Portrait of Michael Richards

Michael Richards

Senior Lecturer
Programme Director: MArch

About

An ARB registered architect and chartered member of the RIBA, Richards has been MArch Programme Director at the Kent School of Architecture and Planning since 2008. Between 2004 and 2008 Richards held the position of Assistant Professor of Architecture at Oklahoma State University, USA.

He has been an invited guest critic at University of California at Berkeley, USA; Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture et de Paysage de Lille, France; University of Illinois at Chicago, USA; State University of New York University at Buffalo, USA.

As a practicing architect, amongst other roles Richards was the project architect for the office wing of Sarah Wigglesworth Architects’ House of Straw, a building that has won international awards and media attention. He was also lead-designer for the interior fit-out of all public railcars for the Marlboro Unlimited a $90M custom cruise-train built in Denver CO, USA.

Richards holds an undergraduate BA(Hons), and Postgraduate Diploma in Architecture (Dip ARCH) with commendations for both design and technology, from Kingston University. He also holds a Certificate in Professional Practice and Management, from the Bartlett, University College London.

His individual design work has been exhibited at the RIBA. He was nominated for the Gradus Detail Prize in 1994.

In academia Richards is a keen advocate of student life and has been Staff Advisor to the Kent Architectural Student Association (KASA) since 2008, offering guidance to, and advocating for, this rapidly growing student organisation.

Research interests

Richards’s personal research and design teaching develops his parallel interests in design as a medium to investigate contemporary moral and ethical issues, with an interest in film theory and its implications for architectural theory.

He is interested in how an examination of these hold potential for new pedagogical approaches for design teaching.

His work on ethics has looked at the way we map, record and construct memories of our surroundings, the potential for parasitic architectural interventions in the public realm, and the relationship of human rights NGOs to forms of context in their host and home nations.

In 2008 his design project "Torture", used morally ambiguous methods to achieve critical aims, and gained international attention, catalysing a debate which opposed differing philosophies on human rights campaigning with the prerogative of academic freedom.

Richards’s interest is the intersection between the disjunctions in filmic artifice and correlating disjunctions in physical locations. His work has looked specifically at Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1966 film Blow-Up for the way we construct our understandings of film, and the cinematic devices employed to shape and confound these. Here his interest is in the possibilities of combining film-theory critique with architectural photogrammetric investigations, to develop architecture of disjunction.

He develops research interests through his studio teaching.

Invited Conference Participation and Presentations

  • "2009 Designs on the Planet 3: Delivering Sustainability through Design Projects". Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University
  • "Making Meaning" at the2008 24th National Conference on the Beginning Design Student, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
  • "Torture" at the 2007 ASEE-GSW Regional Conference, Pan America University, Texas, USA
  • "We’ve only touched the Surface" at the 2007 ASEE-GSW Regional Conference, Pan America University, Texas, USA
  • "Carving Pumpkins", at the 2007 23nd International Conference on the Beginning Design Student 2007 Savannah College of Art and Design, USA
  • "Turning the Page", at the 2007 23nd International Conference on the Beginning Design Student 2007 Savannah College of Art and Design, USA
  • "Changing Systems", at the 2007 23nd International Conference on the Beginning Design Student 2007 Savannah College of Art and Design, USA
  • "Papering over the Cracks" at the 2006 22nd National Conference on the Beginning Design Student’; at Iowa State University, USA

Teaching

Module CodeModule TitleInformation
AR836Design 4AModule Convenor
AR837Design 4BModule Convenor
AR838Design 5AModule Convenor
AR839Design 5BModule Convenor
AR597DissertationTutor
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