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Juliet Davis  MA DipArch (Cantab) R.I.B.A. PhD

Professor Juliet Davis MA DipArch (Cantab) R.I.B.A. PhD

Head of the Welsh School of Architecture

Welsh School of Architecture

+44 29208 75497
Bute Building, Room 2.56, King Edward VII Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3NB
Available for postgraduate supervision


I am a Professor of Architecture and Urbanism and Head of School at the Welsh School of Architecture. I trained originally as an architect. I worked for nearly ten years in architectural practice before returning to university to study for a PhD in 2007. Supported by an AHRC doctoral award, I wrote this at the London School of Economics’ ‘Cities Programme’, focussing on exploring the impacts of the early stages of regeneration connected to the 2012 Olympic Games. Following the PhD, I took up a Senior Lectureship at the Welsh School of Architecture in 2012. Today, I am the author of two books and numerous other publications reflecting interests in issues and potentials of design connected to urban change and regeneration, megaevent-led transformation, the role of the past in urban futures, care, health and wellbeing. My research has been funded by UKRI, Grosvenor, Cardiff University, The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and others.


  • Head of School
  • Contributor to History, Theory and Urban Design teaching

External activities

  • British Book Reviews Editor for Planning Perspectives (Taylor and Francis journal) (from 2019-2022)
  • Editorial Board member of Planning Perspectives (Taylor and Francis journal) (from 2019-ongoing)
  • External Examiner for UCL Bartlett School of Architecture MSci (2022-ongoing)
  • External Examiner for the London Met School of Art, Architecture and Design MA Architecture, Cities and Urbanism (2021-)
  • External Examiner for the Kent School of Architecture BA (Hons) (2018-2021)
  • External Examiner for the Leicester School of Architecture MArch (2014-2018)
  • Examiner of higher degree work (at Cambridge University (2012, 2015-2018) and Bristol University (2013))



















  • Davis, J. 2007. Envisioning regulation. Presented at: Regulating Design: The Practices of Architecture, Governance and Control, London, UK, 11-12 Novermber 2007.


Adrannau llyfrau










Since my earliest days of practicing as an architect in London at the turn of the millenium, I have been interested in the role of urban/ architectural design in regeneration, and in the impacts of urban change on existing places and communities. Key themes that I have explored include: the construction of narratives related to the pasts and futures of sites of renewal, the  significance of regeneration propopals involving comprehensive redevelopment for existing communities/ inhabitants, the impacts of mixed-use development on small business communities, the use of 'iconic' or landmark buildings to 'catalyse' change, the adaptability of stadia and other structures used to host megaevents, the role of local people in visioning change, the different processes and governance arrangements required to deliver piecemeal as opposed to comprehensive redevelopment, the complex values of historic buildings in transformation, and the relationship between planned change/ placemaking and social impacts such as displacement and gentrification. My PhD focussed on regeneration in East London and this broad theme is the focus of a number of publications in books and journals produced since completing it.

Since 2017, I have also developed a parallel interest in the notion and potential of ‘caring cities’ and in the role of design with respect to care practices and relations that lie at the heart of everyday urban life. Funded research around this theme led to the book ‘The Caring City’ in 2022 which considers how urban design can prioritise the health and wellbeing of urban citizens at different stages of life, practice empathy to support those caring and cared-for in different ways, and help people and places to flourish. The book associates a range of urban design strategies with care including the positioning of social infrastructures and housing for different age groups in cities, accessibility, the cultivation of healthy urban atmospheres, and the preservation of places associated with place attachment.

Current research is building on the foundations established through ‘The Caring City’ in a range of ways including a post-occupancy evaluation of a new London almshouse and collaborative research on the role of urban design in shaping air quality and promoting healthy futures. I am also continuing to explore themes connected to regeneration including commercial gentrification linked to planning for mixed use development in East London and the significance of memory and history in post-industrial transformation in South Wales.

I am happy to receive enquiries and applications from potential PhD students interested in any of the above themes.

I am also open to potential research collaborations involving academic and/or industry partners. I have skills in reading and interpreting planning history, in undertaking and analysing expert interviews, in conducting focus groups, in spatial analysis (including mapping, drawing and photography) and in urban / architectural design theory and practice. I am experienced in terms of working with different funding sources/ priorities and multidisciplinary skillsets.




