PhD in Architectural Design (Passed without corrections),
Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, 2011-16

MSc Urban Studies (Distinction),
Urban Lab, UCL, 2008-11

BA Geography (First-class honours),
University of Birmingham, 2003-06

Current teaching

Associate Professor, Bartlett School of Architecture, 2020—
BSc Architecture — BARC0134: History and Theory of Architecture, lecturer on Performing Space, convenor of seminar programme, dissertation supervisor
BSc Architectural and Interdisciplinary Studies — BARC0098: Architectural Research III, seminar tutor, convenor of peer-to-peer feedback tutorials, dissertation supervisor
MA Situated Practice — module coordinator on BARC0075: Research Methods, design tutor on BARC0077: Site-Writing and BARC0079: Major Project
MArch Architecture — BARC0011: Advanced Architectural Thesis, thesis supervisor. Invited critic — BSc AIS Design & Creative Practice, BSc & MArch Architecture, Open Crits

Visiting Lecturer, Central St Martins, 2020—
MArch Architecture & MA Cities — Spatial Practices ethics tutor

Guest Lecturer, Critic, and External Reviewer, Architectural Association, Bartlett School of Architecture, Central St Martins, Chelsea College of Art, Graduate School of Architecture at the University of Johannesburg, Queen Mary University of London, Royal College of Art, University of Brighton, University of East London, University of Greenwich, Yale 2012—

Current practice & research

BREAK//LINE, architecture collective, 2018—
A project with Thom Callan-Riley, Miranda Critchley, Thandi Loewenson and Sayan Skandarajah opposing the trespass of capital, the indifference towards inequality and the myriad frontiers of oppression present in architectural education and practice

Research Ethics Fellow, Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment, UCL, 2016—
Led by Professor Jane Rendell, the Bartlett Ethics Commission involves identifying key ethical issues and dilemmas in built environment research alongside developing a vision, code and resources to guide the practice of ethics in teaching, research and enterprise

Fugitive Images, co-director of collaborative art practice, 2012—
A not-for-profit cultural collective with Andrea Luka Zimmerman working across media and platforms concerned with issues of social justice and co-existence, employing creative waywardness, hybridity and collaboration

Involve, co-founder of architecture collective, 2012—
A not-for-profit collective seeking to extend architectural education to primary and secondary school children through performance, model-making, design and build projects

Professional history

Acting Co-Director, MA Situated Practice, Bartlett School of Architecture, 2019-20

Teaching Fellow in Architectural Design and History & Theory, Bartlett School of Architecture, 2016-20

Visiting Professor, MA Architecture, Aarhus School of Architecture, 2017-2020

History & Theory Tutor, MA Architectural History, MArch Urban Design, Bartlett School of Architecture, 2015-17

Course Tutor, MA Urban Studies, UCL Geography, 2012-15

Research Assistant to Marcos Cruz, Director of the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, 2013

Researcher (part-time), UK Parliament, 2009-13

Researcher, National Assembly for Wales, 2007-08

Research Intern, Shelter, 2006

Selected projects

BREAK//LINE (2019–2020) Unbuilding, Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment
A project to investigate the spatial representations, practices and experiences of hostile environments in higher education leading to a set of 'readings' of the failings of institutions; of sites and practices which must be dismantled; and of existing, nascent and yet-to-be-realised modes which should be celebrated, supported, and imagined.

Padan, Y., Rendell, J. and Roberts, D. (2016–) Practising Ethics
A research project seeking to raise awareness, expand understanding, and collectively develop approaches of ethical practice specific to built environment researchers and practitioners

Maksimov, D., Mileeva, M., Murawski, M. and Roberts, D. (2020) PiraMMMida
A transdisciplinary, transmedia project devoted to ridiculing, tricking, twisting, queering, resisting and perverting hierarchies in architecture, art, academia and the everyday.

