Project code



School of Architecture

Start dates

October, February and April

Application deadline

Applications accepted all year round

Applications are invited for a self-funded, 3 year full-time or 6 year part-time PhD project.

The PhD will be based in the School of Architecture and will be supervised by Dr Alessandro Zambelli.

The project argues that drawing has provided and continues to provide a space where otherwise separated art - specifically architecture - and science disciplines may make interdisciplinary work.

The project aims to theorise this interdisciplinary space; historically in the archive, as well as through the making of drawings as practice research.

The work on this project will:

  • research, theorise and test models of architectural interdisciplinarity
  • explore archives of drawings where interdisciplinarity is either explicit or implicit.
  • produce an archive of drawings which explores interdisciplinarity

Drawing is a practice common to many disciplines.

We can think of practitioners whose discipline is normally, or often, drawing-centered; animators, artists, architects, engineers, cartographers, product designers, graphic designers, illustrators, but we can also think of those practitioners whose discipline – or their particular practice of it – is not drawing-centered but who regularly engage with drawing in some way; their disciplines can be described as drawing-engaged; anthropologists, archaeologists, geographers, scientists, for example. Their disciplines are in part defined by the products of those drawing practices and in some cases by the tools used to make those products. It is this ubiquity across otherwise quite different disciplines which makes drawing such a potent site for interdisciplinary thinking and practice.

Disciplinary silos damage the disciplines they seek to protect. This project seeks to understand - historically and theoretically; through thinking and in practice - and through this understanding loosen these disciplinary boundaries. It further argues that the architectural humanities provide one (of many) such fertile interdisciplinary fields.

This project builds upon work already done by Dr Alessandro Zambelli and Dr Lesley McFadyen (Birkbeck, University of London) at the intersection of architecture and archaeology. The successful candidate may build directly upon this work and/or explore other relevant interdisciplinarities.

Interdisciplinarity here is not an abstract or loose notion of disciplinary overlap or combination, but instead describes and constructs in detail the space for innovative practice made by the simultaneous presence of two or more disciplines already connected, however distantly, by their tools, techniques and histories.


Two modes of project delivery

Option 1: practice research involving the making of drawings which themselves trace this interdisciplinary space.

Option 2: a history and theory of interdisciplinary drawing practice

Proposals for combinations of the above are particularly welcome.


Fees and funding

Visit the research subject area page for fees and funding information for this project.

Funding availability: Self-funded PhD students only. 

PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the UK Government Doctoral Loan (UK students only).

Bench fees

Some PhD projects may include additional fees – known as bench fees – for equipment and other consumables, and these will be added to your standard tuition fee. Speak to the supervisory team during your interview about any additional fees you may have to pay. Please note, bench fees are not eligible for discounts and are non-refundable.

Entry requirements

You'll need a good first degree from an internationally recognised university (minimum upper second class or equivalent, depending on your chosen course) or a Master’s degree in and art or design subject or a related area. In exceptional cases, we may consider equivalent professional experience and/or Qualifications. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.



How to apply

We’d encourage you to contact Dr Alessandro Zambelli  ( to discuss your interest before you apply, quoting the project code.

When you are ready to apply, please follow the 'Apply now' link on the Architecture, Interiors and Urbanism PhD subject area page and select the link for the relevant intake. Make sure you submit a personal statement, proof of your degrees and grades, details of two referees, proof of your English language proficiency and an up-to-date CV.  Our ‘How to Apply’ page offers further guidance on the PhD application process. 

When applying please quote project code ARCH4570424.