Prof. Adrian Friend

Professor of Architecture

School of Art, Design and Fashion

Harris Building, HB118

+44 (0) 1772 89 3993

Subject Areas: Architecture

Professor Adrian Friend is an award winning architect, researcher and educator. In questioning the traditional role of the architect as the author of an architectural project my research seeks to initiate collaborative practice with clients and other consultants all of whom extend the architects’ authorship and contribute to new forms of emerging ways to practice as well as a construction ethic based more on the ‘workshop’ as the site of production and democratic practice.

He is research active in the Creative Practice Research Group.

Twitter @friendcompany
Instagram, @friendcompany

Full Profile

Professor Adrian Friend is an architect, researcher and educator. Whilst Senior Tutor, Royal College of Art and lead scientist of the EU Marie Curie TRADERS research project, Friend headed the MA Architecture Live Project research repository delivering an annual student-led collaborative project with public bodies and industry sponsors such as the pop-up Helix Studio that was Highly Commended in the 2015 Wood Awards. 

Friend has taught and lectured throughout the UK and was Studio Leader in Architecture at the University of Nottingham from 2004–11 and Course Leader in Architecture at Norwich University of the Arts from 2011–13 where he wrote a new course framework and

curriculum, returning the study of architecture to the city after a 50-year absence. Much of Friend’s research and pedagogy is shared with Phd students whom he actively supervises exploring relevant public themes and aspects of collaborative practice in Live Projects tested in proof of concepts designed and built by students.

His practice-based research on collaborative inter-disciplinary practices defines role of Maker Architects’ exploring the art of assembly and tactics that extend authorship through the workshop as a site of production in ‘hot-rodding’ by component designed, citizen build kits. Awarded an Innovate UK grant, ‘Flying Factory Autonomous Housing Construction’ (2015), for feasibility into multi-author prototypical systemised construction, Friend’s research was in partnership with the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), High Value Manufacturing Catapult.

Founding Director of award winning practice, Friend and Company Architects, Friend was shortlisted for Young Architect of the Year 2008 and practice work was selected by the Architecture Foundation in 2016 for publication in New Architects 3 (2016), a showcase of Britain's best emerging practices. Latest project, New Shop for the Victoria & Albert Museum, sprung from research into the first Museum Shop that Friend found was a testbed for experimental pop-up structures. The final innovative design was Highly Commended in the 2017 Blueprint Awards deploying the first 3d printed ceramic tile, reconnecting with material taxonomies first established by the V&A in1865. A champion of design research Friend writes for the leading international design and architecture publications including Blueprint, Wallpaper* and Building Design as well as publishes and presents his research through regular exhibitions and conference proceedings.


BArch (Kingston 1st Class Hons) DipArch (UCL distinction) Post-Dip (UCL) PGCERT SEDA Research Supervisor

Professional Memberships

  • RIBA Chartered Membership: 9122850
  • Architects Registration Board Membership: 062317B
  • Royal Aeronautical Society Affiliate Member

Teaching Activities

Phd Research Supervisor since 2014.


Friend, A. 2017, ‘Discussion - David Hamers, Adrian Friend & Ruth Mateu-Berr’ in Bueno de Mesquita & N. Hamers & D. Schoffelen & J. Vaneycken, A (eds) 2017, Trading Places: Practices of Public Participation in Art and Design Research, dpr-barcelona. (ISBN 978-84-944873-9-2)

Friend, A. 2016, ‘Friend and Company Architects’ in ‘New Architects 3, Britain’s Best Emerging Architects (Architecture Foundation)’. Merrell, London pp (ISBN 978-18-589464–5-0)

Friend, A. 2014, ‘Elements of Architecture’ [Article] Blueprint, 335 August 2014, 56-84

Friend, A. 2012, ‘Venice Vidi Vici’ [Article] Blueprint, September 2012, 42-49 

External Affiliations and Roles

External Examiner 2014-2019 University of East London, Interior Design
External Examiner 2014-2019 University of Hertfordshire, Interior Architecture and Design
Trustee of the Robert Grace Trust - Aids Charity Kenya

TRADERS (Training Art and Design Researchers for Participation in Public Space) Conference
Date: 21 and 22 November 2016
Title: Mediations

Professor Adrian Friend co-organised the closing conference of TRADERS, an EU Marie Curie ITN that Friend was lead scientist, examining different dimensions and roles of participation in public space. In this conference participants were invited to join TRADERS in exploring approaches through which artists and designers can pursue the empowerment of publics in the decision-making for, and co-creation of, public space. Will include a book as well as a daily research journal to summarise and disseminate findings to the delegates. (ISBN 978-1-910642-18-4). More details on the conference can be found at


