The Research Methods Workshop is a taught programme introducing first year master students to research in architecture. It aims at developing methodological and conceptual capabilities that are applicable to the disciplines of architecture. The subjects and approaches of the different workshops reflect a symbiosis between design practice and history and theory and allows for scholarship to be placed within a deeper understanding of architecture as a whole.

The workshops are developed through a series of weekly meetings and intensive working sessions. Research is here understood as a range of techniques employed to generate knowledge about design that can be mobilized in design. It is conducted developing and using a set of tools and apparatuses for inquiry from diagramming and mapping to model making, and from archival research to oral history. Research Methods Workshops used a variety of group and individual working, and resulted in a wide range of different forms of submission.

A full online exhibition of the Research Methods Workshops is available at



Campus Architecture: Science and the City

This MArch course is conceived as a visual and analytic chronicle of the new spaces of science and Higher Education that are reshaping cities in what has been termed the ‘knowledge economy’. Students were asked to explore ethnographically the buildings of various generations, from labs to libraries.

Abbigayle York, Asma Fouz, Cheng Tianmo, Deenesh Gungaphul, Froilan John Palacio, Guney Topal, Jasmine Turner, Olivia Walton, Riyan Chowdhury, Rushil Alpesh Shah, Shaan Singh, Shen Xinyu, Vikas Parekh, Wu Yicheng, Zheng Haoyu


White Heat: UMIST / ID Manchester

MArch students looked at the history of the former UMIST campus site, currently being developed as the ID Manchester innovation district. Research analysed the historical development of the site from its state immediately prior to early industrial exploitation in the mid 18th century through to its current situation.

Adya Saran, Alexander John Wallace, Andrea Foscaro, Anna Gleis, Charlotte Keen, Elicia Kelly, Emily Walsh, Hanjun Kim, Huang Kuolin, John Dollosa, Julian Ng, Kian Hennessey, Neha Ashok Bellad , Peter Staniforth, Ricky Wong, Youssef Shafiek


Designing For Welfare

The Architecture and Landscape of Post-1945 Public Housing

This unit followed a case study approach allowing students to undertake detailed analysis. This year the focus was on various post-1945 public housing developments and their landscapes, which were created in the period of the so-called ‘Welfare Consensus’ by the State in Britain. Students worked in small, multidisciplinary groups.

Aiman Hakim Bin Rahman, Athol Thomas Jeremiah Ruston, Ben Burke, Charlotte Bromley, Deng Yucheng, Elliot Foster, Erin Hughes, Harry Charalambous, Hemen Galal, Jonathan Quail, Raghav Garg, Thomas Halliwell, Xii Lim, Xiongzhe Shi, Zain Sayed Jameel Mustafa Hasan Alsharaf


An Environmental History of Cement: Critical Building Material of the 20th Century

Given that certain building materials (concrete, steel, glass, plastic) are at the heart of our modern lives, of society and culture, and of architecture and urbanism, this methods workshop studied architecture and its history through the lens of one building material, cement, and its specific histories and geographies, in the UK and beyond.

Students Cao Jingyi, Chang Liu, Chen Liangru, Christopher Waltham, Georgia Simmons, Harry Edward Tate, Huang Letong , Jack Garforth, Liu Jiawei, Monika Ebrahimi, Nitya Devgun, Sally-Ann So Kei Ho, Tobia Morselli, Yang Baoxin, Zhiwei Zhu


Decolonising the Bathroom: taking Kira ’round the world

This course is built on the premise that we need to study and understand practices as a precondition to ‘good’ architectural design. We took Kira’s (1977) detailed account of the ‘bathroom’ around the world. Our aim was to examine the bathroom through the lens of social practices of sanitation and personal hygiene embedded within the geographical and culturally specific context within which they appear.

Students Abigail Smart, Aisha Zulfiqar, Cheuk Yu Lauren Fung, Lam, Chung Yan Hannah, Liu Meijun, Mayce Arebi, Natalia Fijalkowska, Nur Azureeni Binti Dzulqanain, Osragli Elezi, Pan Yanhao, Rasaq Ayomide Yishawu , Ryan Ehlers, Shu Yi Amanda Lim, Tariro Ushe, Zhou Xinyi


User Representation in Architecture

This course looked critically at the term ‘user’ as employed within architecture. It explored strategies for understanding the aspirations and needs of building users. The difficulties of designing buildings for unknown users - who might differ from the architect in terms of age, gender, class and ethnicity - was analysed along with the risks of reducing potential users to stereotypes.