Involve (2019–) Schools Without Walls, De La Warr Pavilion & Orchard Primary, Lambeth
A long-term engagement with 25 primary school pupils to explore open-air schools and collaborate to imagine, interpret, perform, design and self-build their own learning spaces

Roberts, D. and MA Situated Practice (2019) Co-Designing Common Spaces, De La Warr Pavilion
A project in which principles and approaches of co-design were developed with Syrian refugees and local partners by sketching ideas, composing settings and enacting spatial dynamics

Fugitive Images (2011-15) Estate: a reverie, 83 min feature film, LUX artists’ moving image agency.
A documentary/fiction tracking the passing of the Haggerston Estate and utopian promise of social housing interweaving portraits with historical re-enactments and architectural studies

Fugitive Images (2015) Real Estates, PEER Gallery
Co-curator of exhibition addressing issues spatial justice through a constantly changing series of exhibitions, screenings, discussions, readings and workshops

Roberts, D. (2013-15) Balfron Tower: a building archive,
An online archive of 120 documents comprising architectural archives, books, plans, films, and resident interviews of Balfron Tower spanning 50 years

Involve (2015) Tall Stories, part of the Brutalist Playground exhibition, RIBA
Workshops for children to create their own relief drawings cast in plaster, investigating the textures of cast concrete brutalist buildings and the internal lives of individual high-rise flats

Roberts, D. (2012) Empty Words Build Empty Homes, site-specific play, Haggerston Estate
A play on the promise and pitfalls of public housing written with the Haggerston Estate community and performed on site for Open House Weekend


Roberts, D. (Forthcoming, 2024) Make Public: Performing Public Housing in Regenerating East London

Rendell, J., Padan, Y. & Roberts, D. (Forthcoming, 2024) Practising Ethics: Hotspots, Touchstones, Blindspots, Keystones, Moonshots and Milestones, UCL Press

Maksimov, D., Mileeva, M., Murawski, M. & Roberts, D. (Forthcoming, 2023) 'Making Pyramids Disappear: Faux Horizontalism and Wild Capitalist Topologies of Speculation', in Vishmidt, M. Documents of Contemporary Art: Speculation, London: Whitechapel Gallery & MIT Press

Rendell, J., Padan, Y. & Roberts, D., with Marcowitz, A. & Osuteye, E. (Forthcoming, 2023) 'Practising ethics: processes and principles', in Bobic, N. and Haghighi, F. (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Architecture, Urban Space and Politics, Vol II: Ecology, Social Participation and Marginalities, London: Routledge

Critchley, M., Loewenson, T. & Roberts, D. (Forthcoming, 2023) 'UNBUILDING', Think Pieces

Roberts, D. (2022) 'All that is Solid Melts into Air', in Pook, J., Schtinter, S. & Smith, J., Blight Soundtrack. Available here

Roberts, D. (2022) '"The Practice of Taking a Position Towards the World": Designing Manifesto Workshops', in Thomas, A., Novas Ferradás, M. and Rocco, R. (eds.), Teaching Design For Values: Concepts, Tools & Practices, Delft: TU Delft OPEN. Available here

Roberts, D., Marcowitz, A., Osuteye, E, Padan, Y. & Rendell, J. (2022) 'Practising Ethics: Guides for Built Environment Research', Journal of Architecture. Available here

Roberts, D. (2021) 'Making Images' and 'Staging Research', Practising Ethics Guides to Built Environment Research. Available here

Rendell, J. with Cavelier, E., Chamberlain, S., Cham, S., Chen, Y., Docherty, R., El-Taliawi, A., Kärpänen, S., Kuenberg, K., Marino, F., Markou, O., Mazzari, L., Papachristou, A., Sainsot-Reynolds, R., Roberts, D., Salazar, D., Vincent, H., Zhou, F. and Žnidaršic, V. (2021) 'Selvedges/Self-edges', in Strauss, C. F., Slow Spatial Reader: Chronicles of Radical Affection, Amsterdam: Valiz, pp. 146-159

Roberts, D. (2021) 'Empathy Empathy Empathy Empathy Empathy Empathy Empathy: on ethics', Back in Five, CSM MArch, pp. 96-7. Available here

