Agent for change: Kent School of Architecture and Planning recognised for international research excellence

The Kent School of Architecture & Planning (KSAP) is delighted that its commitment to research has been recognised by an expert panel as part of the Research Excellence Framework, with 100% of the School’s research environment judged to be ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. The results place Architecture at Kent 6th in the UK in the Times Higher Education rankings.

Over 90% of the School’s research outputs and 88% of the School’s research has also been ranked ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.

KSAP has built a strong reputation for the quality and breadth of its research. The School is particularly proud of having established itself as an agent for change and impact, and for producing research which addresses professional, environmental and societal needs.

Academic staff are active within professional communities, shaping policy and practice, and contributing to the development of professional guidance.

The School’s core areas of expertise focus on architectural history, theory and urban design, and sustainable design and urban resilience. Work in heritage and sustainability is particularly strong, and includes Professor Henrik Schoenefeldt’s research into the Palace of Westminster’s nineteenth-century ventilation system, which informed the work of the Restoration and Renewal Programme. The research’s integration into the design of a modern, potentially more sustainable system, was made a requirement within the design brief and was enshrined within the Conservation Management Plan.

Dr Nikolaos Karydis’ research on vernacular construction technology led to the rediscovery of previously overlooked historic building construction methods on the Greek island of Lesbos. This is transforming the way engineers are repairing the island’s historic buildings after the earthquake of 2017.

The School’s success in the Research Excellence Framework has been underpinned by an almost five-fold increase in research income since 2014. Senior academic staff and early career researchers have also won prestigious awards, including the first European Industrial Doctorate for a School of Architecture.

The School’s research environment will be further enhanced by the expansion of space in the Marlowe Building, its home on the Canterbury campus, in autumn 2022. The refurbished building will embody the School’s creative and thoughtful design ethos and allow staff and students across architecture and the School’s new Graphic Design and Spatial & Interior Design programmes space to work alongside each other and collaborate.

Professor Gerald Adler, Head of School, said ‘As a collaborative discipline, it is incredibly encouraging to see that our published research, the impact of our research and the research environment we have created has been recognised by a panel of peers and experts. We are excited about the future of research in the Kent School of Architecture and Planning and our new studio facilities will provide the space for future collaboration and to work with our practitioners and partners to address the needs of our changing world’.

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