Jonathan HaleI am an architect and Professor of Architectural Theory at the University of Nottingham, Department of Architecture and Built Environment. My research interests include: architectural theory and criticism; Phenomenology and the philosophy of technology; the relationship between architecture and the body; narrative, design and digital media in museums and exhibitions. I’ve published books, chapters, refereed articles and conference papers in most of these areas and have received grants from the EPSRC, the Leverhulme Trust, British Academy, and the Arts Council. I am also Head of the Department’s Architecture, Culture & Tectonics research group (ACT) and I was founder – and am still currently a steering group member – of the international subject network: Architectural Humanities Research Association (AHRA). I am also an active member of the interdisciplinary Science Technology and Culture research group at Nottingham, hosted by the Dept of French.

Research themes and interests:

  • Architectural theory and criticism
  • The relationship between architecture and the body
  • Philosophies of technology, materiality and perception
  • Phenomenology, psychology, ‘4E’ cognition and neuroaesthetics
  • Narrative, design, and digital media in museums and exhibitions

Recent publication projects include a book for the Routledge series Thinkers for Architects on the philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty, published in 2017, and a co-edited collection in museum studies: The Future of Museum and Gallery Design: Purpose, Process, Perception (Routledge 2018). 

Previous book publications include: a co-edited book (with Dr Laura Hanks and Dr Suzanne Macleod of University of Leicester) entitled Museum Making: Narratives, Architectures, Exhibitions, (Routledge 2012). From Models to Drawings: Imagination and Representation in Architecture (Routledge 2007) co-edited with Marco Frascari (Carleton University, Canada) and Bradley Starkey; Rethinking Technology: A Reader in Architectural Theory, (Routledge 2007) co-edited with William W Braham (University of Pennsylvania); an architectural monograph Ends Middles Beginnings: Edward Cullinan Architects (Black Dog Publishing 2005); and Building Ideas: An Introduction to Architectural Theory (Wiley/Academy 2000). More details are available under the ‘Publications’ link above.

Previous funded research projects include: “Anywhere”, “Future Garden” and “Moving City”, a series of PDA and smartphone guided walks and performance events – part of an ongoing collaboration with the Mixed Reality Lab of the School of Computer Science (University of Nottingham) and the Austrian artist-choreographer Cie. Willi Dorner. This project was also part of the interdisciplinary ‘Towards Pervasive Media’ feasibility study funded by the EPSRC, involving an 18-month collaboration (2009-2011) with colleagues in Computer Science, Geography and History, alongside a number of artists-in-residence.

I currently supervise ten PhD students, as well as giving lectures on architectural humanities and museum studies at 2nd, 5th year and Masters levels.


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Latest Book:

Housing and the City book cover
Borsi, Ekici, Hale & Haynes, eds. Housing and the City (AHRA2020) Abingdon: Routledge, 2022

Latest Article:

CAA Campus, Phase II, Hangzhou, 2003–2007, designed by Amateur Architecture Studio.
Jin, X., Hale, J., Unbinding Architectural Imagination: Wang Shu’s Textual Bricolage in Theoretical Writing and Design: Journal of Architecture, 2023
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