School of Architecture, Planning & Landscape

Staff Profile

Professor Katie Lloyd Thomas

Professor of Architectural Theory and History and Co-Director of Architecture Research Collaborative (ARC)


I trained as an architect at Cambridge University and at the University of East London, and spent some years in architectural practice. I have been involved, first on a part-time basis, in architectural education in the UK for more than 20 years, during which time I completed an MA in Architecture and Critical Theory at Nottingham University (2000) and  a PhD at the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy, Middlesex University (2010) entitled ‘Building Materials’ Conceptualising materials via the architectural specification’ .  I joined SAPL in 2011 and with Dr Martyn Dade-Robertson, I now co-direct the Architectural Research Collaborative (ARC).

I’m an editor at the international journal arq: Architectural Research Quarterly, a founding member of the feminist art architecture collective taking place, and as steering group member of AHRA (Architectural Humanities Research Association) and NUHRI (Newcastle University Humanities Research Institute) I promote architectural humanities research and education. My research is concerned with materiality and technology, and their intersections with architectural concepts, practice and design, and with feminist practice and theory. Notable edited collections include Material Matters (Routledge, 2007) and with Tilo Amhoff and Nick Beech Industries of Architecture (Routledge Critiques, 2015).


My research is concerned with materiality and technology, and their intersections with architectural concepts, practice and design. Notable edited collections include Material Matters (Routledge, 2007) and as part of a 6 year collaboration with Tilo Amhoff and Nick Beech, Industries of Architecture (Routledge Critiques, 2015), and a monograph Preliminary Operations: Material theory and the architectural specification is in preparation. I have also long been active in feminist practice and theory and in 2001 co-founded the feminist art architecture collective taking place, and led project development and co-ordination for The Other Side of Waiting, a series of five interconnected art installations in the mother and baby unit of Homerton Hospital, East London, raising almost £70,000, and winning two highly competitive grants totalling £24,668 from the Arts Council England.

My current project, ‘The Architect as Shopper: Building products and the ‘proprietary turn’ in architecture in the interwar period’ brings together these two areas of my research, and has been awarded a research fellowship at the Canadian Centre for Architecture (summer 2017). Together with Professor João Marcos Almeida de Lopes (University of São Paulo) and Dr Silke Kapp (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais), I am also developing Translating Ferro/Translating Production, to translate, disseminate, debate and explore the cross-cultural potential of the unique and significant body of the work of the Brazilian architect, artist and theorist Sérgio Ferro which raises questions of global reach about art and architectural production under capitalism. Ferro’s work has been both controversial and acclaimed, and is central to the work of several architects in Brazil working with communities towards self-managed building construction, but it is little-known outside the country. Another nascent project explores the spatially paradoxical and contested phenomenon of the prison swimming pool, as part of a new linked research project The Empty Pool with MArch students and Rona Lee, Professor of Fine Art at Northumbria University. 


With extensive prior experience in BA studio teaching, I currently teach history and theory at all levels in the architecture programme from Stage 1 to PhD.  As director of history and theory I’ve overseen the restructuring of provision in the BA 2016/17, including the introduction of research-led teaching in new BA dissertation electives encompassing creative practice submissions through to technical investigations.  I am committed to establishing seminar teaching at all levels, and to developing relationships between history and theory, and design, practice and technology.  At MArch level I run a linked research project ‘The Empty Pool’ with Rona Lee, Professor of Fine Art at Northumbria University.

PhD Supervision

I’ve examined PhDs at the Bartlett UCL and here at Newcastle, and welcome enquiries from prospective candidates in the areas of material theory and philosophy, technologies and techniques, feminist theory and practice. I currently lead and co-supervise the following doctoral students:

With Professor Mark Dorrian (Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture):

  • Catalina Mejia Moreno   On Photography, repetition and architectural criticism. ‘Working-through’ the archives of Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich’s German Pavilion and the Buffalo Grain Elevators.
  • Tijana Stevanovi?   Unfinished Blueprint: Institutionalisation and Appropriation in New Belgrade

With Professor Adam Sharr:

  • James Longfield  Making Byker: The Situated, Amateur Practices of A Citizen Architect
  • Ashley Mason   A Coincidental Plot: The Potential of Paracontextuality in Spatial Practice 

With Professor Prue Chiles: 

  • Matt Ozga-Lawn:  The Duke in his Domain: Revealing the Studio Space

With Dr Stephen Parnell:

  • Ruth Lang: Frameworks for Ingenuity: Processes of Practice in the London County Council Architects Department (1943-65)