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

Prof. Florian Beigel and Philip Christou, to lecture and exhibit in Berlin

Cass professors to lecture and exhibit in Berlin at the Technische Universität Berlin


Group Photography exhibition curated by Heather McDonough for Photomonth.

Cass Hot House talk: Sarah Boris

Talk by Sarah Boris - graphic designer, art director and artist based in London; The Hothouse talks showcase industry professionals from across design and illustration.

It is Probably Better To Start From Zero #1.1

03 December 2015 - 10 January 2016

New Cass Windowspace project in Collaboration with Whitechapel Gallery series launches with installation by Georgia Spickett-Jones.

Conversational: Video Installation

Thursday 26 November, 5.30-9.00pm

An evening event as part of the Last Thursdays @ The Castle Series.

Home Works: ‘An Architecture of Things’, AOC

The fifth in a series of lectures titled, ‘Home Works’ co-curated by Robert Mull and Zoë Berman celebrating the work of tutors at The Cass.

Hackney by Night

New book of photographs from Cass Alumnus David George

It's Curtins for Vanessa

Cass architecture alumna wins inaugural AJ /Curtins Inspiring Graduate Prize

The Dark Peak

Exhibition by Photographer and Cass technician Sebastian Edge reveals incredible expedition with giant camera and includes auction of Radiohead Photograph for charity

Photography Matters

London Independent Photography exhibition for Photomonth 2015 features Cass alumni.

Home Works: 'Almost Everything', Peter St John

The fourth in a series of lectures titled, ‘Home Works’ co-curated by Robert Mull and Zoë Berman celebrating the work of tutors at The Cass.

Star Treatment

Film Director and Cass alumnus Munsur Ali wins award at British Bangladeshi Who's Who gala.

British Council awarded five Travel Fellowships to Cass

This week the British Council (Architecture, Design, Fashion) awarded five Travel Fellowships to Cass graduates to take part in the Tandemize 2.0 project.

A Go-to Pot Guy

Cass Fine Art student spotted by Ceramic Review.