Roberts, D. (2021) 'Working Through and Working Towards: how to write an architectural manifesto', in Rocco, R., Newton, C., Vergara d’Alençon, L.Z., van der Watt, A., Babu, G., Caradonna, G., Tellez, N., Subendran, J., di Gioia, L. And Pessoa, I.T. (eds.) A Manifesto for the Just City. Delft: The Delft University of Technology. Available here

Castan-Broto, V., Padan, Y., Roberts, D., & Rendell, J. (2020) 'A "Minifesta" and the Promise of Collective Voice', Axon: Creative Explorations. Available here

Roberts, D. (2020) ‘Why Now?: The Ethics of Architectural Declaration’, Architecture and Culture. Available here

Roberts, D. (2019) ‘Reflect Critically and Act Fearlessly: A Survey of Ethical Codes, Guidance and Access in Built Environment Practice’, Bartlett Ethics Commission. Available here

Butt, A. and Roberts, D. (2018) ‘Narrative Arcs’, in Duman, A., Hancox, D., James, M. and Minton, A. (eds.) Regeneration Songs: Sounds of Investment and Loss from East London, London: Repeater Press, pp. 446-469

Roberts, D. (2018) ‘Housing Acts: performing public housing’, in Filmer, A. and Rufford, J. (eds.) Performing Architectures: Contemporary Projects, Practices and Pedagogies, London: Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, pp. 125-142

Roberts, D. (2017) ‘Make Public: Performing Public Housing in Ernö Goldfinger’s Balfron Tower’, Journal of Architecture, v. 22, n. 1, pp. 123-150. Available here

Roberts, D. (2017) ‘“We felt magnificent being up there”: Ernö Goldfinger's Balfron Tower and the campaign to keep it public’, in Guillery, P. and Kroll, D. (eds.) Mobilising Housing Histories: Learning from London’s Past, London: RIBA Publishing, pp. 141-162

Roberts, D. (2016) ‘Three Demands', RIBA Journal. Available here

Rendell, J. and Roberts, D. (2016) ‘Ethical Encounters’, The Bartlett Review. Available here

Roberts, D. et al. (2016) ‘From “Heroin” to Heroines’, in Campkin B. and Duijzings G. (eds.) Engaged Urbanism: Cities and Methodologies, London: IB Tauris, pp. 73-82

Roberts, D. (2016) ‘Make Public: a building archive of London’s Balfron Tower’, in Beebeejaun Y. (ed.) The Participatory City, Berlin: Jovis, pp. 65-73

Roberts, D. (2016) ‘None of the Lively Detail’, in Padilha E. and Khonsari T. (eds.) My Home is Your Home, London: public works, pp. 18-29

Roberts, D. (2015) Report in objection to Balfron Tower refurbishment proposal PA/15/02554. See here

Schmidt, T. et al. (2014) ‘Beyond Glorious: The Radical in Engaged Practices’, Contemporary Theatre Review, v. 24, n. 2, pp. 284-288. Available here

Kenniff, T.B., Parreño, C., Pestana, M., Roberts, D., and Willkens, D. (2014) ‘Lobby foreward’, in Lobby, London: Aldgate Press. Available here

Roberts, D. (2014) ‘Telling Stories / Empty Words Build Empty Homes’, Opticon1826, v. 17, n. 16. Available here

Campkin, B., Roberts, D. and Ross, R, eds. (2013) Urban Pamphleteer 2: Regeneration Realities, Northampton: Belmont Press. Available here

Roberts, D. and Thomas, A. (2013) ‘Harmony and Discord’, in PhD Research Projects 2013 (London: Bartlett School of Architecture). Available here

Roberts, D. (2012) ‘Collaberate’, in Fabianczyk M. and Hoyle. S (eds.) We were trying to make sense...: Exploring Artist and Non-Artist Collaborations, London: An Endless Supply, pp. 33-36. Available here

Cook, I. et al. (2008) ‘What is geography’s contribution to making citizens?’, Geography, v. 93 n. 1, pp. 34-39. Available here

