Welsh School of Architecture staff

Mhairi McVicar

Senior Lecturer and Director of Engagement
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


  • Director of Engagement
  • Project Lead, Community Gateway
  • Module Leader for BSc Architectural Technology 2 / Studio Tutor (term 2) Architectural Design 2
  • Higher degree supervisor (MPhil / PhD)
  • Dissertation Surpervisor (MArch)
Research interest

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 constructed details to critique processes of contemporary architectural practice.

Teaching profile

My teaching in architecture is drawn from my experiences in architectural practice: I teach themes across design, technology, history, theory, and project management and economics: in short, teaching in preparation for the expectations of architectural practice. In particular, I focus on integration between these aspects, and specifically the integration of conceptual design and its translation into constructed form through technical engagement. Through my role in Community Gateway, much of my teaching is currently focused in Grangetown, Cardiff, working with the support of a long term partnership between Cardiff University and Grangetown which begins with community led ideas, skills, and expertise to inform and develop university teaching and research. This permits long term engagement with people and places, encouraging students to collaborate and to build on previous research and ideas for ongoing design projects.


I'm Project Lead of Community Gateway, a University wide community engagement initiative which seeks to develop long term partnerships with communities in Wales, piloting with Grangetown, Cardiff. Please contact me with any proposed or current research / teaching / engagement activities which could support or be supported through partnerships between Cardiff University and Grangetown. Find out more at http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/about/our-profile/engagement/flagship-projects/community-gateway and keep up to date with us on Twitter @CommunityGtwy

External activities
  • WSA representative on Royal Society of Architects in Wales Council (RSAW)
  • I am registered as an architect in the USA with NCARB.