I have taught at various levels of the school and in various courses since 2012. I have given lectures on: city/town planning history and theory including the Garden City Movement and New Urbanism, on the ideas of urban thinkers such as Ebenezer Howard, Le Corbusier, Jane Jacobs and Richard Sennett, on research methods related to design-based projects and dissertations, and on issues of contemporary urban design theory and pratice (care, social inclusivity, regeneration, resilience, community, comprehensive versus incremental change, and displacement/gentrification).

I have led studios in the MArch and MA Urban Design programmes. These include: a studio focussed on one of the planned communities forming part of the 2012 Olympic legacy in East London, and astudio focussing on possibilities for renewing the Coal Exchange in Cardiff.

I have had several PhD students working on topics broadly connected with my research interests, including contested heritage in Barcelona and politics of regeneration in Valencia.



I received my architectural education at Cambridge University, graduating in 1995 with a first-class degree (and the Edward S. Prior Prize for design) and, in 1999, with a Commendation for the Diploma in Architecture (RIBA Part II). I  became a registered architect in 2001 and a Chartered Member of the RIBA in 2005. I worked at Stanton Williams Architects in London between 1995 and 1997, focusing on the extension and modernisation of the Royal National Theatre and on Kew Gardens' Millennium Seed Bank.

At Eric Parry Architects between 1999 and 2006, I worked on a number of projects including public realm improvements in the London Borough of Lambeth, an extension to the Wimbledon School of Art and the regeneration of St Martin-in-the-Fields in Trafalgar Square. I began to teach design part-time in 2004, running the first year of the undergraduate design programme at Cambridge University (2004-2005) and, subsequently, running studios at Canterbury School of Architecture and the London School of Economics (LSE) (2008-2011).

I was an LSE Fellow between 2008 and 2011, co-leading the MSc City Design and Social Science studio at the Cities Programme. I completed my Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded PhD at the LSE in 2011. This focussed on the early stages of regeneration connected to the 2012 Olympic Games, particularly exploring how a long urban future was constructed through planning and design and how local communities were both engaged and impacted.

I took up a Senior Lectureship in Architecture at Cardiff University in late 2012 and was promoted to Reader in 2017. Since 2012, I have taught across the school's undergraduate programmes and in the MA Urban Design. Design studios have focussed on regeneration areas including East London and Cardiff Bay. I have authored two books and numerous other publications reflecting interests in issues and potentials of design connected to urban change and regeneration, megaevent-led transformation, the role of the past in post-industrial urban futures, care, health and wellbeing. My research has been funded by UKRI, Grosvenor, Cardiff University, The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and others.

Since joining the school, I have held a number of leadership roles including Director of Postgraduate Teaching (2017-2021) and Co-Director of the MA Urban Design (2020-2021). I became Head of School in August 2021.

Professional memberships

Chartered member of the Royal Institute of British Architects

Speaking engagements

  • Guest speaker at a panel on 'community, culture and care' at the 'Placemaking in Practice' conference (British-Irish Council and Design Commission for Wales' (September 2023)
  • Guest panellist at 'The Power of Care' session forming part of the Brussels Urban Summit/ Metropolis, World Association of the Major Metropolises Congress (June 2023)
  • Guest speaker at the seminar 'Urban Atmospheres of Health and Domestic Environmental Experience Design' at Princeton University (May 2023)
  • Guest speaker at the 'Field Work and Research Ethics in Urban Studies' seminar series at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Urban Culture and Public Space, TU Wien (May 2023)
  • Guest panellist at the 'Architectures of Care' event at the School of Art, Architecture and Design, London Metropolitan University (May 2023)

Committees and reviewing

PSE College Board

Urbanism Research and Scholarship Group

WSA Board

WSA School Executive Board

WSA Board of Studies



Main expertise

I am interested in supervising PhD students in the areas of:

  • Aurchitectural/ Planning History
  • Urbanism
  • Urban Design: history and theory

PhD Supervision experience

Four current PhDs (two as first supervisor; two as second supervisor)

Four completed PhDs (three as first supervisor; one as second supervisor)

Additional supervision interests

I am interested in topics of:

  • Planning and design for urban change (practices, issues, alternatives)
  • Regeneration (landscapes and housing)
  • Post-Industrial Transition including heritage reuse/ decline/ transformation
  • Mega event cities and transformative urban legacies
  • Urban improvement: concepts and applications
  • Making Urban Futures
  • Ethics of design practice
  • Caring cities
  • Design for health and wellbeing
  • Inclusive design


Current supervision

Yunfan Zhang

Yunfan Zhang

Research student

Dilara Yaratgan

Dilara Yaratgan

Research student

Aysenur Kilic

Aysenur Kilic

Research student