Research at The Cass

Image from The Art Party, Bob & Roberta Smith

The Cass' research strategy reflects our core values and commitment to social engagement and local communities.

Research at The Cass

The Cass' research strategy reflects our core values and commitment to social engagement and local communities. The Faculty has added to this commitment a more specific understanding of the City, London in particular, as a topic in its own right. This has already inspired cross-disciplinary projects and resonates with practice across the three schools of Art, Architecture and Design.

Cass Research closely links with our unique studio delivery model, bringing together students and our practitioners, industry leaders and researchers under thematic programmes, supported through projects, exhibitions, screenings and public lectures that share the studio’s research focus. This embedded connection between research and teaching, positions our expertise at the heart of curriculum design and delivery.

The Faculty continues to explore and develop its role in consultancy and advocacy for our subjects and research territories. We directly interrogate the potential for Art, Architecture and Design to transform lives, regenerate communities, and question and draw out meaning from our shared material cultures in both National and International arenas.

Scroll down to see our highlighted projects for key examples.


Each research group or theme provides the intellectual and practice-based expertise and discourse to support the Cass’s thematic studio model and the supervision of MA by Project and PhD students. It fosters innovative practice and an emphasis on ‘live projects’, facilitated by Projects.

Cross-faculty discourse and collaboration has proved highly effective in building on best practice to ensure a coherent, pro-active and outward-facing research and enterprise culture that has a profound impact on the immediate learning environment, the East London locale, and wider communities (for example Mumbai, Sierra Leone, Moscow).

Research themes

Critical Curation

A research theme that explores important questions about the purpose and impact of curatorial activities on culture and society and actively tests the expanded notion of what constitutes an exhibition.

Critical Materiality

Exploring relationships between materials and processes

This inter-disciplinary area of research brings together artists, designers, architects and writers.

Design: Sites | Histories | Theories

Design and its sites as material and imagined

An inter-disciplinary research group embracing a range of methodologies to explore and interrogate design as object, image, process and intention, historically and now.

Music Technology, Theory and Practice

A critical and innovative approach to the relationships between aspects of music and its technologies

This theme draws together musicians and theoreticians in the Faculty engaged in a reflective and critical approach to the relationships between music and its technologies.

Pedagogic Research

Enquiry through teaching practice

The Cass has developed a unique approach to teaching across all subjects based on the studio system and an emphasis on live projects.

Public Acts

Social engagement, participation and collaboration

This theme draws together artists, architects and writers who are engaged with the examination of public space.

Spectatorial Dramaturgy

Artists, musicians and theoreticians engaged in a reflexive and critical approach to dramaturgy, spectatorship and context

A spectator may be defined as "a participating-knowing observer of an event". Music, art and performance need an aware recipient or addressee (spectator/listener) to fully exist.

Research groups

Architecture of Rapid Change and Scarce Resources (ARCSR)


An emergent academic research area investigating low income settlements in urbanised environments from degree through to PhD

Architecture Research Unit

An architectural design laboratory in The Cass, pioneers of 'design as research', lead by Florian Beigel and Philip Christou.

ARU is an architectural design laboratory primarily concerned with the exploration of ideas about space.

The East End Archive

Online resource focusing on the physical and conceptual East End of London

Online resource focusing on the physical and conceptual East End of London

Cass Cities Research

Some urban research we are busy with

Cass Cities champion the rich array of urban research that happens here at Aldgate.

Urban Research Projects

Situated within The Cass Faculty of Art

A team of designers and social scientists that undertake new research, and work with other researchers within the university and outside, to record and disseminate existing research and its influence.

Research degrees

MA by Project

This unique research degree is tailored to opening new opportunities in creative practice, professional and academic fields. The course is run by our research units.

PhD Architecture

Focuses on civic culture and urban research under the rubric of ‘practical wisdom’.

PhD in Art, Design or Media

PhD research at the Cass

Showcase of Cass research

Showcase of Cass research

Reader in Photography and course leader MA Photography, director of the East End Archive, teaches in to BA (Hons) Fine Art.

Teaches on Professional Diploma in Architecture - RIBA Parts one and two.

Architect who has concentrated for twenty-six years on urban projects and nurturing the evolution of places.

Teaches on BA and MA Fine Art modules, leading the Public Acts thematic studio with Oriana Fox.

Maurice Mitchell is Professor in the CASS Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design at London Metropolitan University where he teaches Diploma Unit 6 with Francesca Pont.

Nick Pyall builds guitars using hand tools.

Recent news from The Cass

Sunshine Recorder

Music technology lecturer shows new work at festival in Germany.

Entr'acte: Bloody Sirens

Musarc, the choir based around a Cass research project are to perform at Extra City in Antwerp.


Exhibition presents survey of works by celebrated British Cypriot artist Mustafa Hulusi.

East End in focus

Cass partners Photomonth, East London's annual festival of international photography

Balin House Project and Public Works


Two Talks Hosted by The Cass, Professor Gill Perry (Art History At Open University) and Torange Khonsari (The Cass - Lmu/Public Works) Chaired By Jes Fernie (Curator)

Between Cathedral and Wild Sea

Exhibition by Cass Architecture Alumnus and winner of 2014 WCCA Travel Award


Cass Photography Alumni group Uncertain States announce first 'Open CAll' Exhibition


Cass Alumnus designs innovative mobile therapy space to increase prisoners access to vital health care

Speakers Corner: Aberrant Architecture

Speakers Corner: Aberrant Architecture

A lecture by Kevin Haley and Jo O’neill

Javier in the USA

September 2015

Cass associate professor in music technology has recently performed new work in the USA

Tā Moko

Exhibition by Heloise Bergman for Photomonth

Where Segal's Care

Cass lecturer and Artist Deej Fabyc talks for OpenHouse about her response to growing up in a Segal Self build house

Art for All!

Fine Art Professor Bob and Roberta Smith's new show at Yorkshire Sculpture Park explores 100 years of Art in Education

The Teacher and his Student

Cass course leader exhibits in Kolkata

Back in Block

Cass alumna exhibits at Designersblock for London Design Festival