Prof Sean Griffiths

Prof Sean Griffiths

Professor Sean Griffiths is the principle of Modern Architect and a practicing architect, artist and writer. Alongside teaching he designs architecture, makes gallery-based installations and writes extensively.

Sean was the founding director of the art-architecture collaborative FAT whose design work and art projects have been widely published and discussed. Sean's work as an individual and as a director of FAT has been exhibited at major national and international institutions including the RIBA, the V&A, the ICA, the Royal Academy, and Tate Modern in London, and the Carnegie Mellon Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Stroom in Den Haag, Arc en Réve in Bourdeaux, the Seccession Haus in Vienna, amongst many others. FAT represented the UK at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale.

Besides his prolific architecture and design projects, art work, media work and his regular curation of group exhibitions and installations, Sean Griffiths has taught extensively both in this country and as visiting critic and professor and as invited lecturer in institutions around the world. He has been Visiting Professor of Architectural Design at Yale University on four occasions between 2007-2016.

Employment history

2014-present - Principal Modern Architect.

1991- 2014 - Director FAT

2020 - Visiting Professor of Architecture at ABK, Stuttgart.

2007 - 2016 Louis I Kahn Visiting Professor of Architecture, Yale University

2013-present Professor of Architecture , University of Westminster

2001- present Senior Lecturer In Architecture, University of Westminster

1999-2000 Part Time Lecturer In Architecture South Bank University

1996-97 Part Time Lecturer in Architecture and Interiors RCA

1992-99 Part Time Lecturer In Architecture University of Greenwich

As well as being an academic, Sean is a practicing architect and artist and theorist. At the heart of Sean's work is the idea of representation and its relationship to the real.  In practice-based and written work, this interest has manifested itself in the study of experimental forms of architectural representation which aims to show how, on the one hand, different forms of representation can be used to develop new conceptions for the possibilities of architectural space and, on the other hand how our current normative conception of architecture is tied to the existing protocols of architectural drawing. Sean's architectural works, with both the practice FAT and, more recently, with Modern Architect, have therefore focused on architecture's representational qualities, highlighting the relationships between buildings and other media such as drawing, painting and music, through the use of particular iconographic tropes and and unusual material choices. 

Sean's architectural work is paralleled in a burgeoning art practice in which similar themes are explored even more explicitly through immersive architectural scale installations, wall drawings, prints and paintings, which are designed to create the sensation of being inside drawings, paintings and objects.

Recent research has explored the relationship between musical notation systems and architectural drawings which has resulted in the development of novel architectural methodologies based on the 'chance operation' techniques of the Twentieth Century Composer, John Cage. These techniques have informed Sean's artworks, his studio teaching and have been documented in recent published writing. The interest in Cage and the 'inhuman' characteristics of his chance-based methods have in turn lead to an interest in contemporary Neo-Rationalist philosophy much of explore the relationship between ideas in computer science and German Idealism. This line of thinking is the main driver of Sean's current writing and his work in architecture and fine art.

Recent projects include:


Book Proposal : 'Against Poetics - Architecture and the Scientific Image'.

Peer Reviewed Paper (in progress) : 'Modern Architecture and the World Scientific Conception'.

Peer Reviewed Paper (forthcoming) : 'The Poverty of Embodiment in the work of Juhani Pallasmaa', first presented at the conference 'Representing Pasts and Envisioning Futures' and to published as full paper in the journal ArchitectureMPS with UCL Press.

'Architecture Without Plans - Design Strategies Based on Chance Operations' published in "The Artful Plan', published by Birkhauser.

Architecture and Design

Northampton Contemporary Arts - conversion of 24 Guildhall Road into a contemporary art space and gallery. due for completion 2023.

Extension to the Blue House London, completed in 2022 and featured in The Observer, The Architects Journal and Dezeen.

Kessels Kramer, London, - Office interior completed 2018.


After the Flood - installation consisting of  wall painting, prints and canvasses at Sandie/Macrae postROOM, London.

  • Architectural Humanities

Sustainable Development Goals
In brief

Research areas

Contemporary Philosophical Rationalism and it relations to Architecture and Art.

Skills / expertise

philosophical methodology