School of Architecture, Planning & Landscape

Staff Profile

Owen Hopkins

Farrell Centre Director


Owen Hopkins is an architectural writer, historian and curator. He is Director of the Farrell Centre at Newcastle University. Previously he was Senior Curator of Exhibitions and Education at Sir John Soane’s Museum and before that he was Architecture Programme Curator at the Royal Academy of Arts. His interests revolve around the interactions between architecture, politics, technology and society.

He is curator of numerous exhibitions, including most recently at the Soane Museum, Langlands & Bell: Degrees of Truth (2020), Eric Parry: Drawing (2019), Code Builder (with Mamou-Mani Architects), Out of Character (with Studio MUTT), The Return of the Past: Postmodernism in British Architecture (all 2018) and Adam Nathaniel Furman: The Roman Singularity (2017). His previous exhibitions and displays at the RA include Origins: A Project by Ordinary Architecture (2016), Urban Jigsaw (2016), Mavericks: Breaking the Mould of British Architecture (2016), Four Visions for the Future of Housing (2015), 100 Buildings 100 Years: Views of British Architecture since 1914 (2014) and Nicholas Hawksmoor: Architect of the Imagination (2012).

He is author of six books: Postmodern Architecture Less is a Bore (Phaidon, 2020), Lost Futures: The Disappearing Architecture of Post-War Britain (RA Publications, 2017), Mavericks: Breaking the Mould of British Architecture (RA Publications, 2016), From the Shadows: The Architecture and Afterlife of Nicholas Hawksmoor (Reaktion, 2015), Architectural Styles: A Visual Guide (Laurence King, 2014) and Reading Architecture: A Visual Lexicon (Laurence King, 2012), which has been translated into 12 languages. He is also the editor of Langland & Bell: Degrees of Truth (Soane Museum 2020), Eric Parry: Drawing (Soane Museum, 2019), Conversations on Postmodernism (Soane Museum, 2018), a book of interviews with eight figures associated with the movement, and two collections of essays: Sensing Architecture (RA Publications, 2017) and Architecture and Freedom (special issue of Architectural Design, 2018).

He has written widely on architecture for publications such as The Independent, Dezeen, domus, Icon, The Architectural Review, Blueprint, The Architects’ Newspaper, topos, The Architects’ Journal, Building Design, Apollo, and The Burlington Magazine.

An experienced public speaker, he has lectured internationally at institutions such as Yale School of Architecture; University of Oxford; Vizcaya Museum and Garden, Miami and the Courtauld Institute of Art.

He is a regular guest critic at a number of architecture schools, and has been a judge for the BD Architect of the Year Awards, the AJ Architecture Awards and at the World Architecture Festival.

He has appeared on BBC2 Newsnight, BBC Look North, ARTE, the European culture TV channel, BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio London, and Monocle Radio.