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 Year Chair
  • MArch 2 Dissertation module leader
  • History and Theory teaching
  • Higher degree supervision
  • Admissions Committee
  • Research Committee member
  • Research Ethics Committee Chair
  • Board of Studies member
Research Interests
  • Urban theory — particularly regarding urban politics and governance
  • Politics and economics of urban development
  • Urban futures: theorised, envisioned, drawn, made
  • Discourses of decline and sustainable regeneration
  • Olympic legacy
  • Resilient urban form
  • Politics of heritage

In my research, I am interested in how urban design and architecture are shaped by and engage with broader urban politics, particularly in terms of their ways of conceptualising and approaching the past, present and future of places. These themes lay at the heart of my PhD thesis, 'Urbanising the Event', which focussed on the early stages of designing an urban legacy for London's 2012 Olympics.

Here, I looked at how approaches to and ways of approaching the past and future in the context of urban policy and planning geared to realising a sustainable regeneration legacy from the Olympics were taken forward and translated in spatial design strategies and development processes. I explored how ideas and ideals of community and urban change in policy and planning discourses were informed by understandings of historical post-industrial decline, as of the site's future potentiality and opportunity for renewal and re-urbanisation, and then at how these translated and took shape in the erasure of the site's pre-Olympic built fabric and in the spaces imagined and drawn for its future. As redevelopment and redesign processes had immediate social and political implications, I looked at some of collisions of view or perspective that arose between those involved in projecting future visions and people living in the area who were displaced and involved in democratic planning processes, conceptualising in the process a politics of seeing urban futures. In looking at designs for the future, I considered the impact of ways of anticipating or knowing and endeavouring to ensure the future on conceptions of the role and responsibility of design and designers, as of their dependency on political and economic contexts. I drew, in the process, on a mixture of urban, social and architectural theory. The conclusions to the thesis were in several parts, as these explorations highlighted difficulties in the identification of who would benefit from the urban legacy, in how to balance the long-term promise and 'vision' of regeneration with the need for light-footed responsiveness and adaptability to changing development contexts, and in the relationship between local and larger scale processes of spatial and socio-economic transformation.

I am currently in the process of disseminating the research and findings from my PhD and have a number of forthcoming publications, including a book due for publication by English Heritage in 2016, and a guest edited special issue of the architectural journal 'arq' (18/4) in 2014. The book is a collaboration with photographers Debra Rapp and Marion Davies. It represents and explains the development of the now vanished industrial 'edgelands' (Shoard, 2002) of the pre-Olympic site in terms of the people who lived and worked there and their environments. The photographic archive provides material for thinking about the politics of remembering and forgetting in urban development as well as the role of photography in the representation of urban pasts.

Between 2011 and 2013, I worked on a funded study of urban resilience. This focussed on understanding the role of long term, neighbourhood-scaled development processes and urban governance in creating adaptability to diverse contexts of change. The 'Evolving Cities' report was published through LSE Cities in December 2013. It forms the basis for a book proposal currently in development.

I am a member of Cardiff University's interdisciplinary 'Futures Research Group': cardiff.ac.uk/socsi/futures/research.html

Teaching profile

I teach at various levels of the school in topics related to my research. I give lectures in urban design and architectural history and theory from first to third year, and also contribute to the MA in Urban Design.

Building on a decade's experience of design teaching at levels from first year to Masters as well as my research and practice background, my unit in WSA's MArch programme encourages students to respond in informed and critical ways to urban sites and contexts, to draw on urban theory whilst also to look closely, and focuses thematically on questions of approach to, imagination of and concern for our near and distant futures.

I have several PhD students working on topics broadly connected with the above research interests.


Dispersal: A Landscape on the Edge - book to be published by English Heritage, 2016 Designing for Posterity: London's Olympic Legacy - guest edited special issue of arq, 18/4, 2014 The Patient City - book proposal in development

External activities

I am external examiner at the Leicester School of Architecture (2014-2017)

Other information

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 (AHRC) 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 teaching and research. Six of those years in practice were based at Eric Parry Architects.

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 was a Visiting Lecturer and first year design studio convenor at the Cambridge University Department of Architecture, and I held a Senior Lectureship at Canterbury School of Architecture between 2005 and 2008. I have been a visiting design studio critic at a number of other UK schools of architecture (including the Bartlett School of Architecture, London Metropolitan School of Architecture and Leicester School of Architecture).

I graduated from Cambridge University in 1995 with a first class degree in Architecture and the top portfolio prize, and with a Commendation in Architecture in 1999.