Dr Matthew Armitt
Dr. Matthew Armitt is an architectural historian, pedagogic researcher, and Senior Lecturer in architecture. He has expertise in the period of Soviet architectural teaching of the 1920s. He studied in both the United Kingdom and the United States. After this, he went on to read for his Ph.D. at the University of Liverpool where he specialised in the history and theory of Soviet architectural teaching through the Soviet architecture school called VKhUTEMAS (Higher Artistic and Technical Studios 1921-1926). He has taught at the Liverpool School of Architecture (LSA) and the Birmingham School of Architecture and Design (BSoAD).
Matthew currently teaches across various roles at the Grenfell Bains School of Architecture.
Matthew practiced in architecture for several years working in the UK and US, Most notably, he worked for the distinguished firm HKS in Washington. D.C.
- Doctor of Philosophy University of Liverpool
- Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
- Architectural Theory (Space)
- Soviet Architecture and Photography
- Archival Research and Methods
- History of Architectural Teaching
- Architectural Teaching Methods
- Modernist Pedagogy
Matthew’s research is on the period of the 1920s and 1930s on Soviet Architecture, Theory, and Architectural Teaching. Through his past research, Matthew has explored the revolutionary architectural teaching methods of the Russian Architecture School VKhUTEMAS (Higher Artistic and Technical Studios). This has been through a discipline of architectural teaching called Space.
He has spent time researching at the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA), University of Cambridge, Moscow School of Architecture (MARKhI), and the Russian State Archive of Literature and Art (RGALI) in Moscow.
His current research is to establish further cross-theoretical connections between Soviet architecture, theory and teaching, tracing parallel links with contemporaneous concerns of architects and teachers on Soviet architecture and teaching to enhance the understanding of the period. This approach will shed light on how the workings of the theory and trends of architects – individual theoretical ambitions and architectural language of the Soviet period developed and establish new knowledge of key historical personalities and movements which remain obscure. This will open the prospect of a more thoroughly grounded understanding of a variety of new and unknown topics within Soviet architecture. The research is intended to serve architects and students of Soviet architecture, as well as to aid institutions and individuals collecting and researching material on the subject. It will be amongst researchers themselves where parallel connections will render its most important service, by opening up the wholly unfamiliar world of intellectual discourse within which their Soviet fellow-professionals have always worked, contributing to the History and Theory of Soviet architecture and teaching.
Beyond his Doctoral research, Matthew founded the research group Russia House created as a collaborative research collective to celebrate Soviet creative thought of the 1920s. The intention is to remain research active and to develop new areas of investigation into the history of architecture by continuing to develop research on the History and Theory of Soviet architecture and architectural teaching in Moscow.
Russia House establishes a program to restore and preserve the integrity of Soviet pioneering creative thought between architecture, theory and architectural teaching and to promote current and new research to widen the current academic and public debate challenging current areas of known and developing unknown areas of research across three areas: (i) Soviet architecture, theory, and architectural teaching research, (ii) collaborative research and (iii) education of architectural students in the UK and beyond.
- Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE)
- Society for Co-operation in Russian and Soviet Studies (SCRSS)
- Moscow School of Architecture (MARKhI)
- Russian State Archive of Literature and Art (RGALI)
- Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA)
- The Architectural and Urban History Group (AH)
- The Centre of Architecture and the Visual Arts (CAVA)
- The Urban Cultures Research Cluster
- 2022: Leverhulme Fellowship. Proposal entitled: The Histories of Archives in British Universities (1914-Present) (£54,642, application forthcoming)
- 2022: RAAD Research Award. Proposal entitled: Archives as Instruments: Material Cultures and Collecting, c.
- 1915-1935: Russia (£1762.50, funding obtained)
- 2021: Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship. Proposal entitled: Revolutionizing the Teaching: Scientific Pedagogical Methodologies (1921-2025) (£118,000, application submitted)
- 2020: Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE). Proposal entitled: Britannia and the Bear: The Impact of Anglo-Russian Relations on British Universities (main award £10,000, application submitted)
- 2019: Munby Fellow in Bibliography Cambridge University. Proposal entitled: Unpublished Research Papers of the Catherine Cooke Collection (application submitted)
- 2018: Munby Fellow in Bibliography Cambridge University. Proposal entitled: Early Russian Architectural Pedagogy (1923-30): VKhUTEMAS and the Catherine Cooke’s Papers (application submitted)
- 2017: Liverpool School of the Arts Doctoral Research Grant (University of Cambridge, Slavonic Studies Department)
- 2016: Liverpool School of the Arts Doctoral Research Grant (Canadian Centre for Architecture, CCA)
- 2014: Liverpool School of the Arts Doctoral Research Grant (Moscow School of Architecture (MARKhI), and the Russian State Archive of Literature and Art (RGALI), Moscow)