Dr Mhairi McVicar PhD, NCARB (USA), M Arch, BSc Hons in Architecture Studies

Senior Lecturer and Director of Engagement

Email:
mcvicarm@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 4634
Location:
3.25A, Bute Building
Research group:
Architectural History and Theory Group
Office hours:
Part time (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday)

Responsibilities

Director of Engagement
Project Lead, Community Gateway
Unit Tutor BSc Architectural Design 3
Higher degree supervisor (MPhil / PhD)
Dissertation Supervisor (MArch)

External activities

Fellow of the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce)
WSA representative on Royal Society of Architects in Wales Council (RSAW)

Other information

Mhairi is Project Lead of Community Gateway, a University wide community engagement initiative which develops mutually beneficial teaching, research and engagement activities through long term partnerships with communities in Wales, piloting in Grangetown, Cardiff. Please contact Mhairi with any proposed or current research / teaching / engagement activities which could support or be supported through partnerships between Cardiff University and Grangetown.
Find out more at www.cardiff.ac.uk/community-gateway and on Twitter @CommunityGtwy

Research interests

Mhairi’s research focuses on the processes and values of architectural practice. Her PhD on Precision in architectural production investigated the pursuit and consequences of precision in architectural practice by interpreting technical written, drawn, oral, and built evidence associated with constructed architectural details as poetic and cultural statements, focusing on architectural details constructed between 1856-2006, including works by Sigurd Lewerentz, Mies van der Rohe, Caruso St John Architects, and OMA.

Mhairi’s current research links closely to her role as Academic lead of Cardiff University’s Community Gateway, and focuses on the role and value of the architect in engagement with community-led development. In 2015, Mhairi received a RIBA Research Trust Award, with co-investigator Neil Turnbull, to research the value of the Architect in a Community Asset Transfer. This ongoing action research is embedded within a live community project through Cardiff University’s Community Gateway, in collaboration with resident organisations seeking to convert a vacant Bowls Pavilion into an active community resource.

https://www.architecture.com/RIBA/Becomeanarchitect/Fundingyoureducation/Researchfunding/ResearchTrustAwards/2015recipients/MhairiMcVicarandNeilTurnball.aspx


Research supervisor

Teaching profile

Mhairi’s teaching in architecture is primarily focused in Grangetown, Cardiff, facilitated through her role as Project Lead of Community Gateway. Working with the support of a long term partnership between Cardiff University and Grangetown which begins with community led ideas, skills, and expertise to inform and develop university teaching and research, Mhairi’s teaching builds upon established engagement partnerships with a geographically defined local community, encouraging students to collaborate and to build on previous interdisciplinary research and ideas within design and dissertation work.

Mhairi joined WSA in 2006, following architectural practice in the UK and USA where she worked on a range of social housing, theatrical, ecclesiastical, commercial and private residential architectural projects, including a Heritage centre and a self-build residence in the Orkney Islands as Director of a private practice. She recently completed a PhD at Cardiff University on ’Precision in architectural production.’ Prior to this, Mhairi graduated with a Masters in Architecture from Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, and a BSc First class Honours from Scott Sutherland School of Architecture, Aberdeen. She previously taught at the School of Architecture, University of Illinois at Chicago.