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Richard Bower

Dr Richard Bower

Lecturer in Design and Philosophy

School of Geography and Planning

Available for postgraduate supervision


As a lecturer in design I am fascinated by the entanglement of people, places, and power. My current research explores these complex conditions through contemporary philosophical frameworks such as speculative realism, post-humanism, and new materialism.

I joined the School of Geography and Planning in September 2017 having previously taught design and critical cultural theory at the University of Central Lancashire, and in the school of Architecture at Plymouth University. Prior to these roles in education I practiced architecture in studios across both South-West England and London.






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My ongoing research explores the critique of correlationism offered by philosophies of speculative realism as a means to critique anthropocentic perceptions of design and sustainability as they impact on descriptive and prescriptive normativity. 

Previous collaborative research explorations have included explorations of urban cycling from the perspective of children (‘Unadulterated Cycling’), cultures of migration narrated in urban food, the ‘slow city’ movement, and the history of plotlander housing in the UK. Prior to this my research monograph Architecture and Space Reimagined (Routledge, 2016) highlighted critical intersections in the works of Henri Lefebvre and Doreen Massey through examples of alternative design and spatial practice by John Turner and Nabeel Hamdi.


I am course director for MSc International Planning and Urban Design where I lead the CPT925 Urban Theory Provocations and supervise student research dissertations. I also lead CPT924 Urban Development Debates for the MA Urban Design course, as well as contributing to various other modules across the school's geography and planning courses.


  • 2014: PhD (Architecture and Cultural Geography), Plymouth University, UK
  • 2008: Post-Graduate Diploma in Humane Architecture
  • 2008: Graduate Diploma in Architecture

Honours and awards

  • 2017: Research funding awarded from the UK Vernacular Architecture Group
  • 2008: RIBA Presidents Silver Medal nomination

Academic positions

  • 2015 - 2017: University of Central Lancashire School of Architecture - Lecturer in Design and Critical Cultural Theory
  • 2009 - 2014: Plymouth University School of Architecture - Associate Lecturer in Architectural History and Theory


I am always interested in supervising PhD students looking to explore contemporary philosophical theory - notably speculative realism, post-humanism, and new materialism. Such projects could interrogate social, cultural, poltiical, and economic questions across contexts as diverse as design, cities, sustainability, ecology, food, etc. 

Current supervision

Fabiana D'ascenzo

Fabiana D'ascenzo

Research student