Centre for Architecture Theory Criticism History
School of Architecture

Call for PhD candidates

Below is a list of priority research projects within ATCH to which doctoral candidates may apply. Candidates may also apply to any projects adverstised on individual ATCH members' UQ Researchers pages. The specifics of the PhD research and additional supervisors will be resolved after candidacy has begun.

Is architecture art? a history of categories, concepts and recent practices. Supervisors John Macarthur, Susan Holden, & Wouter Davidts
There is no simple answer to the recurring question of whether architecture is an art. Nevertheless, unpacking the historical and current interests at stake in this question will lead to a better understanding of architecture in contemporary culture. Current issues arising from the exhibition of architecture in art galleries and architecture’s classification in new measures of the cultural economy appear to be unconnected. The Project will, however, show that these issues are linked in the long history of systems of the arts and recent debates about the role of medium, discipline and aesthetic autonomy in defining the arts. The Project will provide new ways for architectural theory to engage with creative practice. This is an ARC Discovery Project for which Scholarships are available.

The architecture of the contemporary science museum. Supervisor: Sandra Kaji-O’Grady
What part does architecture perform in the exhibition of science? This study is concerned with the ways in which the history of scientific discoveries, its artefacts and technologies, are housed and communicated in science museums. It is interested, too, in the ways in which science museums play an active part in present day science, through collections, education and, most importantly, public persuasion. These questions about the cultural construction of science have been at the heart of Science and Technology Studies, but the specific role played by architecture has been overlooked. The research will respond to this gap and is prompted by the current wave of investment in science museum architecture. Through critical writing and formal analysis the research will interrogate the motivations and effects at work in the architecture of significant new science museums.

Queensland Architecture: International currents – 1975 to the present. Supervisor: Antony Moulis
Architecture in Queensland from the late 1970s on took up a regionalist paradigm characterised by reinvestment in a local idiom of domestic timber construction alongside an address to concepts of climate and place. This moment within local architectural culture coincided with international interest in ‘critical regionalism’ seen as an alternative paradigm to the late-modern and the post-modern. This research seeks to identify how Queensland architects negotiated these various paradigms to develop a distinctive body of work. It will consider how Queensland architecture might be positioned within a broader international discourse of architecture rather than simply through its address to locale.

Interpreting Le Corbusier. Supervisor: Antony Moulis
As a major figure of international modernism, Le Corbusier’s work has been subject to extensive critique and review both during his lifetime and since, to the extent that he has become the world’s most studied 20th century architect. While numerous attempts have been made to assess Le Corbusier works and ideas in their meaning and influence, little attention has been given to understanding the phenomena of critical writing and research that continues to surround the architect. This research considers how Le Corbusier’s work is instrumentalised by both his critics and contemporary architects, illustrating his continuous and evolving impact on discourse.

Grave-to-Cradle: Rethinking the way we conserve heritage through 3D laser scanning. Supervisors: Chris Landorf and Kelly Greenop
A growing community of architectural historians, archaeologists, heritage managers and related disciplines are using 3D laser scanning to record and analyse historic sites.  However, few have used hand-held mobile devices that capture whole structures and their contexts, or small-scale scanners that capture objects and interior spaces.  This research project aims to explore the benefits and limitations of this technology for the management of fragile industrial heritage environments.  Using archival research, documentary analysis and field work, the project will focus on exploring the opportunities for scanning technology and virtual reality interpretation in the mining City of Broken Hill, recently inscribed on the Australian National Heritage List.

Communities of Faith: Modern Church Architecture in Queensland 1950s-1970s. Supervisor: Janina Gosseye
By the early 1960s, it became clear that Christian forms had insufficiently adapted to the modern world. Religious leaders embarked on a fundamental rethinking of the Church, and were joined by many architects who strove to express the Church’s spiritual modernization through its physical planning and in its built form. In post-war decades, as Australia rapidly suburbanized, the Church/church thus assumed a central role in moulding modern communities of faith. Through literature review, archival research, site-visits and interviews with privileged witnesses this project will investigate the role that architecture and planning played in repositioning the Church in post-war Queensland.