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Dr Richard Bower

Dr Richard Bower

School of Geography and Planning

Available for postgraduate supervision


As a lecturer in Urban Design I am fascinated by the interrelationship of people, place, and power experienced through the space and time that define modern lifescapes. My approach to research seeks to weave together non-hierarchical discussions and critical questioning of the (im)plausibility of alternative ways of living, being, or becoming.

I joined the School of Geography and Planning in September 2017 having previously taught design and critical cultural theory at the University of Central Lancashire, and in the school of Architecture at Plymouth University. Prior to these roles in education I practiced architecture in studios across both South-West England and London.


  • 2014: PhD (Architecture and Human Geography), Plymouth University, UK
  • 2008: Post-Graduate Diploma in Humane Architecture
  • 2008: Graduate Diploma in Architecture

Honours and awards

  • 2017: Research funding awarded from the UK Vernacular Architecture Group
  • 2008: RIBA Presidents Silver Medal nomination

Academic positions

  • 2015 - 2017: University of Central Lancashire School of Architecture - Lecturer in Design and Critical Cultural Theory
  • 2009 - 2014: Plymouth University School of Architecture - Associate Lecturer in Architectural History and Theory







I am course director for MSc International Planning and Urban Design where I lead the CPT925 Urban Theory Provocations and supervise student Research Thesis Projects. I also lead CPT924 Urban Development Debates for the MA Urban Design course, as well as contributing to various other modules across the school's geography and planning courses.

I am always interested in supervising PhD students looking to explore innovative social, cultural, and political perspectives that emerge from rigorous engagement with critical theory and the philosophical intersections of space and time, sustainability and responsbility.


My ongoing research seeks to frame discussions '(un)sustainable lifescapes' as a critique of contemporary (westernised, post-political, consumer capitalist, etc) ways of thinking and living and being. This includes exploring theoretical intersections across an array of social, economic, political, and philosophical issues entwined within continental philosophy frameworks of existentialism and speculative realism.

Previous collaborative research explorations have included explorations of urban cycling from the perspective of children (‘Unadulterated Cycling’), cultures of migration narrated in urban food, the ‘slow city’ movement, and the history of plotlander housing in the UK. Prior to this my research monograph Architecture and Space Reimagined (Routledge, 2016) highlighted critical intersections in the works of Henri Lefebvre and Doreen Massey through examples of alternative design and spatial practice by John Turner and Nabeel Hamdi.


I am interested in supervising PhD students in the areas of:

  • theoretical explorations of sustainablility 
    • intergenerational justice / responsibility 
    • post-development 
    • post-growth / de-growth
  • continental philosophy
  • speculative realism 
  • existentialism