RESCALE – RESearch into Cities, Architecture, Landscape, Environment


Below is a selection of research projects currently underway with RESCALE, in alphabetical order.


International Urbanism - Atlas of Negotiated Typologies

Irregular settlements and urban villages make a crucial contribution to a diverse range of scenarios of rapid urbanisation in the Global South. The ongoing research project has undertaken field research has been undertaken in collaboration with the German Jordanian University Amman and Arini on Jabal Al Natheef, a Palestinian refugee camp in Amman, Jordan, with Chulalongkorn University Bangkok on Ban Krua, an urban village in Bangkok, Thailand and with the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago and the Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María, Valparaíso on Cerro de la Cruz, an irregular settlement in Valparaiso.


Researchers: Christoph Lueder, Alexandru Malaescu, Iulia Fratila.


Read more about the project.


Landscape Interface Studio research

The Landscape Interface Studio project was launched by Associate Professor Pat Brown, with the support of her National Teaching Fellowship. The Interface Studio is committed to the transfer of knowledge and ideas between practice, research and education.

The multi-layered project develops and extends our water, places and people research at scales from big picture landscape urbanism practice to the micro topographies and ecologies of local practice. This includes themes of navigation, flood resilience, and experience of the city and takes advantage of our immediate location on the Arcadian Thames London and our extended collaborative network developed through projects including EU Waterways Forward with inclusive communication, participatory workshops, and EU policy recommendation outputs.

Researcher: Pat Brown

Live projects research

Both research informed teaching and teaching informed research are at the core of what RESCALE does, as manifested in the collaborative student/staff live projects of the past 6 years.

Researchers: Andrew Budd, Takeshi Hayatsu, Simon Jones, Tim Gough, Jane Houghton

Read more about the research.

Professional practice based research

RESCALE understands our constructed environment as a material and temporal practice, where new elements are understood as being contingent upon that which already exists. We are concerned with continuity, and consider context in social, political, economic and environmental, as well as physical terms, from buildings through to cities and landscapes. Our work is situated within an understanding of place but also within a broader ethical framework. It is inclusive, non-judgemental and open to the complexity and heterogeneity of contemporary conditions. The majority of RESCALE members are engaged in practice based research.

Read more about the research.

Public engagement

RESCALE engages with local communities, stakeholders and the public through:

  • knowledge transfer partnerships at local, national and international levels
  • public symposia
  • invited public talks and keynote speeches at national and international conferences
  • exhibitions
  • panel memberships and advisory roles


Research in environmental design

Research in environmental design focuses on the resilience of our built environment, and responds to an increasing need to develop strategies for adapting to climate change and carbon emissions. The research in this field is led from the school’s architectural science and technology laboratory, ArchiLab, under the direction of Dr Stephen Pretlove, Associate Professor. Current research takes a holistic approach to sustainable design, construction and occupation of buildings and a number of projects are currently in operation. Details of research carried out in ArchiLab, the researchers involved, and past and current projects can be found on the ArchiLab website.

We have considerable experience of UK Government-funded research projects through collaborative Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) and we are currently operating a two-year KTP funded by InnovateUK involving Dr Pretlove as the Lead Supervisor and with Clive Chapman, Director and founder of Clive Chapman Architects, in Twickenham, as the company partner. The project’s aim is to develop a holistic and integrated system for the relationship between the design, construction and operation of sustainable, lifelong, low carbon buildings and to establish a specialist consultancy service. The project start date was 1/10/15, and value is £120,000.

We have also secured Innovation Voucher (IV) funding from InnovateUK to establish collaborative links with industry and have recently worked with the Lee Evans Partnership to carry out a project focusing on the energy efficient heating of church buildings. This project took a number of different church buildings in Kent and Sussex with different heating strategies and quantified energy and carbon emissions for each.

Research is also currently underway to look at ‘fabric first’ principles of using innovative material technologies to provide low energy and stable environmental conditions in archive buildings. This project, being carried out by researchers in the school and the owner of a comprehensive collection of architectural drawings and models, has adopted a strategy of using thick section Cross-Laminated-Timber (CLT) as the envelope of the archive building, as both a thermal and moisture sink to reduce the need for mechanical and electric services to maintain appropriate conditions. The project requires the monitoring of conditions for a full year and is currently in proress.

Researcher: Stephen Pretlove


Space, Place and Architecture through Lens-Based Art

A multi-faceted project exploring the relevance of artist’s film and photography for grasping the elusive spatio-temporal continuum of architectural experience, and the ambiguities of our late modern built environment. The project has so far resulted in a number of journal articles, book chapters, film screenings and exhibitions.

Researchers: Alexandra Stara, Eleanor Suess, Annalisa Sonzogni


Read more about the project.