Modern architecture with plant life entwined

Building smart cities and preserving heritage

Explore our research across eight areas of expertise

Our research into architecture, interiors and urbanism at the University of Portsmouth explores the latest methods, technology, and ideas being used to build the smart cities of the future and preserve places from the past. We investigate the digital design tools being used to shape tomorrow's communities, explore the cultural and economic forces affecting our cities, and work to understand the cultural importance of some of our oldest buildings.

We also look at how interior spaces are designed by examining the way people use and interact with them. At the moment, the voice of the community is often missing from the design phase of a building. We're investigating how architects and urban designers might draw, write, and re-think ways to represent interior spaces.

Society is changing at a rapid pace and the buildings we use for living, working, and entertainment need to keep up. With increasing pressure to tackle sustainability issues and meet the needs of communities dominated by technology, understanding what the future of architecture and interior design looks like has never been more important. 

But in the race to innovate and move forward, it's just as important to remember the cultural significance of the buildings from our past, and encourage the next generation to engage with them. And not just the physical buildings, but the memories they contain and the history they hold.

Our research groups

Intricate Roman church ceiling architecture featuring arches, pillars, gilding, iconography, typography and glass windows

Architectural and Urban History and Theory research group

We're researching narratives of place and the construction of new historiographical and theoretical discourses in architecture, interiors, landscape, and urbanism.

Learn more about our research group

Explore our areas of expertise

Find out more about the facilities and research methods that shape our architecture, interiors, and urbanism research in our eight areas of expertise. Learn about our recent projects, our academic and industrial collaborators, and the major funders who fund our work.

Architectural and urban history and theory

We're doing research into the history and theory behind how we conceptualise and produce architecture and urban spaces on different scales. Explore our architectural and urban history and theory research.

Exterior of Charter House building in Portsmouth
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Sustainable urbanism

We're exploring the models, technology and policies that can guide governments and planners to develop sustainable cities.

Sustainable housing at Priddy's Hard, Gosport
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Green infrastructures

We're planning cities that can be both liveable for humans, while not resulting in further decline to the planet's ecological vitality.

A view of Portsmouth from Catherine House looking towards Spinnaker Tower
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Digital design and new technologies

We're studying the integration of digital technology and new technologies in architectural planning, urban planning, and sustainability – and how they can impact future design processes.

3d printer model of a new building and city
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Environmental analysis and design

Through our research, we're re-thinking the way we build cities, to better react to environmental issues and challenges, such as climate change.

Skyscraper with plants growing up the facade, Sydney
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Historic environments and conservation

We're looking at how architecture, community and creative technologies can play a role in enhancing historic environments.

Exterior of a historic building with statues and Corinthian columns
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Interior design theory and practice

We're investigating how architects and designers might rethink the way they approach interior spaces, by exploring how buildings are used by people.

Retro Chair, Bike and Cabinet
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Design education

We're researching issues related to teaching and learning within creative and design disciplines, focusing on pedagogy, curriculum, student engagement, and learning theories.

Close-up design alphabet
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Interested in a PhD in Architecture, Interiors, and Urbanism?

Browse our postgraduate research degrees—including PhDs and MPhils—and find a supervisor at our Architecture, Interiors, and Urbanism postgraduate research degrees page.

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