Cook, I., Evans, J., Griffiths, H., Mayblin, L., Payne, B. and Roberts, D (2007) ‘“Made in…?" appreciating the everyday geographies of connected lives?’, Teaching Geography, pp. 80-83. Available here


Roberts, D. (2015) Radical Cities, Tate Modern

Fugitive Images (2015) Real Estates, PEER Gallery

Roberts, D. (2014) Banner, The Sixth Housing Estate, South London Gallery

Fugitive Images (2014) Workshops 1-12, My Haggerston, Geffrye Museum

Fugitive Images (2013) From ‘Heroin’ to Heroines, CitiesMethodologies, UCL

Fugitive Images (2012) The Estate Project, Samuel House, Photomonth

Roberts, D. (2012) am i here?, CitiesMethodologies, UCL

Roberts, D. (2010) Reconnections, CitiesMethodologies, UCL

Conference papers, guest lectures & public talks

Space of Waste, Bartlett Together Festival, Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment, 09/2022

Experimental Methodologies, Sussex University, 05/2022

Sustained, Dialogic, Iterative, Independent, Action-oriented, and Imaginative, KTH School of Architecture, Stockholm and TU Munich, 03/2022

Ethics in Research Practice, KNOW Project, UCL, 02/2022

Archive as Commonplace, Barbican and Bartlett School of Architecture, 01/2022

Ecopoetics, Bartlett Together Festival, Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment, 09/2021

Uncommon Walks, Pedestric Radicals, Architectural Association, 06/2021

Unfinished Symphonies, Bartlett, UCL & Wits University, 06/2021

Future Practice, Royal College of Art, 04/2021

Speculative Ethics, KTH School of Architecture, Stockholm and TU Munich, 03/2021

On Site, InSITE, Royal College of Art, 02/2021

Dust FM, with Loewenson, T., Dialogues with Dust, Graduate School of Architecture, University of Johannesburg, 04/2020

Teaching Design for Values, Design for Values Institute, TU Delft, 02/2020

Why now?, Architecture & Collective Life, Architectural Humanities Research Association, 11/2019

Open Learning Spaces, De La Warr Pavilion, 09/2019

Co-designing Common Spaces, De La Warr Pavilion, 06/2019

Craggy Bleakness and Tenacity, Centre for Alternative Technology, 04/2019

Confessionals, In Permanent Readiness for the Marvelous, Bartlett School of Architecture PhD Research Projects, 03/2019

Dialogues on Urban Equality: the Ethics of Urban Research Practice, Knowledge in Action for Urban Equality, Senate House, 10/2018

Spatial Engagement Sessions - Ideas for Civic Action, Tate Exchange, 07/2018

Multistory, Canterbury School of Architecture, UCA, 11/2017

Polimi London, Politecnico di Milano, 11/2017

Judgment Calls, Bartlett School of Architecture, 06/2017

School of Architecture, National Technical University of Athens, 05/2017

Uncommon, Spike Island, Bristol, 04/2017

Are You Sitting Comfortably?, Canterbury School of Architecture, UCA, 03/2017

Critical Written Reflection, Aarhus School of Architecture, 02/2017

Passagens, Chelsea College of Art, 01/2017

Situating Architecture, Bartlett School of Architecture, 12/2016

Art Practices & the Housing Crisis, Manchester People's History Museum, 11/2016

My Home is Your Home, The Showroom Gallery, 11/2016

Estate, a Reverie, Exeter University, 07/2016

Estate, a Reverie, ICA, 06/2016

Architecture in the Expanded Field, National Art Gallery, Vilnius, 06/2016

Estate, a Reverie, City Centre, Queen Mary University of London, 04/2016

Estate, a Reverie, Tate Modern, 04/2016

Practising Ethics in Built Environment Research Conference, The Bartlett, UCL, 06/2015

The Work of Art in the Age of Urban Cannibalism, Goldsmiths University, 03/2015

London Theatre Seminar, Senate House, 03/2015

London Metropolitan History Seminar, Senate House, 03/2015

MirrorCity, Hayward Gallery, 11/2014

International Federation for Theatre Research Conference, Warwick University, 06/2014

