Welsh School of Architecture staff

Dr Juliet Davis, MA DipArch (Cantab) R.I.B.A. PhD

Senior Lecturer
Dr Juliet Davis
Research Group Architectural History and Theory Group
Address Bute Building,
King Edward VII Avenue
CF10 3NB
Email DavisJP@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone 029 2087 5497
Fax 029 2087 4623


  • MArch 2 Design unit leader
  • History - Theory teaching module leader
  • MArch 2 Dissertation module leader
  • Higher degree supervision
  • Acting Architectural History and Theory Research Group chair
  • Admissions Committee
  • Research Ethics Committee

I joined WSA as a Senior Lecturer in September 2012 from LSE Cities where I was a Research Fellow. I completed my Arts and Humanities Research Council funded PhD at the LSE Cities Programme in 2011. I have been a registered architect since 2001 and practiced architecture in London for eight years full time before transitioning into academia.

For three years between 2008 and 2011, I co-led the MSc City Design and Social Science studio at the Cities Programme. Prior to that, I have been a Visiting Lecturer and first year design studio convenor at the Cambridge University Department of Architecture, held a Senior Lectureship at Canterbury School of Architecture and been a visiting design studio critic at a number of other UK schools of architecture.

I undertook my undergraduate BA (first class honours) and Diploma in Architecture at Cambridge between 1992 and 1999.

Research Interests
  • Urban history and theory, including critical urban analysis
  • Urban planning and the politics of place-making
  • Conceptions of time and temporality in architecture and urban design
  • Regeneration discourses
  • Resilience

In my research, I am particularly interested in themes of the politics of place-making, in the conceptions of time and temporality that inform design and development processes, and - linked to both of these - in the shaping of urban places and spaces through time. These interests have been particularly reflected to date in my PhD thesis 'Urbanising the Event' which focussed on the role of the past, present and future in design processes connected to the London Olympics' 'regeneration legacy', and in my current work on the relationship between urban form and governance in 'resilience-building'.

In the PhD, I looked first at how approaches to urban (re)design and tabula rasa planning were informed by ways of representing the Olympic site's past, the value of its urban fabric and of explaining its present day urban realities. Second, I considered the role and potential significance of local users relocated from the site prior to its redevelopment for the Olympics and of locals engaged in masterplanning processes through consultation in highlighting alternative interpretations of its past, present and future. Third, I looked at the timescales of the legacy vision and explored ways of conceptualising the challenge of design, development and legacy-delivery over many decades. The conclusions were in several parts, as these explorations highlighted difficulties in the identification of who would benefit from the urban legacy (in given timeframes), in how to balance long-term goals with the need for light-footed responsiveness and adaptability to the uncertainty of changing development and policy contexts over time, and in the relationship between local and wider processes of spatial and socio-economic transformation.

Current Work

I am currently in the process of disseminating the research and findings from my PhD. Since 2011, I have been working on a study of 'resilience' at the scale of city neighbourhoods which has been funded for a first phase by Grosvenor and Rockwood Capital. This has been focussing on understanding relationships between designs and the management of urban places over time in creating adaptability to diverse contexts of change. It has involved analysing and comparing the development histories of eight case studies, each of which reflects both inherited and ongoing forms of urban planning, design, building and investment (including heritage strategies). The case studies encompass a rich array of urban forms - from the terraced urban form of Mayfair to the courtyard blocks of Berlin, and from the tall towers of Hong King to low-rise 'planned communities' of Orange County. They, similarly, reflect a number of international models of long term urban development and management - from the 'stewardship' of the Grosvenor Estate in London to the Irvine Company in California to the Urban Renewal Authority of Singapore. The 'Evolving Cities' report which is the first output from this research is due to be published through LSE Cities in December 2013.

As part of the process of extending and deepening theoretical and empirical concerns with conceptions of time and temporality, Juliet is a member of Cardiff University's interdisciplinary 'Futures Research Group': www.cardiff.ac.uk/socsi/futures/research.html