Edinburgh Research Explorer

Prof Suzanne Ewing

Personal Chair of Architectural Criticism

Profile photo

Willingness to take PhD students: Yes

In the areas of:

Field/work: as an inquiry into 'work' and 'working through' in relation to architectural projects and emerging urban 'fields'. Ideas of ground and land which shape conceptions of architecture and city.

Design practices: Techne and techniques of documentation and design in and of architecture and architectural construction (within the discipline and as a critique of disciplinary conventions).

Architectural, landscape and urban design education: histories, critical practices and disciplinary negotiations.

Education/Academic qualification

Master of Architecture, University of Cambridge
Design: Language and Mime Centre, Luxembourg. Text: A study of water and the city in sixteenth century Rome, the nymphaeum of the Villa Giulia.
Master of Arts, University of Cambridge
Bachelor of Arts, University of Cambridge
Design: A proposed design for a public printworks in Bermondsey, London. Text: A study of the Villa Mairea, Finland, by architect, Alvar Aalto.

Professional Qualifications

Certificate of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (University of Newcastle)
Architects registration Board registration , ARB reg. 060723A


Based at The University of Edinburgh since 2002, I was previously a Lecturer at The University of Newcastle, and in architectural practice in Glasgow full time prior to that. I co-founded ZONE architects with David Jamieson in 2002, and contribute to the practice through invited urban projects and competitions, brief shaping, critical review, and project consolidation/ dissemination.

Edinburgh:subterranean city was part of an installation exhibition at the Hidden Door Art Festival 2014, and na[0728] New Architectures for World Heritage, 2013, reflected on 10 years of ZONE practice output and sites in the context of the World Heritage Site of Edinburgh.

Working at the intersection of humanities and design, my research interest and practice lies broadly in the area of architectural processes- theories of practice, orientations and approaches to exercises of spatial, material and inhabitive imagination, architectural education as a critical agent in the construction of the practice of architecture. I initiated and directed Field/Work, the 6th Architectural Humanities Research Association (AHRA) International Conference held in Edinburgh (2009) and am lead editor of Architecture and Field/Work (Routledge, 2011). Additional original reseach from this event was published in Architectural Research Quarterly. As co-Editor-in Chief of the international award-winning journal Architecture and Culture (CELJ ‘Best New Journal Award 2014’), I have contributed to formative themes, ‘Discipline’, ‘Disciplinary Practices’, 'Spaces of Tolerance', which explore Architecture's potential in interdisciplinary formations, and this new journal as a space of 'new architectural criticism'. I have been a member of the AHRA Steering Group since 2008, I engage with the Edinburgh Environmental Humanities Network (EEHN), and the Schools of Architecture and World Heritage European network.

The design-research output of the Saltcities studios which I have led as part of the Edinburgh Master of Architecture (2006-2014) has been internationally exhibited and stems from an ongoing desire to understand and enrich necessary connections between research, pedagogy and design, construing architecture as both a mode of enquiry and a means of specific proposition. Critical contemporary dilemmas of enviromental assymmetries in development, cultures of dwelling of urban migrants, and the literal and metaphoric unsure ground of the city are ongoing threads of enquiry.  

Current projects:

- a co-edited book (with Igea Troiani), Visual Research Methodologies in Architecture. 

- Voices of Experience: The Women Making Modern Scotland. A collaborative oral history project which instigates conversations between an experienced professional and a newly qualified architect, planner or engineer.

I am also developing a research proposal on how land, field, place and site have been configured and conceived in the architectural imaginary through tactical representation and drawing practice: a history of architecture through techne, technique and craft, which reveals architecture's entanglement with underlying ethics and politics of land use, control and transformation.



Research outputs

  1. "Spaces of Tolerance": Editorial Introduction

    Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

  2. Introduction to Visual Research Methods in Architecture

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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Research activities & awards

  1. Equal Architect, 'Not all histories are equal...'

    Activity: Academic talk or presentation typesInvited talk

  2. External Examiner, BA and MArch Programmes, University College Dublin

    Activity: Examination typesExternal Examiner or Assessor

  3. Voices of Experience: Discussions on Architecture 3

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesPublic Engagement – Public lecture/debate/seminar

View all (75) »

Research projects

  1. Schools of Architecture + World Heritage network launch

    Project: Research Collaboration with external organisation

  2. drawing Matter archive visit

    Project: Other (Non-Funded/Miscellaneous)

  3. Schools Network of Architecture + World Heritage

    Project: Research Collaboration with external organisation

View all (7) »

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