Architecture, Culture and Tectonics Research Group

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Jonathan Hale

Professor of Architectural Theory, Faculty of Engineering


Expertise Summary

Prof Jonathan Hale is an architect and Professor of Architectural Theory in the Department of Architecture and Built Environment. He is Head of the Architecture, Culture and Tectonics research group (ACT) and Convenor for Architectural Humanities II, and Design, Culture & Context modules. Research interests include: architectural theory and criticism; phenomenology and the philosophy of technology; the relationship between architecture and the body; museums and architectural exhibitions. He has published books, chapters, refereed articles and conference papers in these areas and has obtained grants from the EPSRC, the Leverhulme Trust, British Academy, and the Arts Council. He is founder and current steering group member of the international subject network: Architectural Humanities Research Association (AHRA); a member of the interdisciplinary Science, Technology and Culture research group, hosted by the Dept of French, and a Management Board member for the University's Research Priority Area in Creative and Cultural Industries.

Personal website/blog: bodyoftheory

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Research Summary

Keywords: Architectural theory and criticism; Philosophies of technology, materiality and perception; Phenomenology; The relationship between architecture and the body; Narrative design and digital… read more

Selected Publications

  • HALE, J., 2014. Cognitive tectonics: from the prehuman to the posthuman. In: BEIM, A. and STYLSVIG MADSEN, U., eds., Towards an Ecology of Tectonics: The Need for Rethinking Construction in Architecture Edition Axel Menges.
  • HALE, J., 2012. Narrative environments and the paradigm of embodiment. In: MACLEOD, S., HOURSTON HANKS, L. and HALE, J., eds., Museum making: narratives, architectures, exhibitions Routledge. 192-200
  • MACLEOD, S., HOURSTON HANKS, L. and HALE, J., eds., 2012. Museum Making: Narratives, Architectures, Exhibitions 1st. Routledge.
  • HALE, J., 2012. Architecture, technology and the body: from the prehuman to the posthuman. In: CRYSLER, C.G., CAIRNS, S. and HEYNEN, H., eds., The Sage handbook of architectural theory Sage. 513-526

Current Research

Keywords: Architectural theory and criticism; Philosophies of technology, materiality and perception; Phenomenology; The relationship between architecture and the body; Narrative design and digital media in museums and architectural exhibitions.

Recent publication projects include The Future of Museum and Gallery Design, co-edited with Suzanne MacLeod, Tricia Austin and Oscar Ho (Routledge 2018), and a book for the Routledge series Thinkers for Architects on the philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty published in 2017; a co-edited book (with Dr Laura Hanks and Suzanne Macleod of the University of Leicester) entitled Museum Making: Narratives, Architectures, Exhibitions. (Routledge 2012); From Models to Drawings: Imagination and Representation in Architecture (Routledge 2007) co-edited with Marco Frascari (Carleton University, Canada) and Bradley Starkey; Rethinking Technology: A Reader in Architectural Theory, (Routledge 2007) co-edited with William W Braham (University of Pennsylvania). Funded research projects include: "Anywhere", "Future Garden" and "Moving City", a series of smart-phone guided walks and performance events - part of an ongoing collaboration with the Mixed Reality Lab of the School of Computer Science (University of Nottingham) and the Austrian artist-choreographer Cie.Willi Dorner, also including the interdisciplinary 'Towards Pervasive Media' feasibility study funded by the EPSRC (£200k), involving an 18-month collaboration (2009-2011) with colleagues in Computer Science, Geography and History, alongside a number of artists-in-residence.

Past Research

Prof Hale was co-organiser of the 3-day interdisciplinary international conferences "The Future of Museum and Gallery Design" at the University of Hong Kong in November 2015, and "Narrative Space" co-hosted by the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester in April 2010; and chair and organiser of the 2nd Annual AHRA International Conference, 2005 at the University of Nottingham, in collaboration with Leverhulme Visiting Professor Marco Frascari. He was a Visiting Professor at the Azrieli School of Architecture, Carleton University, Canada (Jan-Feb 2013) and an invited speaker at international conferences at University of Toronto (March 2014) and University of Oulu, Finland (October 2014). He has chaired sessions at other international conferences including: "This Thing Called Theory, Leeds Becket University 2015; "Field/Work", University of Edinburgh 2009; "Agency", University of Sheffield 2008; "Primitive", Cardiff University 2005; "Philosophy and Architecture", Congress CATH, Bradford 2004; "The Beginning Design Student", Portland State University, Oregon USA, 2002; "Habitus 2000", Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia, 2000. He was an invited speaker at "Discourses of the Visual", an international conference at the University of Westminster, 2001, and has been an invited lecturer at the University of Bath (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011), University of Pennsylvania, University of Edinburgh and University of Sheffield, the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) Stockholm (2001 & 2009), and the University of Auckland, New Zealand (2000). In 2007 and 2013 he conducted lecture tours in China to promote the translation of Building Ideas published by China Architecture and Building Press (2015) including visits to: South East University, Nanjing; Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan; Shandong Jianzhu University in Jinan; South China University of Technology, Guangzhou; and City University Hong Kong. He has acted as an editorial referee for the journals ARQ, Journal of Architecture and Culture, Theory and Critique, and an editorial reviewer for: MIT Press, John Wiley, Architectural Press, and Routledge. He was a member of the competition jury for the "Nottingham Contemporary" 2004, won by Caruso St John, and a member of the awards panel for the RIBA President's Medals 2002, (Dissertations), the RIBA President's Awards for Research 2010-2013, and the RIBA President's Silver Medal 2019; the East Midlands Design Review Panel (CABE/REM), from 2006-2011; and has served as an External Examiner at The Bartlett, UCL; University of Sheffield; the University of East London and the University of Greenwich. He is also an occasional contributor of review articles to the journal Architecture Today. As a student, he received the RIBA President's Silver Medal award for his final year design project - a reference library in Barcelona.

Personal website/blog: bodyoftheory

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Future Research

I am currently working on a book proposal on the theory of tectonics in architecture, and an interdisciplinary project between architecture and museum studies on the theme of the '4E Museum', with Prof Suzanne MacLeod of the University of Leicester.

I also work as an occasional advisor to the global creative consultancy BrightHouse, based in Boston.

PhD Supervision:

I welcome enquiries from potential PhD candidates from Home, EU and international countries who are interested in the following research areas: Architectural theory and criticism, philosophy of technology, tectonics, materiality and perception, phenomenology and embodiment, museums and exhibitions, Narrative design and digital media in museums and architectural exhibitions.

Architecture, Culture and Tectonics

The University of Nottingham
Faculty of Engineering
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0)115 74 86257