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 for MA Photography, Director of the East End Archive, teaches in to BA (Hons) Fine Art.

Teaches on Professional Diploma in Architecture - RIBA Parts 1 and 2.

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

Teaches on BA (Hons) Fine Art studios and MA Fine Art.

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.

Nicolas de Oliveira is a writer and curator.

Recent news from The Cass

How to Perfect Your Packaging and Branding

Emily Penny, Colourful agency co-founder and Cass visual communications lecturer talks at Somerset House.

Team Heliomet in Colombia

The Cass students build solar powered house in Colombia.

Aldgate street furniture installed

Lotus chairs by Charles Mugisha installed on Aldgate High Street

Breaking Bard

Major New Art work by Cass Design Lecturer Steven Follen commissioned by Royal Shakespeare Company for Swan Wing

Make Space: Brinkworth

A new series of talks: Make Space focuses on different types of interior spaces and how they can be reinvented.

Project Red

Fashion Designers of the future take inspiration from the past for annual Catwalk show at The Cass.

Bemz Design Award 2016

Vote for Cass student Denise Amanda Lewis, shortlisted in prestigious Textile Design Award and you could win €500!

Draw comics to change the world

Cass hosts IDEA Art and Design Advocacy Lab featuring leading cartoonists and artists.

It is probably better to start from zero #3.1

Ines Marques exhibits as part of IT IS PROBABLY BETTER TO START FROM ZERO , a long term curatorial and artistic project taking place in the Window Space, at The Cass.

Craftivism: Women and Craft

Student exhibition as part of the Fine Art 'Revolver' series highlights female artists dealing with craft in a contemporary art context.

Cass Hothouse Talks - Joe Cruz

The Hothouse talks showcase industry professionals from across design and illustration.

The Old Kent Road is changing…

Cass Cities students explore how imminent redevelopment on the Old Kent Road shouldn’t come at the expense of local economic life through months of research and analysis.

Springtime for Henry (and Barbara)

26-27 January 2016

Mel Brimfield collaborates on fictitious musical about British sculptors Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth.

Motherhood and Live Art

Cass Fine Art lecturer speaks at Live Art event in Liverpool.

Architect of the Year Awards

Cass Architecture studio leaders shortlisted for prestigious Building Design prize in four categories.