School of Architecture, Planning & Landscape

Staff Profile

Dr Claire Harper

Teaching Fellow


Claire is an architect and researcher working between academia and architectural practice.  Her research interests focus around the design of housing and residential environments and the procurement systems around these projects.  Her doctoral thesis, Compaction, scale and proximity: an investigation into the spatial implications of density for the design of new urban housingpresented a critique of the dominance of quantitative measures in relation to the compact cities and densification agenda and was shortlisted for the RIBA President’s Award for Outstanding PhD Thesis in 2015.

She has worked for architectural practices in The Netherlands, London and the North East, and has experience of working on complex residential projects with a number of local authorities and housebuilder clients.  In 2015 she set up harperperry in Newcastle, a practice co-founded with James Perry. 

Claire is also co-founder of the online archive Something Concrete + Modern, documenting the architectural legacy of the post war era across the north east region and is actively involved in campaigns to celebrate and protect parts of the modernist heritage of the region. 


Claire’s research focuses predominately around housing and the domestic environment.  Her Ph.D thesis extended this to consider how procurement mechanisms impact on the design of new urban housing and residential environments.  She is interested in exploring the interpersonal networks around housing development and the personal, subjective narratives within that, of the architect, the resident, the developer, planner, investor, builder, etc. 

She is currently involved in developing a proposal looking at the de-densification of urban centres with a focus on small towns in the north east of England. 

Through her studio harperperry, she is also involved in a number of collaborative projects working with fine artists to draw connections between broader research subjects and the process of making as a means of engagement and dialogue. 


Claire is currently joint stage 2 coordinator on the BA Architecture course and runs a design studio in stage 2.  She has also taught design at MArch level and contributes to history and theory teaching.