Welsh School of Architecture staff

Mhairi McVicar

Senior Lecturer
Mhairi McVicar
Research Group Architectural History and Theory Group
Address Bute Building,
King Edward VII Avenue
CF10 3NB
Email McVicarM@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone 029 2087 4634
Fax 029 2087 4926


  • Year 3 tutor, contributor to architectural technology and history modules
  • Dissertation Supervisor (MArch)
  • Higher degree supervisor (MPhil / PhD)
  • Lead editor of made at WSA

I joined WSA as a Lecturer in 2006, following practice in a London based architectural office which focused on affordable housing. I'd previously practiced as an architect in Chicago, Illinois, and taught as an adjunct assistant professor at the School of Architecture, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). I am registered as an architect in the USA with NCARB, and a principal in Collaborative Design Studio.

My teaching has included securing a £20,000 British Council grant in 2010-11 to establish new partnerships with four institutions in the USA, resulting in US-UK student and staff exchanges and workshops and a 2011 seminar on the theme of 'Post-Industrial Transformations.'

I am the lead editor (with Eleni Ampatzi, Sam Clark and Cristian Suau) of made, the Journal of the Welsh School of Architecture.


My PhD research investigates the pursuit and consequences of precision in architectural practice. Examining relationships between concept and construction, I highlight the use of precision to predict and control the process of constructing architecture. My current research collects written, drawn, oral, and built evidence associated with constructed architectural details. By reinterpreting the technical instructions in construction drawings and specifications as poetic and cultural statements, this research analyses what a constructed detail may reveal about contemporary architectural practice.

Self build and practice

I am a director in Collaborative Design Studio, www.cdstudio.co.uk, which recently completed the 2008 Westray Heritage Centre Annex, and the self-build of a private longhouse residence in the Orkney Islands.

Other activities

I am a committee member of RSAW council, and the immediate past chair and a committee member of Design Circle RSAW South, through which I was lead organizer of several public exhibitions including Reflecting Wales 2008, Reflecting Wales 0909, and What Architects Do.