Justine Sambrook

Research project: Photography and post-war architecture in the Architectural Review's Manplan series


Throughout the 20th century, the Architectural Review journal developed a reputation as an innovative and campaigning journal with photography as important in conveying its messages as written content.

My research focuses on the late 1960s when the journal expressed disillusionment with the post-war corruption of Modernist ideals through its series Manplan (1969-1970) which used photojournalists and street photographers rather than architectural photographers to critique British architecture and infrastructure using highly experimental imagery.

Using Manplan as a lens through which to interpret the journey of post-war architecture in Britain I will examine the way that photography was used to promote or criticise according to the standpoint of the editors at the time. As Curator of the RIBA's Photographs Collection, I will use its archive of original photographs gathered for publication in the Architectural Review as a primary resource.

  • Research degree: PhD
  • Title of project: Photography and post-war architecture in the Architectural Review's Manplan series
  • Research supervisor: Dr Alexandra Stara
  • Other research supervisor: Dr Fiona Fisher


As curator of the RIBA's Robert Elwall Photographs Collection I am involved in the care, research and growth of a collection of over 1.6 million images of architecture from prehistory to the present day.

I have curated numerous exhibitions at the RIBA including, most recently, co-curating At Home in Britain: Designing the House of Tomorrow (2016) and Ordinary Beauty: The Photography of Edwin Smith (2014). My publications include the Phaidon Atlas of 21st-Century World Architecture (2008), The Modernist House (Phaidon, 2009), Building the New Millennium: Architecture at the Start of the 21st Century (Phaidon, 2009), the Phaidon Atlas of 20th-Century World Architecture (2012), as well as regular columns in Midcentury Magazine and the RIBA Journal.  

Areas of research interest

  • Architectural photography
  • Photojournalism / street photography
  • 20th Century architectural journals
  • The Architectural Review
  • Post-war planning and reconstruction
  • Post-war architecture


  • Post-graduate Diploma Museum Studies, University of Leicester (2006)
  • BA (Hons) Photography in the Arts, Swansea Metropolitan University (2002)

Funding or awards received

  • KSA Faculty Funded PhD (2015–completion)