Research within Architecture, Built Environment and Planning has for many years considered the design, provision & assessment of present and future built environments in terms of their suitability to those they're designed for.

It is underpinned and demonstrated both by a practical grounding in the design, production and assessment of innovative, groundbreaking buildings, and through the publication of high level written work.

The research covers four main themes:

  1. DeDICaTE: Digital Design and Communities

    Scott Sutherland IDEAS Visualisation 1

    An established and inter-disciplinary programme of research into the field of design visualisation in the built environment.

  2. Sustainable Housing

    Deveci - Lotte Glob

    Research into the social, economic and environmental impact of sustainable housing.

  3. PROgRESS: Projects, Processes and Performance

    Scott Sutherland IDEAS PPP Banner

    Research concentrating on process rather than product in the development of built environments.

  4. Pedagogy

    MBA Aberdeen banner

    Exploring aspects of theory, pedagogy and higher education, which directly influence the future direction of education in architecture and the built environment.

This is undertaken through the completion of research commissions, through undertaking applied and deeply exploratory practice based research, and engagement with our vibrant research student community.

Each theme is interdisciplinary, with individuals and projects often spanning more than one theme as, for example, a methodological development in one theme is employed to solve a problem within another.

A key future aim of the unit is to continue to grow this multidisciplinary expertise, which assesses environments locally, nationally and internationally. Whilst having a focus on Northern European environments, our research continues to have international relevance and build on our international reputation in the field. This reputation is reflected in our established research partnerships right across Europe, with organisations in countries including Portugal, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Spain, Germany and Holland.

Outwith RGU, staff from the unit are involved regularly in wider debate at both National and European levels, including core membership and participation in the European Construction Technology Platform, the EU Smart Cities Stakeholder Platform and the World Energy Cities Partnership Academic Programme (WECAP).


If you are interested in studying towards a research degree with us, please visit this page:

Research Degrees in Architecture, Construction and Surveying

PhD research in Architecture and Built Environment:

Completed PhDs

Current PhDs