Richard is a senior lecturer at Manchester School of Architecture, leading BA3 and the Infrastructure Space Atelier.

Richard has a background in architecture having studied at the Manchester School of Architecture (MSA) to complete his BA in 2004, B.Arch in 2007 and MA in 2008. From 2008, Richard worked as an associate lecturer at MSA, alongside his role in industry, specialising in security, satellite, and mobile communication technologies. Richard started his PhD at Lancaster University in 2016 while continuing his associate lecturer role at MSA. He was then appointed to his current role as a full-time senior lecturer at MSA in August 2019, completing his PhD in 2020.

During his time in industry, Richard became interested in digital networks and the transformative nature that these technologies are having on our cities and their stakeholders. In his role as Development Director of an SME, his team was awarded funding to conduct research and product development by Satellite Applications Catapult and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. This work focused on the feasibility of using 3G and 4G platforms for the Emergency Services Network. The work explored the delivery of digital healthcare in the Highlands of Scotland, including working on the Satellite Ultrasound for Rural Stroke (SURS) project for which the team won the Scottish Life Sciences award for innovation in 2015.

Richard continued this line of research with MSA, tutoring on both the Highlands and Islands Data Mapping project and the Data Mapping Cornwall project. The latter project was funded by Satellite Applications Catapult and the Cornwall, Isles of Scilly LEP to speculate on where increased digital connectivity may contribute to spatial and operational value.

Richard has an interest in the ethics of digital technologies which he explored through his EPSRC funded PhD position at Lancaster University focusing on the challenges that future digital technologies may present to cities and their citizens. Through the early stages of this research, it became clear that autonomous vehicles were being pitched as the ultimate embodiment of a digitally connected device, which if deliverable, would have a significant impact on all our lives. Despite this potential, it became clear that the visions and discourse surrounding autonomous vehicles were leaving some user groups behind, including those arguably most affected by their implementation, professional drivers.

Richard's current research is interested in the ethics of new digital technologies and the potential transformative impacts that these developments may have on our cities and their users.



Morton, R., Higgins, S., 2023. Exhibition: Interactive Design Speculation - Cumbria, 70 Oxford Street Manchester, 20/11/2023 - 20/11/2023.

Morton, R., Higgins, S., 2023. Mining the Future, Florence Arts Centre, 7/7/2023 - 6/10/2023.


Jefferies, T., Coucill, L., Morton, R., Csepely-Knorr, L., 2017. 'Data Mapping Cornwall', Manchester School of Architecture.

Journal Articles

Morton, R., Richards, D., Dunn, N., Coulton, P., 2019. 'Questioning the social and ethical implications of autonomous vehicle technologies on professional drivers.', The Design Journal, 22 (sup1), pp. 2061-2071.

Conference Papers

Morton, R., Dunn, N., Richards, D., Coulton, P., 2017. ''Smart' Autonomous vehicles in cities of the future', Mobile Utopia, Lancaster, 2/11/2017 - 5/11/2017.

Theses and Dissertations

Morton, R., 2020. 'The social and ethical implications of autonomous vehicles'.

Other Outputs

Morton, R., Higgins, S., 2023. 'Stakeholder Workshop: Design Speculation Cleator Mill'.

Morton, R., Higgins, S., 2023. 'Stakeholder Workshop: Thematic Data Mapping Cumbria'.