School of Architecture, Planning & Landscape

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Fellowship Awards

Katie Lloyd Thomas, Professor of Architectural Theory and History, has been awarded two Fellowships for her project The Architect as Shopper: Building Products and the Proprietary Turn in the Interwar Period in the UK.  The four month Paul Mellon Centre award is due to commence in September 2018, and will be followed on by a 12 month Leverhulme Trust award from January 2019.

The work looks at 1930s Britain where branded products and their naming in the architectural specification first became a key part of the architect’s work.  Seemingly a small change, the inclusion of proprietary products – from paints and concrete finishes to electrical cables and cookers – in this legally binding document guaranteed sales for the manufacturer.   The aim of this research is to explore the radical transformations to architectural design and practice ushered in by the proprietary turn, and its impact on architectural modernism and culture, and to social change more broadly.  The research is framed by materialist approaches and gender theory, and draws on trade literatures, manufacturers’ catalogues and promotional materials, press coverage, archives of key institutions and records of the architectural process for private and social house building. 

The research for this project has been underway since 2012 and has already included a visiting Fellowship at the Canadian Centre for Architecture (2017).  Aspects of the work have already been presented nationally and internationally to a range of audiences. These two new Fellowships will allow for further substantial pieces of archival research.

Katie LT

published on: 16 May 2018