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About me

I am a qualified Architect with a specialist degree in the History of Modern Architecture and a PhD in Architecture. I studied at the Bartlett School UCL and in the Department of Architecture at the Polytechnic of Central London.

Currently I am a Senior Lecturer here at the University of Westminster and I direct my own practice: Doctor Watson Architects. I have contributed articles about mind and matter in Modern and Contemporary art and architecture and about colour theory to a variety of journals and magazines. In 2010 I won a Rome scholarship and in 2012 my first book, Utopian Adventure: the Corviale Void was published. My architectonic models, generically called AIR Grid and derived from the study of /atmosphere/ in avant-garde painting and architecture, are sometimes exhibited in London and other locations. I have just published a new book, based on my PhD, entitled /Atmosphere/: The Origin of Air Grid and am working on projects that deploy AIR Grid in participatory, installation scenarios and festive assemblies.

Teaching

I currently teach Architectural Design and lecture on the undergraduate History and Theory courses and am sometimes involved in PhD supervision.

From 2012 - 2017 I ran an experimental design studio - The Department of Ontological Theatre (DOT) - on the MA Architecture program at the Royal College of Art.

Research

My research investigates the mechanisms of imagination in the production of Modern and Contemporary art and architecture. Imagination has it own history and politics that is not the same as reality. 

I am currently interested in the way Kasimir Malevich theorised his practice using inventive metaphors and drawing analogies that resonate with our own contemporary yearnings for a new planetary imagination, one that can help us come to terms with the monsters and ghosts of plant and animal extinctions, polluted oceans and altered climate that characterise contemporary reality. Take for example this quotation from Malevich’s writings on non-objective art:

…The canvas ceased to be a canvas and became a continent on which one could build the body of the painting in space, but this realisation of volume too does not show a full expression, for, in the future, a full manifestation of volume will only occur when volume is lifted into space from the continent, and will fall under the circumstance of time…

Malevich seems to have been advocating the transformation of painting into a kind of colour meteorology. The idea is interesting for AIR Grid because, according to him, in becoming meteorological painting would be brought into architecture:

…In the last definition it was clearly pointed out that painting has arrived at a manifestation analogous to another art, i.e., architecture, but this does not mean that its forms will be similar to the classical ones…

My research looks a little more closely at Malevich’s speculations, utilising his imagination as a fulcrum for thinking a way out of the current impasse.

Publications

For details of all my research outputs, visit my WestminsterResearch profile.