Mr Tom Coward

About

I am Year Leader of MArch Architecture (RIBA 2) in the Department of Architecture and Landscape at the Kingston School of Art. I am a qualified British architect and RIBA Client Advisor with more than 23 years' experience in architectural practice in the UK.

I am an experienced and successful teacher and academic leader: I have taught undergraduate and postgraduate architecture courses for more than 19 years, run a Postgraduate architecture course, and contribute to Department management. The work of my students has been published and exhibited in the UK and internationally, and won industry awards. I have experience of innovative course and curriculum development.

As a teacher I have an international profile and have been invited as a guest teacher and lecturer most notably at Yale University as the Louis I Kahn Visiting Assistant Professor, Winter semester 2011.

I am a founding director of the award winning RIBA chartered practice AOC Architecture Ltd, "One of the most promising, successful new practices in British Architecture" (the Times). I have been invited to lecture and present the work of the practice in the UK, Europe, Asia, North and South America and projects by the practice have been exhibited internationally and published in the UK & International architectural press. The work of the office features in Hatch (2008), New Arcadians (2012), New Architects 3 (2016) and Post-Modernism, Buildings in Britain (2017).

I am currently undertaking a PhD by Practice.

Academic responsibilities

Lecturer, MArch Year Leader (RIBA Part 2)

Qualifications

  • 2005 Professional Practice Examination, London Metropolitan University
  • 2002 MA RCA Architecture & Interiors, Royal College of Art
  • 1998 BA (Hons) Architecture First class, University of Nottingham
  • RIBA Client Advisor; Accredited practitioner
  • Fellowship of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce
  • Young Architect of the Year 2005, Runner Up
  • Architects Journal '40 under 40' Winner, 2005

Teaching and learning

I have taught on PSRB accredited RIBA 1 and RIBA 2 Architecture courses since 2002, and at Kingston since 2015. I became Year Leader in 2019; helping the team develop, plan, conduct and deliver, excellent, inclusive teaching.

Involvement in curriculum design and innovation in blended learning; 

  • 2020-21 A&L Access and Inclusion Working Group for KU course revalidation
  • 2020- Focus on VLE blended learning strategies use/management of innovative pedagogic tools to aid social presence online. Presentation of departmental MIRO use at KU festival of Learning Bitesize
  • 2019-20 MArch Unit 1 L6 L7 Design Residency on the 'Walworth Living Room' with Pembroke House Settlement, with planned public exhibition
  • 2020-21 MArch Unit 1 engagement with client group Shinfield Parish Council , with planned public exhibition
  • 2019-20 MArch Unit 1 field work, study visit to Sea Ranch; the work of Charles Moore
  • 2018-19 MArch Unit 2 field work, study visit to Sao Paulo; the work of Lina Bo Bardi

2019-20 Professional Practice REF21 contribution 'The Green' Community Centre

2019- Student interviews for successful MArch course recruitment

2020-21 Contribution to 'Window into Practice' and 'Travel itineraries' extra curricular lecture series

     

CASE STUDY 1 The Walworth Living Room Residency

Developing active learning strategies in teaching sessions

'The Walworth Living Room'; is an experimental space testing social prescription and community health / well being, in a semi derelict Victorian church hall. Pembroke House came to KSA to utilize the skills of MArch students in social entrepreneurship, considering short term to long term potential of the All Saints Hall building as a site for social prescription. Students worked with the local community and Pembroke House a charitable settlement.

The residency gave opportunity for students to test and develop ideas, including public presentation and immediate feedback from service providers and service users. The development of the thesis in TB2 benefitted from the residency experience; with students confident in designing through their own perspectives and experiences and responding to their critical friends. Students had the opportunity to achieve their ambitions; one L7 student succeeded to receive an end of year award / publication.

CASE STUDY 2 Learning through lock down

Developing effective learning environments/spaces

'Learning through making' and relational teaching methods rely upon group interrogation of objects in space. COVID placed department spaces and field work engagement with real buildings and landscapes at risk. The department swiftly shifted to a digital environment and made our conversation there.

Efforts made to relaunch a digital learning environment for 20-21 were transformative. The transformation required significant rapid change on a departmental and course level to a digital environment. However, some aspects of virtual space disguise the radical separation of designers from end users… "alternatives are literally unthinkable within the interface… All are good reasons why we should foster in our institutions, among our colleagues, and most importantly in our students, a critical approach to digital technology and their uses" (Lea 2015). Ongoing development of the digital space through 20-21 has been tested through student engagement.