Students Raiyhan Alvi, Joanna Bulaong, Karishma Dayalji, Megan Dinsley, Danish Farooqui, Lucy Hobbs, Arif Izzuddin Bin Arif Ismail, James Jones, Oliver Porter, Su Qinze, Agrima Sharma, Ayesha Sharma, Rebecca Skelton, Maira Tini, Hanna Batrisyia Binti Che Zulkhikam


Filmic Architecture VII: Domesticity on Screen

This Workshop worked across the disciplines of film and architecture with a series of exercises involving cinema and film theory and how these relate to architecture. These studies build towards the design of ‘a house for’ a selected film director. This house is then constructed and filmed.

Watch showreel

Students Amizatul Shayidah Binti Mohd Foad, Connor Meighan, Emily Butterworth, Francesca Caslini, He Zheyi, Hsu, Hui-Ting, Joseph Sudlow, Leona Somerville, Lewis Inman, Mirta Scalabrin, Nur Dalila Binti Nadzri, Reece Davey, Samyak Jain, Syamin Amira Binti Muriddan, Thomas Lee


Prefigurative Architectures

Popular Logistics and Municipalism During the Pandemic

The workshop examined the architecture and politics of urban logistics. This workshop problematised the relationship between logistics and municipalism. It challenged the remit and potentiality of architecture and design practices in the articulation of more egalitarian and just cities, visualizing the workings of procurement and distribution practices.

Students Adarsh Binesh, Alin Pal, Andrew Finn, Erika-Karen Low, Fatemeh Goudarzi, Marwa Dulaimi, Samuel Mason, Shan En Lin, Tyler Bakhtiari, Ulrick Rudy Agbodan, Waleed Jabr H Alsulami, Wang Jianyu, Wong, Sak Lam Vito, Xu Kaiyan, Yang Songchuan, Zou Yuanjie


Urban Anti-Urbanism in the 20th Century

Anti-urbanism is an urban phenomenon, expressing key contradictions within urbanisation. This course offered a new, historically-grounded and interdisciplinary account of anti-urbanism and its relationship to urbanisation, modernity and political change. It contextualised contemporary urbanisation challenges facing society, and offered to develop critical and historical apparatuses for understanding urbanisation and related issues in the present.

Students Kester Miller, Mohsin Ali, Muhammad Amir Safwan Bin Mahayudin, Rhian Marged Jones, Sadiyah Tijani-Stapleton, Shadi Mohammed H Albaity, Shiwen Ng, Thady Smyth, Weng Lam, Xie Zhiyuan, Zhou Jingyi


D E E P | cutting | E D G E: Deep Mapping of Manchester Edgelands

This Research Method workshop was an exercise in deep mapping using ficto-critical research methods. The workshop used interdisciplinary and experimental methods on the intersection of architecture, art and creative writing to engage with Edgelands, the often-overlooked in-between spaces left by rapid changes in the urban environment, focusing on the Pomona Island in Manchester.


Students Anisa Begum, Hiu Tik Li, Harrison , Jan Laming, Kayla Dabu, Li Nuoya, Madison Woodhead, Mirza Rahman, Norzafeera Binti Nik Marzukee, Oliver Le Marquand, Queeny Desouza, Rachel Amy Price, Rebecca Howe, Samruddhi Shendurnikar, Uliana Serbinova, Yang Yue, Zhang Yunqi


Mobile Architectures

This workshop studied vehicles of the land, sea, and air as mobile architectures that house users for the duration of transit. With this novel approach and methodology, we can expand our architectural know-how beyond buildings, but we can also stay with buildings and see them in a new light.

Students Abdul Muaz Aiman Bin Masri, Ahmed Ali, Che Zeyu, Daryl Lee Quayle, Johan Bin Nor Azman, Leonardo Forcignano, Li, Fangfei, Mohamad Danial Haziq Bin Mohd Hamdan, Omkar Sanjay Salvi, Rucha Anand Valimbe, Sehaam Usmani, Tai, Yi-Cheng, Wang Jianxuan, Writushree Saha, Yutong Liu Zhao Zilang