Northumbria University invites applications for the following PhD position: Architects as Educators: Reconsidering the role of design professionals in owner-occupier low-carbon retrofit’
In industrialized countries like the UK, residential buildings consume almost one third of the total energy supply. Combined with the low rate of housing replacement in many developed countries, this makes rendering the existing housing stock more energy efficient, essential to reducing the CO2 emissions from buildings.
More specifically, owner-occupied homes, which account for 64.9% of housing in the UK, pose particular problems as the adoption of low carbon retrofit measures is almost entirely at the discretion of owner-occupiers. Therefore, policies and incentives to encourage the adoption of low carbon retrofit measures have targeted these owner-occupiers directly, assuming an information deficit model of education and behaviour change. However, many owner-occupiers report relying heavily on the expertise of the architects they employ, particularly when it comes to unfamiliar technologies. This challenges this information-deficit model, suggesting that architects play an important role in constructing owner-occupier confidence and expertise in low carbon home improvements.
This research will move beyond information deficit models of education and behaviour change to bring contemporary social and pedagogical theory to bear on the role that architects play in owner-occupier construction of meanings and competences associated with low carbon retrofit. This research will closely align with Northumbria University’s Environmental and Global Justice multi-disciplinary research theme, and applications from diverse disciplinary backgrounds are welcomed.
The PhD project will develop methods to capture, and analyse the various architect/owner-occupier interactions through which meanings and competences associated with the home, and low carbon additions to the home, are constructed, reconstructed, and adapted. The candidate will become skilled in the use of social research methods, such as interviews, observations, ethnography, or discourse analysis.
The findings will generate new perspectives on the role the architectural profession can play in reducing carbon dioxide emissions from private dwellings, helping to address the critical issue of climate change.
This project is supervised by Dr Tara Hipwood. The second supervisor will be Dr Peter Holgate.
Please note eligibility requirement:
- Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
- Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
- Applicants cannot apply for this funding if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere.
For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see https://www.northumbria.ac.uk/research/postgraduate-research-degrees/how-to-apply/
Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. RDF20/EE/ABE/TIPWOOD) will not be considered.
Deadline for applications: Friday 24 January 2020
Start Date: 1 October 2020
Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.
The studentship is available to Home/EU/ Worldwide students where a full stipend, paid for three years at RCUK rates (for 2019/20, this is £15,009 pa) and full fees.
- Architecture & the Built Environment