Emeritus Professor Antony Radford

Emeritus Professor
Emeritus Professor Antony Radford
  Org Unit School of Architecture & Built Environment
  Email antony.radford@adelaide.edu.au
  Location ,   North Terrace

I was educated in architecture at The University of Newcastle upon Tyne, England, followed by a Diploma in Town Planning at Edinburgh College of Art in Scotland and a PhD at The University of Sydney, Australia. I have worked in architectural practice in Newcastle upon Tyne, Edinburgh and (briefly) Copenhagen. My academic career began at The University of Sydney, moving to The University of Adelaide as Professor of Architecture in 1989 and serving for periods as Head of School. I now enjoy the freedom of academic life as an Emeritus Professor, dividing my year between Australia and Europe.

The attached file 2015 Antony Radford profile (see below) is an illustrated version of my profile with a list of selected publications.

My teaching links closely with my research. It has aimed to enthuse students about designing to meet the changing demands and opportunities of environment, culture and technology. It has therefore tended to cross over conventional sub-discipline boundaries, seeking cohesion and integration through project-based courses. My teaching often involved collaboration with active practitioners. I have taught at various levels from first year to postgraduate courses, with an emphasis on the final years of the professional coursework Master of Architecture and Master of Planning degrees. As well as Adelaide and Sydney, I have taught as a visiting academic at the University of California, Los Angeles, USA, the University of Bath, England, and Uganda Martyrs University, Uganda. Some publications related to teaching are listed in the attached profile file.

I research and write about architecture, urban design and digital design. In all three fields the focus of my work is the interplay between consistent design patterns and their contingent adaptation in response to multiple contexts. This theme connects with the concept in ethics of responsive cohesion. The notion of design patterns is linked to architectural theorist Christopher Alexander and his book A Pattern Language. That book sets out design patterns that respond to numerous contexts from city planning to room layout. Alexander promotes a particular style of building, what he calls a timeless way of building, but the notion of patterns is independent of style and applies to all design fields. My book (with artist Dean Bruton), Digital Design: A Critical Introduction (Berg, London, 2012), shows how designing with digital media requires a recognition of the rules and patterns that are imposed by media software as well as those brought to the action by the designer. We argue that creative designers neither ignore nor uncritically follow rules, but typically bend the rules to suit the contingencies of specific circumstances.

Environmental philosopher Warwick Fox develops the notion of responsive cohesion in his book A Theory of General Ethics: Human Relationships, Nature and the Built Environment, contrasting it with two other structures (modes of organization), discohesion and fixed cohesion. My book (with Terry Wiliamson and Helen Bennetts), Understanding Sustainable Architecture (London, Spon, 2003), is a detailed examination of how sustainability depends on achieving on-going responsive cohesion between a building and its diverse environmental, cultural and technological contexts.

My most recent book (with Selen Morkoc and Amit Srivastava) is The Elements of Modern Architecture: Understanding Contemporary Buildings (Thames & Hudson, London and New Yprk, 2014). We analyse how 50 well-known works of architecture respond to their sites and climate, functions and symbolic roles, cultural contexts and available technologies. Using annotated diagrams and sketches, we show how whole buildings and their details respond to each other and to these contexts.

I have published two papers in international refereed journals that discuss how the theory of responsive cohesion applies in architecture and urban design. Other papers investigate the pattern languages of Finnish architect Alvar Aalto and Australian architects Troppo and Glenn Murcutt, and how these architects respond to contingency.

I have added to the publication list in the attached profile file some recent papers on sustainability and energy use, and the transition from architectural drawings to constructed buildings. Earlier publications in the list include book chapters on patterns in vernacular building (my very first publication) and urban design, and some books that resulted from my early work on multi-criteria optimization and knowledge-based design.

Please see attached profile, below. My most recent publication, with Verdy Kwee, is a free ebook on Murcutt Lewin Lark's award-winning Arthur and Yvonne Boyd Education Centre (AYBEC). The second attached flyer provides a link to this ebook.

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Entry last updated: Friday, 23 Sep 2016

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