Professor Jeremy Till

Profile image of Professor of Architecture Head of Central Saint Martins and Pro Vice-Chancellor of UAL

Professor of Architecture Head of Central Saint Martins and Pro Vice-Chancellor of UAL

Central Saint Martins

Biography

Jeremy Till is an architect, writer and educator. His research is known for exploring the social and political dimensions of architecture and the built environment.

He researches through exhibitions, buildings and writing. His best known built work is 9 Stock Orchard Street (2001), designed with Sarah Wigglesworth. The building received a Civic Trust Award, a RIBA National Award and was winner of the RIBA Sustainability Prize, as well as being widely disseminated in popular media and the professional press.

Till’s major written work is Architecture Depends (2009), which suggests a new way of understanding architecture in terms of its dependency rather than its autonomy. The book won the RIBA President’s Award for Research, as did two other of his books, Flexible Housing (2007) and Spatial Agency (2011), making Till the only person to have received this prestigious award three times. His most recent book, The Design of Scarcity (2014) sets out how designers might productively work under conditions of scarcity. Most of these books have been the outcomes of major research grants from AHRC and HERA (Humanities in the European Research Area).

Further ideas of architecture’s engagement with society have been explored through his curation, first of the UK pavilion at the 2006 Venice Architecture Biennale and then of the UK Pavilion at the 2014 Shenzhen Architecture Biennale.

Research interests

Architectural education, ethics of architecture, the social and political dimensions of spatial production, scarcity, spatial agency.

Research statement

Jeremy Till's research has revolved around the social and political conditions of architecture, taking a critical view of architecture as an autonomous discipline as defined by aestheticized and technical objects. Instead he has argued for architects to engage with the messy reality of everyday life, and see this as an opportunity and not a threat to self-defined notions of perfection. This approach has been manifested through built work, exhibitions and a sequence of books and articles. 

The closest thing to a statement of intent is his 2009 book ‘Architecture Depends’, apparently a Marmite book that you either love or hate, but one that has traction in a number of schools of architecture around the world. More recently, ‘Spatial Agency’ (with Nishat Awan and Tatjana Schneider) shows ways that people have played out some of the social and political actions of architecture in ways other than simply refining stuff. Till's most recent research project looked at the way that creativity might operate under conditions of scarcity, and was funded by HERA (Humanities in the European Research Area).

Professor Till has received two AHRC grants, one for a project on Flexible Housing, the other for a study of alternative architectural praxis, which resulted in Spatial Agency.

Students

Adriana Cobo Corey, Collective Surfaces: Inclusion and Narratives of Taste in Architecture.

Selected research outputs

  • Not-Family

    Till, Jeremy (2015) Not-Family. Harvard Design Magazine, 41. pp. 54-62. ISSN 1093-4421

  • Scarcity Constructs

    Till, Jeremy (2015) Scarcity Constructs. In: Economy and Architecture. Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 131-142. ISBN 9781138025486

  • The Design of Scarcity

    Goodbun, Jon and Klein, Michael and Rumpfhuber, Andreas and Till, Jeremy (2014) The Design of Scarcity. Strelka Press, Moscow. ISBN 978-5-906264-28-2

  • The Broken Middle: The Space of the London Riots

    Till, Jeremy (2013) The Broken Middle: The Space of the London Riots. Cities, 34. pp. 71-74. ISSN 0264-2751

  • Scarcity contra Austerity

    Till, Jeremy (2012) Scarcity contra Austerity. Places.

  • Telling Tales

    Till, Jeremy and Wigglesworth, Sarah (2011) Telling Tales. In: Around and About Stock Orchard Street. Routledge, London, pp. 45-60. ISBN 9780415575294

  • Six Inches of Power

    Till, Jeremy (2013) Six Inches of Power. In: Chateau Despair. Gost Books, London. ISBN 978-0-9574272-0-4

  • Scarcity: Architecture in the Age of Depleting Resources

    Goodbun, Jon and Iossifova, Deljana and Till, Jeremy (2012) Scarcity: Architecture in the Age of Depleting Resources. Architectural Design, 82 (4). Wiley, London. ISBN 978-1119-973621

  • Architecture Depends

    Till, Jeremy (2009) Architecture Depends. MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass.; London. ISBN 9780262012539

  • Spatial agency: other ways of doing architecture

    Awan, Nishat and Schneider, Tatjana and Till, Jeremy (2011) Spatial agency: other ways of doing architecture. Routledge, London. ISBN 9780415571937