildings or of menacing new constructions, but these are too often treated merely as self-evident illustrations of atrocity. This project attempts to transform the built environment from an illustration of alleged violations to a source of knowledge about them and a resource through which controversial events and political processes could be reconstructed, analyzed and better understood. The project is driven by the introduction of a new operative concept – “Forensic Architecture” (FA) – which is proposed as a field of practice and as an analytical method for probing the political and social histories inscribed in spatial artefacts and in built environments.

In this four-year project, a multidisciplinary group of spatial practitioners at the Centre for Research Architecture (CRA) employ new technologies and novel forms of spatial analysis in order to query the function of space as evidence within the different forums of international justice. The project is organized around the investigation of several legal controversies, each with a distinct spatial dimension. In site and archival visits and through the use new technologies of spatial, structural, and event modelling, the project will deal with the built environment aspects of violations. By helping to extend the means by which the physical dimension of urban war could be mapped and modelled, FA will help to create new grounds in thinking about IHL and HR as they bear upon built structures and urban environments. The project will result in a web-based interactive platform including original essays and articles, and the visual/measurable material produced by the case study analyses in various formats. The first three years of the project will be concluded with the presentation of a major exhibition at the House of World Cultures Berlin in Spring 2013 and in Le Bal, Paris in Fall 2013 and will be accompanied by a large edited catalogue and a symposium.

Content last modified: 24 Apr 2014

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