As part of the project we will be holding three workshops:

Each workshop will focus on the same broad set of research questions, with site visits on the first day designed to stimulate discussion on the second day. The broad sets of questions we will be exploring include:

  • User experience.
    1. How can we reimagine the experience of building users?
    2. What can diaries, letters and literary evidence tell us?
    3. (How) can we use digital methods to recreate experience?
  • Patronage and knowledge.
    1. How were buildings funded and what is the relationship between funding and form?
    2. How can we use the archival evidence resulting from patterns of patronage (legislation, subscription lists, contracts etc)?
  • Radical and conservative architecture.
    1. How could and did architecture offer ways to contest, reform and reimagine society and/or maintain and strengthen existing structures?
    2. How can we use treatises, pattern books and other sources to identify different architectural discourses and different approaches to the use of space?
  • New and reimagined building types.
    1. What do building forms tell us about contemporary understanding of their functions?
    2. How did architecture shape knowledge?
    3. How can we use surviving buildings and other non-textual sources as evidence?
    4. What are the most effective ways of engaging the wider public in this research?


Site visits

The first day of each workshop will be dedicated to site visits, which are designed to stimulate new insights about the relationship between architecture and society in an Age of Reform. All travel will be arranged in advance, and network organisers will provide fact sheets for each site so that we can think about the buildings with the basic information at our fingertips.

Panel formats

The second day of each workshop will be dedicated to focussed discussion designed to respond to the venue visits, to share ideas about the network’s key research questions, build research collaborations and identify potential research themes for future research. We will adopted a blended format designed to stimulate discussion, including the following formats:

  • 5 minute speed-dating introductions to research
  • spotlight sessions on local research institutions and heritage partners
  • keynote papers
  • roundtable discussion
  • breakout


Call for expressions of interest

The project team invites initial expressions of interest from scholars interested in any element of the Architecture and Society research programme. If you feel you can make a significant contribution to any or all of our workshops, please send a brief summary of your research interests and career stage to the Principal Investigator ( by 31 July 2017. The AHRC has generously provided funding to support a limited number of participants’ UK travel and accommodation expenses.