PhD Studentship - Ekistics, Planning and Science

Loughborough University

Application details:
Reference number:  CBEARCH17/SR

Start date: 1 October 2017

Interview date: w/c 22 May 2017

Supervisors: Primary supervisor: Dr Simon Richards

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, the School was ranked first for research environment in Architecture, Built Environment and Planning, with 95% of research rated as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ for its influence on society, the economy and policy. The School boasts world class facilities, with £1.4m recently invested in the 3,000m2 laboratory facilities and a £1.24m High Performance Computing facility – one of the UK’s fastest clusters.

The funding for this PhD is aligned with a much larger financial commitment by the University to support the growth of a new undergraduate programme in Architecture, with over £1.5 million spent on new facilities and resources. The recruitment of new Architecture staff will expand the University’s research expertise in three strategic areas: Digital Architecture, Architectural Tectonics, and Urban Theory & Design.

Project Detail:
This project will be about the relationship between ‘sustainable’ architecture and planning and the sciences they rely upon to form their philosophy and decisions. This theme will be explored in the context of the history and theory of ‘Ekistics’, which was established in the 1940s by the Greek architect-planner Constantinos Doxiadis. Ekistics was conceived as a new planning science that combined psychology, medicine, environmentalism and demographics with a design ethos that sought to shape everything from the individual room through to the global city or 'ecumenopolis'. It was popularized via the ‘Delos Symposia’ of the 1960s-70s under the efforts of the British planner Jacqueline Tyrwhitt and many other influential scholars and practitioners, such as Margaret Mead, Buckminster Fuller, Marshal McLuhan, Jean Gottmann and Barbara Ward, and was an important factor leading to the establishment of the United Nations ‘Habitat’ conferences and agenda.

The PhD candidate will explore how Ekistics adapted its message and measures to reflect wider changes and debates in science, and also how it might have resisted some changes in order to preserve the monolithic design ethos, planning solutions and overall philosophy that were agreed upon in its earliest days. The overall question will be to explore how any architecture and planning with a sustainable agenda remains relevant in the context of ever-changing understandings in environmental and medical science.

Find out more:

Entry requirements:
Applicants will normally need to hold, or expect to gain, at least a 2:1 degree (or equivalent) in a relevant discipline. A relevant Master’s degree and/or employment experience will be an advantage.

Funding information:
Due to funding restrictions, the studentship is only open to applicants eligible for UK/EU fees. The studentship is for three years, starting 1 October 2017, and provides a tax-free stipend of £14,553 per annum (rising in line with the level set by the Research Council) for the duration of the studentship plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate.

Contact details:
For information about the research project, contact:
Name: Dr Rob Schmidt
Email address: number: 01509 222 659

For information about the application process, contact:
Name: Mr Berkeley Young
Email address: number: 01509 222 611

How to apply:
All applications should be made online at Under programme name, select ‘Civil and Building Engineering (Built Environment)’.  

Please quote reference number: CBEARCH17/SR

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Midlands of England