Oral History Society Conference, Manchester University, 06/2014

Open School East, Rose Lipman Centre, De Beauvoir Town, 11/2013

Wits University, Johannesburg, 11/2013

Performative Reexistences, Italian Cultural Institute, 10/2013

Mobilising London's Housing Histories: The Provision of Homes since 1850, Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, 06/2013

Stylistic Dead Ends? Fresh Perspectives on British Architecture Between the World Wars, St John's College, Oxford University, 06/2013

Beyond Glorious: The Radical in Engaged Practices, Birkbeck, 06/2013

Open House 2013: Collective Action on the Housing Crisis Facing People Across London, 05/2013

CitiesMethodologies, Slade Research Centre, 04/2013

Bartlett Research Exchange, UCL, 04/2013

PhD Research Projects Exhibition, Bartlett School of Architecture, Wates House, UCL, 03/2013

Sheffield University Architecture Society lecture series, Sheffield, 02/2013

PLACE: Roots - Journeying Home, Aldeburgh Festival, Snape, 02/2013

John Berger: Art and Property Now exhibition, Somerset House, 11/2012

Open House Weekend, 09/2012

Estate, Whitechapel Gallery, 09/2012

CitiesMethodologies, Slade Research Centre, 07/2012

Open City Documentary Festival, UCL, 06/2012

One Day in the City - Festival of London and Literature, UCL, 06/2012

ART/E/FACT, Stour Space, 06/2012

Common Grounds Conference, Sheffield Architecture School, 05/2012

StadtKolloquium Conference, UCL, 03/2012

Step Forward & Network, Haggerston Community Centre, 12/2011

Shoreditch Festival, Shoreditch Trust Information Point, Haggerston, 07/2011

Conversations at the Elephant, Studio at the Elephant, Elephant and Castle, 07/2011

Visionary Trading Project, Guest Projects, Hackney, 06/2011

CitiesMethodologies, Slade Research Centre, 05/2010


Bartlett Architecture Research Fund, 2022

RIBA President’s Award for Research 2021 winner with Ariana Markowitz, Dr Emmanuel Osuteye, Dr Yael Padan, and Professor Jane Rendell, 2021

UCL Knowledge Exchange Fund, 2020

UCL SSEES FRINGE Centre for the Study of Cultural Complexity and Bartlett Architecture Research Fund, 2020

Nominee Brilliant Research-based Education in Student Choice Teaching Awards, 2020

Nominee Amazing Support Staff in Student Choice Teaching Awards, 2020

Bartlett Architecture Research Fund, 2020

Nominee Award for Exceptional Feedback in Student Choice Teaching Awards, 2019

Association for Learning Development in Higher Education, 2019

UCL Knowledge Exchange, 2019

Bartlett Architecture Projects Fund, 2019

RIBA President’s Award for Research 2018 commendation, 2018

Shortlisted for Award for Diverse and Inclusive Education in Student Choice Teaching Awards, 2018

Nominee Award for Outstanding Teaching in Student Choice Teaching Awards, 2017

RIBA President’s Award for Research 2016 winner and recipient of High Commendation, 2016

Central Saint Martins Restless Futures funding, 2015

Bartlett Architecture Research Fund, 2015

UCL Grand Challenges funding, 2014

Architecture for Humanity Ideas on a Postcard winner, 2014

UCL Public Engagement funding, 2013

Open City Arch-Innovate Competition, 2013

Shortlisted for CINECITY Architectural Film Project, judged by Bernard Tschumi and others, 2013

Shortlisted for Artangel Idea for London, 2012

Arts Council England, Grants for the Arts funding, 2012

UCL Train and Engage funding, 2012

UCL Graduate Research Scholarship and an AHRC Studentship in Architectural Design, 2011-14

University of Birmingham prize for highest graded student and for highest graded dissertation, 2006

Urban Geography Research Group, Runner-up prize in the national dissertation award for Unwelcome in the City: Exclusion of the Homeless in Liverpool, 2006

