Mr Julian Williams

Mr Julian Williams

I am currently part of the Design Studio teaching team and lead the Practice module for  3rd year BA Interior Architecture. I also teach History and Theory to undergraduate 1st and 3rd year students. I am Deputy Director of Learning Teaching and Quality for the School of Architecture and Cities. 

I am currently leading Climate Demonstrator  a QHT project engaging students with primary schools and their communities around the subject of climate and its interaction with buildings and cities. 

I was Course Leader of BA Architecture from 2011 to 2020,  managing admissions and teaching in various roles including running studios in 3rd year, 2nd year and 1st year as well as teaching on the History and Theory and Practices modules. I taught History and Theory on the MArch (RIBA Part II) course from 2006 to 2014. 

Before taking on a full-time role at Westminster I combined architectural practice with part-time teaching. I studied Architecture at Kingston Polytechnic and South Bank University before pursuing my interest in aesthetics through a Masters in Visual Theory at UEL.

Prior to qualification as an architect in 1995, I worked in Austria for Büro Giencke and in London for Gollifer Associates Architects. I then set up Shonfield Williams Architects in partnership with Katherine Shonfield which ran from 1996 to 2000, before working as a project architect with muf architecture/art from 2000 to 2010.

Whilst working in practice I had always taught part time in the field of architecture: In 2010 I took the decision to move into teaching full time at Westminster, initially as a design and history tutor, and then as Course Leader of BA Architecture in 2011.

My interest in the practice of teaching and learning in architecture led to the completion of an MA in Higher Education and  my involvement in the establishment of the AAE (Association of Architectural Educators) of which I am a committee member. The AAE is a group of UK academics interested in furthering the understanding of studio-based learning in architectural education. I ran the AAE2019 Conference Learning through Practice. 

Professional bodies

HEA fellow since 2015

RIBA member since 2002

ARB registered since 1995


MA Higher Education 2015 University of Westminster

MA Visual Theory 1996 University of East London

PG Dip Architecture 1993 South Bank University

BA (Hons) Architecture 1989 Kingston University

My research focuses on the nature of practice through a number of strands: I am interested in the student experience of design studio culture, of how students learn to be architectural designers and how they are supported in this. The work has led to published research into the use of blended learning in supporting design studio.

Also informed by practice theory is a study of the development of the public housing estate between 1890 and 1951 through an examination of the professional practices and cultures of the land and valuation surveying profession. The research has focused on the activities of the LCC’s Housing and Valuations Department between 1945 and 1951 in promoting their ‘Out-County’ housing estates through the organisation of a ‘Tours of our Estates’ programme, run in conjunction with the British Council.

A third strand of research involves an analysis of the experience of LGBT professionals working on construction sites based existing survey data. This research has focussed on aspects of the site visit that involve parading and the contesting of established masculine cultures, particularly where collective bodies of workers are involved and linked with organisational hierarchies.

  • Architectural Humanities