Qualifications and expertise

  • ARB Registered Architect
  • RIBA registered Architect
  • RIBA Client Advisor; Accredited practitioner
  • Fellowship of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce
  • 2015- RIBA Pt III Internal Assessor, University of Brighton
  • 2006-8 Professional Examiner RIBA III, London Metropolitan University
  • 2011-12 Louis I Kahn Visiting Assistant Professor, Yale University; Advanced Design Studio, 'Re-storing Public Possessions'
  • 2011-12 Louis I Kahn Visiting Assistant Professor, Yale University; Seminar Series, 'People Making Places'

Postgraduate courses taught

Research

2018-19 AR6103 Representation Designate 'Towards a Conversational Architecture' Seminar Series

2019-20 Professional Practice REF contribution 'The Green' Community Centre

2017-22 PhD by Practice; Towards a Conversational Architecture

Member of Register Research Group at Kingston School of Art; seeking to interpret, understand and augment our built landscapes

Current Abstract available here; https://registerarchitecturelandscape.uk/phd-research

       

Fieldwork including;

Study trip to Urbino, visiting works by Giancarlo de Carlo

Measured survey of Ca Romanino, Urbino by Giancarlo de Carlo

Study trip to Sao Paulo, visiting works by Lina Bo Bardi

Study trip to California, visiting 16 works by Charles Moore

Measured survey of Unit 9, Sea Ranch by MLTW

Recent and forthcoming publications;

2016 'Putting the Green back into the Green'

Conference Paper

Inheriting the City: Advancing Understandings in Urban Heritage, University of Taipei

      

2017 'Forever, For everyone'

London Society

  

2018 Letter from Beijing

Architectural Research Quarterly, Volume 21 / Issue 3

       

'Saved from the wrecking ball on a daily basis'

in Expanding Fields of Architectural Discourse and Practice, UCL Press, 2020

      

'Invention in Action at the Museum of Childhood'

in Participatory Practice in Space, Place, and Service Design, Vernon Press, 2022

        

'Time in Unit 9: A Comparison Between the Projected Life of the Drawing, the Residues of Living and Lived Experience'

in The Practice of Architectural Research, KU Leuven Press, 2022

Qualifications and expertise

  • PhD by Practice (target completion 2022)
  • Architectural Researcher

Areas of specialism

  • Developing Briefs with Clients
  • Participation and Engagement through Design
  • Design in Action
  • Communicative Architecture

Scholarly affiliations

  • RIBA Client Advisor; Accredited practitioner
  • Fellowship of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce
  • 2015- RIBA Pt III Internal Assessor, University of Brighton
  • 2011-12 Louis I Kahn Visiting Assistant Professor, Yale University

Professional practice, knowledge exchange and impact

Conference Attendance

Inheriting the City: Advancing Understandings in Urban Heritage, University of Taipei, 2016

Paper Presentation 'Putting the Green back into the Green'

Community engagement and participation in local housing and community infrastructure development, Nunhead, Southwark.

     

REF21 contribution Professional Practice 'The Green' Community Centre, Nunhead, Southwark.

Conference Attendance

Architectural Research, KU Leuven, 2020; Student fieldwork surveying Unit 9, Sea Ranch 2019-20 became the basis for a conference paper to be included as a chapter in The Practice of Architectural Research, published by KU Leuven

   

CASE STUDY 1 The Walworth Living Room Residency

Developing active learning with charity volunteering

Lead relationship with Charity Pembroke house enhancing the quality of student learning. Innovative learning through action residency involving community engagement and volunteering. Teaching delivery through community networks with diverse practitioners. Students supporting professional project and client funding application for GLA and Local Authority funding.

The project provided experience in relational learning; where students developed professional empathy through action and collaboration with stakeholder researchers (operational staff) and users. It gave first-hand understanding of a public service and a charitable institution, and a process of design improvement through practice, reflection and iteration. The project allowed them to take a personal journey from observational research to small scale tests through to a large-scale proposition. A student received an end of year award / publication.

CASE STUDY 2 Community Infrastructure in Shinfield

Reflective learning through local community engagement

Lead relationship with Shinfield Parish Council to enhancing the quality of student learning. Civic engagement enhancing student research outputs considering contemporary housing development and community infrastructure provision. Culminating in local exhibition and discussion to consider housing and community needs in a rural landscape undergoing rapid urban change.

Shinfield Community Centre Construction Case study; Insight through real time case study with Project Architect presentation and image blog.

Qualifications and expertise

  • ARB Registered Architect
  • RIBA registered Architect
  • RIBA Client Advisor; Accredited practitioner

Professional and scholarly affiliations

  • Fellowship of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce

Social media

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