MSA has developed a strong research presence, which is underpinned by the diverse range of work produced in our ateliers. Both research and studio practice are interwoven in their practical and applied engagement with the built environment. We work in various groups and partnerships, with each other and with external agencies. Our research groups fall broadly into three thematic areas: Built Heritage, Urban Futures and Citizen Engagement.

These themes capture the breadth of research produced collaboratively and by individuals. We often conduct research that crosses these themes and are frequently allied to more than one area. Under these headers we are able to describe the major successes and the measurable impact of our work to society. The School is has strong links to practice and is connected to the city, region and world with over 150 external partners. Our key strength is in applied research and its relationship to the realities of contemporary architecture and urbanism.

Research Areas


Built Heritage

Under this banner there is a truly diverse range of research, covering a broad temporal frame and wide geographic range. We’re interested in all forms of architectural history, its western canon and its changing appreciation in a globalised world.

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The Life of Buildings

Citizen Engagement

Architecture involves people. We engage the city and its population in myriad ways, from community consultation through to interactive brainwave controlled performance. We act as consultants and an interface between councils and their local stakeholders and influence the design and feel of the city.

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Making Post War Manchester

Urban Futures

It is impossible to consider architecture without thinking about what comes next and our research in this area examines smart cities, material technologies, new forms of fabrication and the way in which society and technology co-exist.

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Staff Research Reports
UKRI Funded Research Network
The Landscapes of Post-War Infrastructure
Culture, Amenity, Heritage and Industry
AHRC funded research project
Women of the Welfare Landscape
Uncovering women's contribution to post second world war landscape architecture in Britain
Conference, Wikithon & Exhibition
How Women Build?
A two day conference on women’s role in the built environment professions