Architecture, Culture and Tectonics Research Group
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Design ACT focuses on design as research and the practice of architecture, with abstraction seen as a key element of the act of designing and thinking about the creation of architecture. We are interested in the complete design-delivery process:

  • in drawing by hand
  • model making
  • making
  • design methodologies
  • design evolution


Landspeed Record Car design and fabrication.
  • digital design and digital fabrication
  • researching in past, present and future design practice

The design and delivery of contemporary architecture is an inherently collaborative process and thus collaboration within ACT and with many other disciplines is core to our research.

Design ACT also offers the opportunity to undertake a PhD by design that is artefact based, with topics ranging from:

  • reflection on a specific work of architecture
  • reflection on the body of work of a practice or practitioner
  • the design and curation of exhibitions
  • the design of prototypes or artefacts


Living Architecture

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council [Canada], (2012-2014), with PBA inc and University of Waterloo

Landspeed Record Car

Landspeed Record Car design and fabrication. Currently holder of two Australian Landspeed records (EGL and EFL) and going for the world record in class for each in 2017.

Design Studio, University Park2Design Studio, University Park

Student research

Mina Tahsiri

Title: Architecture by Tools [The Syntax of Drawing and the Creativity of Thought]


This Research explores the role of design tools on the cognitive processes of decision making during an architectural design process. It employs an understanding of Knowledge-based systems and the theory of Distributed Cognition in revisiting the meaning of design, drawing and methodological approaches to studying the role of design tools in creative cognition.

M.Tahsiri research image


Malathe Hamid

Title: Shaping identities: Exploring the role of the emerging patterns of Khartoum's contemporary architecture (90s to present)


This research tries to feed into the wider research of place identity, by exploring the role of the emerging architectural patterns in shaping architectural identities. Whether identities could be defined from a unified set of architectural patterns? And how a newly emerging city like Khartoum can ever define its contemporary architectural identity?

Malathe Hamid research image

Architecture, Culture and Tectonics

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

telephone: +44 (0)115 82 32502