RCA Live Project Research Networking Event
Date: 24th February 2016
Title: Rise of the Maker Architect from Hot-Rodding to Resilience

Professor Adrian Friend as Live Projects Senior Tutor at the Royal College of Art organised and chaired a public talk to understand why, what and how of Maker Architect culture, bringing together Anthony Engi-Meacock from 2015 Turner Prize winning collective Assemble and sculptor-architect Tom Kundig of Olson Kundig in Seattle. More details

N.I.C.E Conference
Date: 21st – 23rd September 2015
Title: Solving the World’s Major Challenges

Professor Adrian Friend was interviewed as part of the Network for Innovations in Culture and Creativity in Europe (N.I.C.E) Vernissage where the Helix Studio, designed by RCA students, was shortlisted for an Innovation Award and also part of the exhibition at the Forum d’Avignon Ruhr, Essen.

Research Activities

Professor Adrian Friend has a proven track record in high quality research outputs often in collaboration with partnering industry, professionals and HEI’s in UK and Europe. Many of my bids are supported by industry as well as government funded TSB / Innovate UK centres of manufacturing excellence such as the Manufacturing and Technology Centre in Coventry that conducts research on behalf of Airbus, BAe, and Microsoft amongst others. This is in tune with latest UK government approach to buddy up research councils such as the recent Urban Living Partnership, which I contributed to as part of the RCA, UCL, Imperial College and Kings bid, that brought together seven Research Councils with Innovate UK.

As the Lead Scientist on a 3 year Marie Curie ITN titled TRADERS Professor Adrian Friend has contributed to training five interdisciplinary researchers to engage with public spaces the research was trans European with partners from Sweden (Chalmers and University of Gothenberg) Belgium (LUCA) and Holland (Design Eindhoven)

Adrian Friend: New Redesigned V&A Shop 



  • Don’t Move, Improve! 2018, ‘Pop-Up Ute’ Exhibition, NLA Building Centre, 25th January 2018.
  • EU TRADERS closing conference ‘MEDIATIONS - Art & Design Agency and Participation in Public Space’, Royal College of Art, London, 21st-22nd November 2016.
  • ‘Adhocracy: From making things to making the commons’, Onassis Cultural Centre, Athens, Greece, May-June 2015.
  • Don’t Move, Improve! 2014, ‘Studio 3’ Exhibition, NLA Building Centre, 11th December to 12th February 2015.
  • ‘Monumental Masonry’ Exhibition, Sir John Soane Museum, from 6th December 2014 until 3rd January 2015.
  • BIO50, ‘Affordable Living’, Museum of Architecture & Design, Ljubljana, Slovenia 18th September - 7th December 2014.
  • ARUP (BEL) Building Installation London 2014, January 2014.
  • ‘Don’t Move, Improve! 2013, ‘21st Century Span’ Exhibition, NLA Building Centre, December 6 to February 6 2014.
  • ‘Out of Architecture’, St Catherine’s College, Oxford, September 2012.
  • ‘Out of Architecture’, ARUP Gallery, June 2012.
  • ‘Animal Architecture’, Architecture Center Houston Texas, January 2012.

Awards / Prizes / Scholarships

  • 2018 Don’t Move, Improve! Awards - Shortlisted project - ‘Pop-Up Ute’.
  • 2017 Blueprint Awards - Best Interior Project (Leisure) - Commended - ‘Victoria & Albert Museum Shop’. London.
  • 2015 Wood Awards 2015 - Highly Commended - ‘Helix Pop-Up’ with RCA students. London.
  • 2015 Awarded Innovate UK, Innovation Voucher (Round 12) for feasibility on ‘Flying Factory Autonomous Housing Construction’. London.
  • 2015 Network for Innovation in Culture and Creativity in Europe Award (N.I.C.E), Essen.
  • 2015 Monumental Masonry Exhibition, Sir John Soane Museum, London.
  • 2015 Adhocracy: From making things to making the commons, Onassis Cultural Centre, Athens.
  • 2014 Don’t Move, Improve! 2014 Awards - Shortlisted project - ‘Studio 3’.
  • 2014 BIO50, 24th Biennial of Design - Affordable Living Team Member, Museum of Architecture & Design, Ljubljana, Slovenia.
  • 2013 Don’t Move, Improve! 2013 Awards - Shortlisted project - ‘21st Century Span’.
  • 2012 Animal Architecture, Architecture Center Houston, Texas.
  • 2012 Out of Architecture, ARUP Gallery, London. 
  • 2008 Young Architect of the Year Award Finalist. London.