Dr Matthew Wells


I am an architectural historian who works on the relationships between representational techniques, technology, and professionalism. I did my doctoral work at the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Royal College of Art, where my thesis explored the role played by architectural models in both the construction of nineteenth-century London and the nascent architectural profession. The thesis was awarded the Theodor-Fischer-Preis (2019) and commended in the RIBA President's Awards for Research (2017). Currently I am working on three books: one a monograph based on his doctoral research; another on the cultural history of the survey drawing; and the third on the standardisation of the built environment through technology, bureaucracy, and media in nineteenth-century Britain and its global territories.

Academic responsibilities

Lecturer in the History and Theory of Architecture


  • PhD, Royal College of Art
  • MA, Courtauld Institute of Art
  • PG Dip (RIBA Part 3), University of Westminster
  • MArch, London Metropolitan University
  • BA, University of Liverpool

Teaching and learning

At Kingston I lead the First Year History and Theory module (AR4001), which explores modern architecture from c.1850 to c.2000. In addition to the more traditional settings of scholarship, the two-semester lecture course explores architecture in Africa, Asia, Central America, and South America to offer a trans-regional history. This broader field considers modern architecture in a global context, using multiple viewpoints to explore the built environment and the architect's role in designing this environment. Through description and contextualisation of individual examples the course considers the role of architecture in the construction of buildings that represented new political and social identities, housed new building programmes, and offered a stage for modern life.

I also supervise undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations in architectural history and theory.

Undergraduate courses taught

Postgraduate courses taught