Featured work

Morgan Quaintance, ‘Rules of Engagement’, Art Monthly, 10/2016. See here

Ruta Leitanaite, ‘Mano namai – socialinis bustas’, Žiniu radijas, 06/2016. Available here

Morgan Quaintance, ‘Teleology and the Turner Prize or: Utility, the New Conservatism’, e-flux, 12/2015. See here

Lord Michael Cashman, ‘Speech in debate: The regeneration of East London since the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the remaining challenges’, House of Lords, 11/2015. See video here and Hansard transcription here

Vanessa Crawford, ‘Balfron residents: 'Privatising the tower will segregate the community’’, Architects’ Journal, 11/2015. See here

James Dunnett, ‘Response to Alasdair Young at Historic England’, in Colin Marrs, ‘Historic England throws weight behind Balfron plans’, Architects’ Journal, 10/2015. See here

Simon Bettina, Égbe Emelt Utcák, Avagy a Jóléti Álom Végy: Balfron Tower - Ernö Goldfinger brutalista utópiája, Artmagazin, 10/2015.

Colin Marrs and Will Hurst, ‘RIBA and ARB ethical codes attacked’, Architects’ Journal, 07/2015. See here

Benjamin Mortimer, ‘Balfron Tower: Unseen documents shed light on controversial sale’, East End Review, 05/2015. See here

James Taylor-Foster, ‘Explore Erno Goldfinger's Balfron Tower Through A New Online Archive’, Arch Daily, 04/2015. See here

Benjamin Mortimer, ‘Hoxton gallery hosts social housing project’, East End Review, 03/2015. See here

Time Out, ‘Top 5 selected galleries and exhibitions’, Whitechapel Gallery, 03/2015. See here

Paul Murphy, ‘Real Estates exhibitions—bringing together key social issues’, Socialist Worker, 03/2015. See here

The News Agents, ‘Housing Crisis’, Resonance FM, 03/2015. Listen here

Rooney John, ‘Fugitive Images, highlighting the need for housing reform’, Big Issue Online Journalists, 02/2015. See here

James Dunnett, ‘The Ecstasy of Space’, DOCOMOMO-UK (Winter 2014), pp. 8-9. Available here

Jane Rendell, ‘The siting of writing and the writing of sites’, in Matthew Carmona (ed.), Explorations in Urban Design: An Urban Design Research Primer (Surrey: Ashgate, 2014), pp. 219-230

Mariana Pestana, ‘New lexicons of hospitality', Homeland 2nd Edition, Portuguese Pavillion, Venice Biennale (2014), p. 14. Available here

Iain Sinclair, ‘W.G Sebald: A German Genius in Britain’, BBC Radio 4, 05/2014. Listen here

David Roberts and Andrea Luka Zimmerman interview with Alisha Haridasani, ‘Re-imagining Council Housing’, Thinking in Practice, 09/2013. See here

Kim Hoefnagels, ‘Architectural Film Festival Rotterdam’, a10 New European Architecture, v.52 (July/August 2013), p. 10. Available here

Tom Wilkinson, ‘Back from the dead: Interwar Modernism’, Architectural Review, v.233 (August 2013), pp. 18-20. Available here

David Roberts, ‘Empty Words Build Empty Homes’ in Marcos Cruz (ed.), Bartlett School of Architecture Catalogue (London: Bartlett School of Architecture, 2013), p. 343

David Roberts, ‘Faltering Fullback’, Building Design, 2013. See here

The Urbanist issue 80 interview with Ben Campkin, Monocle, 2013. Listen here

David Roberts, ‘Empty Words Build Empty Homes’, in PhD Research Projects (London: Bartlett School of Architecture, 2013), pp. 16-17. Available here

Gareth Evans, ‘Estate’, Garageland (2012). See here

Mariana Pestana, ‘Estate’, Design Exchange (2012), pp. 92-95. Available here

i was here, ‘Top Pick’ for Open House Weekend, Time Out, 2012. See here