Mr Matthew James Wells

School: School of Art and Architecture
Position: Lecturer


M. J. Wells is an architect and historian. Following architectural training in Liverpool and London, he was awarded a Masters degree in Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art for research on Renaissance architectural drawings. Previously he worked in the offices of Patrick Lynch, and, later, Eric Parry on a number of London-based and international projects. Prior to teaching at Kingston, he has held academic positions at the University of Liverpool, the CASS School of Architecture, Art, and Design, and the University of Nottingham.

Related links

Research expertise

Current research interests include nineteenth-century architectural models, the history of architectural representation, the use of language and rhetoric in architectural culture, and the exhibition of architecture in the modern period.

Recently Matthew's writing has been published in both academic journals (San Rocco, Journal of Art Historiography) and the architectural press (Architecture Today, Building Design).

Based within the Victoria & Albert Museum / Royal College of Art History of Design Department and supported by an Arts and Humanities Research Council Collaborative Doctoral Award, his doctoral research looks at how architects thought about, commissioned, and used models during the nineteenth century. In addition to the research's dissemination through academic journals and refined curatorial practice at the V&A, the metacognitive aspect of architectural representation feeds directly into the studio teaching at Kingston and criticism of contemporary architecture.

Educational and professional qualifications

  • 2015Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Practice (RIBA Part III) University of Westminster
  • 2014MA History of Art Representation & Reconstruction: A Contribution to the Study of the Baths of Diocletian, Courtauld Institute of Art
  • 2013Diploma in Architecture CASS School of Architecture, Art, and Design, London Metropolitan University
  • 2010BA Architecture University of Liverpool
  • PhD (completion in 2018) Architectural models and the professional practice of the architect, 1834–1916, Royal College of Art / Victoria & Albert Museum

Conferences & events

Forthcoming in 2018
Article: 'The Royal Academy Exhibition of 1847', in M. Hallett, S. Turner and J. Feather, eds. The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 1769-2018, Paul Mellon Centre / Royal Academy Online Chronicle and Database.

Article: 'Relations and Reflections to the Eye and Understanding: Architectural Models and the Rebuilding of the Royal Exchange, 1839 – 1844.' Architectural History (Vol. 60, 2017)
Length: 9,380 words - Peer reviewed.

Workshop organizer: Curating History, Conference and Curatorial Workshop. Two-year project working with doctoral researchers from EUI Florence, Warwick University, and NOVA, Lisbon to prepare a conference, workshop, and doctoral-level multi-disciplinary network.

Article: 'The practice of history: the Smithsons, Colin St John Wilson, and the writing of architectural history', Journal of Art Historiography (Vol. 14, June 2016) - Length: 4,000 words - Peer reviewed

Conference paper: 'The Royal Academy Exhibition of 1847: J. B. Bunning and the new Coal Exchange model', presented at A Year's Art, Paul Mellon Centre, 29 September 2016.

Conference paper: 'Knowledge, history, and work: Critical positions at the Royal Institute of British Architects 1889 - 1924', presented at Actors and Vehicles of Architectural Criticism, Università di Bologna, 4 October 2016.

Article: 'False Evidence: The Production of Drawings on behalf of Bramante in the 20th Century',
San Rocco (Vol. 11, Autumn 2015) - Length: 3,400 words

Research groups & programmes