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Dr. Julia King

ARCSR PhD in Architecture 2010-14

Research Fellow, LSE Cities

In 2010 I obtained a full scholarship to pursue a PhD-by-practice within the Architecture for Rapid Change and Scarce Resources (ARCSR) research and teaching group at London Metropolitan University.  Doing a PhD by practice meant that my research was embedded in live projects that I mostly initiated. The research was facilitated by an ongoing relationship between ARCSR and an Indian NGO, Centre for Urban and Regional Excellence (CURE). It was then that I started doing projects in a slum resettlement colony on the outskirts of Delhi called Savda Ghevra. And thereafter continued my relationship with CURE to work on projects in Agra and Delhi. 


Whilst a PhD candidate with ARCSR I completed housing and sanitation projects and ran various construction workshops. The largest of these projects was a decentralised sanitation system which delivered affordable infrastructure. The project enabled 322 households (approximately 2000 people) to have toilets in a community which prior to this mostly defecated in the open. Having completed my PhD I joined LSE Cities where I continue to work as a Research Fellow and teach on the Cities Programme. My work at Cities has continued to focus on sanitation but has also broadened to include urban microcultures, migrant (street) economies, and inclusive planning. I am currently working on 'Rubbish, Resources and Residues' a research project which is investigating the lives of wastepickers in Pakistan and Ethiopia; and am the director of a new initiative, the 'Apprenticeship Programme in City Design' which is a novel outreach programme for young adults from the London Borough of Brent. The programme in its pilot stage is engaging six young adults from the area to learn through practice at the LSE.


My work has been exhibited internationally including the 2016 Venice Architectural Biennial, the Southbank Centre and Somerset House. I have won numerous awards for my work and practice including Emerging Woman Architect of the Year (2014), NLA Award (2016); and shortlisted for a Deutsche Bank Urban Age Award (2014) and Civic Trust Regional Award (2016). I have authored chapters in 'Home Economics' (2016) and 'Infrastructure Space' (2017) and co-authored a chapter in 'The SAGE Handbook of the 21st Century City' (2017). 

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