Dr Nick Beech

Dr Nick Beech

I completed my doctoral research 'Constructing Everyday Life: an architectural history of the South Bank in its production, 1949-1951', in 2011, at the Bartlett UCL under the supervision of Prof Jane Rendell and Prof Peg Rawes. I have taught histories and theories of architecture, and the history of London in a number of Schools of Architecture, History departments, and Humanities departments, including at Oxford Brookes, UCL, Queen Mary University of London, and New York University in London. I am a member of the Stuart Hall Foundation Academic Committee, Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of the Production of the Built Environment, University of Westminster, and I am currently a Research Associate for the international research project Translating Ferro/Transforming Knowledge.

Passionate about architecture, as something that is made, and is meaningful, I continue to research and communicate to academic, scholarly and public audiences. 

I welcome PhD applications from students who have interests in historical materialist analyses of the production of space, the history of London's built environment since the eighteenth century, and cultural studies of architecture and planning.

I am involved in two main areas of investigation in my research - the first concerns the reshaping of the architectural profession in the mid-twentieth century, as a result of the rapid reconfiguration of industries related to the built environment. The second concerns the intellectual and political movement of the New Left in Britain, and how this movement and its key protagonists responded to, thought through, and contributed to, urban and architectural changes.

My research has been supported and strengthened by collaborations with a diverse range of researchers, but profoundly through work with Dr Tilo Amhoff, at University of Brighton, and Prof Katie Lloyd Thomas at Newcastle University.

I am currently in receipt of a Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art Mid-Career Fellowship, which will be used to finish writing of a book on the New Left: From Progress to Possibility: the urban imagination of the New Left, 1956-1962

List of Publications:

‘Social Condensation in the Metropole: Locating the First New Left’, Journal of Architecture, vol. 22, no. 3 (May 2017), 488–511.

with Katie Lloyd Thomas and Adam Sharr (eds), Into the Hidden Abode, special issue of Architecture and Culture, vol. 3, no. 3 (November 2015).

with Katie Lloyd Thomas and Tilo Amhoff (eds), Industries of Architecture (London: Routledge, 2015).

 (ed.) Telling Places, a special issue of Multi: The RIT Journal of Diversity & Plurality in Design, vol. 2, no. 1 (Winter, 2008). 

 ‘Humdrum Tasks of the Salaried Men: Edwin Williams a LCC architect at war’, Footprint: Delft architecture theory journal no. 17 (Autum/Winter 2015), 9–26.

‘Groundworks: Constructing Everyday Life at the South Bank 1948’, in Ákos Moravánszky, Christian Schmid, Lukasz Stanek (eds), Urban Revolution Now: Henri Lefebvre in social research and architecture (London: Ashgate, 2015), pp. 191–205. 

‘Demolition Figures: The appearance and expression of the mattockman and topman in lcc contracts, 1941–1951’, Architectural Research Quarterly, vol. 16, no. 3 (2012), 245–52.

Et tu, Peter? Some kinds of real–(and not so) politik at the Festival of Britain’, in Mathew Aitchison and John Macarthur (ed.) Townscape, a special issue of Journal of Architecture, vol. 17, no. 5 (2012), 747–62.

  • Architectural Humanities
  • Centre for the Study of the Production of the Built Environment

In brief

Research areas

Modern architecture in Britain; the New Left; History of London; William Morris

Supervision interests

Modern British Architecture; history of London; the British New Left; cultural studies in the built environment