Ewch i’r prif gynnwys
Dr Hiral Patel

Dr Hiral Patel

Lecturer in Architecture

Adeilad Bute, Rhodfa'r Brenin Edward VII, Caerdydd, CF10 3NB
Ar gael fel goruchwyliwr ôl-raddedig


My current research and teaching aim to better understand clients and users of the built environments. I am interested in themes of learning, socio-material practices, holistic building performance and adaptation of buildings. 

My PhD research theorises the practices of adapting academic library buildings. Based on this research, my consultancy for Higher Education Design Quality Forum (HEDQF) identified research themes for future learning environments in the higher education sector. Building on this, I am co-creating a research agenda for future learning environments to develop new ways of designing and managing higher education spaces. I also provide consultancy for businesses to develop research-based design approaches, which aligns with my design-research teaching activities.  

Through a range of funded projects, I have developed a framework, 'Learning-Space Aligner' to better align learning and space, which I am piloting with university partners and in workplaces.

My research on workplaces involved curating the  DEGW archive and exploring the linkages between organisational practices and the built environment to help understand the changing nature of ‘work’. Based on this, I am currently co-authoring the third edition of 'Integrative Briefing for Better Design'. 

Since August 2022, I have taken on the role of Director of Engagement at the Welsh School of Architecture. My work in this role will build on the Engaged Scholarship methodology that I have tested in my research and teaching.


Having trained as an architect from India and practiced in the UK, my work has spanned from research, developing business processes, and managing projects to technical building design. I have also provided programme management consultancy to higher education clients. This industry experience has shaped my teaching and research approaches.

Anrhydeddau a Dyfarniadau

Emerald Best Research Methodology Paper for the paper “Are we looking at the same thing? Multiple methods to frame ‘occupancy’ of a library building” at ARCOM 2019 conference.

Safleoedd academaidd blaenorol

  • 2018-2019: Teaching Fellow, School of Construction Management and Engineering, University of Reading
  • 2017: Academic Reviewer, University College of Estate Management
  • 2016-2018: Post-doctoral Researcher, School of Construction Management and Engineering, University of Reading

Ymrwymiadau siarad cyhoeddus

  • HEDQF student prize, 14-15 July, HEDQF conference 2022 at Cardiff University, presenting student projects from LE-DR lab that were awarded HEDQF student prizes. (Link)
  • PhD Journey: Looking back and looking ahead, 21 June 2022, keynote speaker at the University of Reading PhD conference.
  • Aligning learning and space – a tale of buildings, users and technologies, 16 February 2022, Sheffield Hallam University Space & Place Group +Interdisciplinary Higher Education Research Cluster “Changing Campus” event. (Link)
  • Future of academic library spaces, 3 March 2021, RLUK Digital Shift Forum. (Link)
  • Curating the DEGW Archive as a Living Archive The Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain, Annual Symposium 2020, ARCH/TECTURES ARCH/VES 2: Practice/Pedagogy, 14 August 2020 (Link).

Pwyllgorau ac adolygu

  • Journal reviewer: Construction Management and Economics Journal
  • Journal reviewer: Building Research & Information Journal
  • Journal reviewer: Arch-net IJAR
  • Journal reviewer: Sustainable Cities and Societies
  • Committee member: Ecosystem Resilience Biodiversity Action Plan (ERBAP), Cardiff University (current)
  • Committee member: Construction Excellence (G4C), Berkshire Chapter, (2013-14)












I teach on the topics of design research, building performance, reflective practice and qualitative research methods.

For my design research teaching on university learning environments, visit Learning Environments Design Research Laboratory (LE-DR Lab).

Funding successes

  • Enabling pilot projects to apply and enhance the ‘Learning-Space Aligner’ tool, funded by HEFCW and Cardiff University “via Innovation for all” grant, PI for the project, May 2022 (£12,201)
  • Future University Campus – Preparing for post-Covid-19 scenarios¸ PI for the project, May 2021, ESRC Impact Accelerator Grant – Cardiff University (£11,705)
  • University spaces for learning through life in the fourth industrial revolution¸ PI for the project, January 2021, ESRC Impact Accelerator Grant – Cardiff University (£9,679)
  • University of Reading Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme (UROP), PI for the project ‘Smart cities in making – A comparative study of Indian and UK cities’, June 2019 (£1,320).
  • University of Reading Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme (UROP), Co-I for the project ‘Curating a collection: Capturing the story of John Worthington’s collection’, June 2018 (£1,320).
  • The University of Reading Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives fund for supporting Fundamental: Users seminar series, May 2018 (£200).
  • University of Reading’s Heritage and Creativity Institute funding for the DEGW Action Lab (£750).
  • University of Reading Endowment Fund for supporting the April 2017 workshop for the DEGW archive project (£500).
  • Named researcher in a successful funding application to the University of Reading Endowment Fund in 2017 for the DEGW archive project (£18,000).
  • Doctoral Training Studentship to undertake PhD at the University of Reading, funded by EPSRC for 3.5 years, April 2012 (Tuition fees and £40,770 stipend).


  • Stride Treglown Architects, September 2020.
  • Higher Education Design Quality Forum, Future of the learning environments, June 2019.

PhD supervision – current PhD students       

  • First supervisor for Hussa Alghunaim – Community-Led, Co-Designed Initiatives to Improve Water Sustainability and Enhance Biodiversity in Kuwait University: Case Study of the Sabah Al Salem University City
  • Second supervisor for Jierui Wang - The ways that architecture students constitute the community of practice: by researching peer learning in informal situations


Goruchwyliaeth gyfredol

Amalia Banteli

Amalia Banteli

Research student

Jierui Wang

Research student