• Room 0G.310 - David Keir Building

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

(i) Autism and Architecture. (ii) Disability and the Built Environment. (iii) Inclusion and the Built Environment


Research output per year

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Personal profile


Keith McAllister is a Senior Lecturer in Architecture at Queen’s University of Belfast. A practising Chartered Architect, he worked as a part-time studio tutor in QUB for six years before taking a full time lectureship in 2008.He has extensive experience working as a project architect, both in private practice and as a sole-practitioner, especially in the educational sector, with specific emphasis on exemplar designs for mainstream and special needs schools. He has worked in Russia and Italy and continues to practice in Northern Ireland with a particular interest in the architecture of the Ulster vernacular and farm buildings as a model for contemporary rural living.

He also has experience working in architectural conservation and in 1999 was the recipient of the National Trust Centenary Arkell Fellowship to study conservation of Modern Movement architecture in Finland working with Dr Ed Diestelkamp and Timo Tuomo of the Rakennoustaiteen Museo, Helsinki, Finland. His interest in Finland was further reinforced with his post-graduate dissertation entitled Funkis, investigating Finnish Functionalsim of the 1930’s which was shortlisted for the RIBA President’s dissertation medal. Closer to home, he is currently working with the Templemore Users Trust in safeguarding the last remaining operating Victorian slipper-bath swimming pool in Ireland:The Templemore Avenue Corporation Baths in East Belfast.

Research Statement

Keith’s ongoing academic research is focussed broadly on the relationship between Architecture and Fear, especially for those populations without a voice. As the extremely proud father of a wonderful son with autism, his particular interest is in the relationship between Architecture and those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). An ongoing focus of study is trying to improve learning environments for those with ASD. This involves many strands; including working with teachers, parents, educational psychologists, carers and those with ASD. Findings have been presented in the UK, Ireland, Canada and the USA.

Outcomes have also been disseminated in academic journals including the British Journal of Special Education, Support for Learning and lastly in India through Spandrel. His most recent publication, Aldo Goes To Primary School based primarily on continuing research, co-authored with colleagues from McNally Morris Architects, Belfast, was funded by an Arts Council Innovation Grant from the Department of Culture, Arts & Learning, Northern Ireland and is now starting to be used by practitioners, teachers and parents throughout Northern Ireland & the Republic of Ireland to help understand and manage the challenges faced by pupils with ASD when in primary school. Other ongoing projects include working collaboratively with ASD organisations in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.


Teaching Duties:

BSc Tutor & Lecturer

M.Arch Tutor

M.Arch Dissertation Supervisor

MSc Tutor (Environmental Planning)

PhD Primary & Second Supervisor

Administrative Duties:

Deputy Head of Architecture


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Research Output

Experiencing visual impairment in a lifetime home: an interpretative phenomenological inquiry. an interpretative phenomenological inquiry

Rooney, C., Hadjri, K., McAllister, K., Rooney, M., Faith, V. & Craig, C., 01 Mar 2018, In : Journal of Housing and the Built Environment. 33, 1, p. 45-67 23 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
  • 2 Citations (Scopus)
    320 Downloads (Pure)

    The City for the Child with Autism

    Galway, N. & McAllister, K., 16 Oct 2018.

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

    An Investigation of Indoor Air Quality in UK Passivhaus Dwellings

    McGill, G., Sharpe, T., Oyedele, L., Keeffe, G. & McAllister, K., 28 May 2017, Smart Energy Control Systems for Sustainable Buildings. Littlewood, J., Spataru, C., Howlett, R. J. & Jain, L. C. (eds.). SIST ed. Springer, Vol. 67. p. 245-268 24 p. (Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies; vol. 67).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

  • 1 Citation (Scopus)
    Open Access
  • 513 Downloads (Pure)

    Adrift in The City Without A Map – The Child with Autism

    McAllister, K. & Galway, N., 08 Nov 2016.

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

  • Prizes

    CEBE: Staff Exchange Bursary

    McAllister, Keith (Recipient), 01 Jun 2010

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

  • Department of Culture, Arts & Leisure: Publication Bursary

    McAllister, Keith (Recipient), 23 Sep 2014

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

  • Emerald Publishing Group: Highly Commended Paper

    McAllister, Keith (Recipient), 28 May 2014

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

  • Activities

    Corrymeela: Place & Event in the Sacral & Profane

    Keith McAllister (Invited speaker)

    20 Feb 2020

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

    University of Sassari, Italy. Autism Urban Study

    Keith McAllister (Advisor)

    07 Jul 2020

    Activity: Consultancy typesContribution to the work of national or international committees and working groups

    Creative Education (Journal)

    Keith McAllister (Peer reviewer)

    Aug 2020

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial activity

    Interface to Place Conference & Summer School

    Keith McAllister (Speaker)

    12 Aug 201916 Aug 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

    Investigating The City: Investigando a Cidade

    Keith McAllister (Keynote speaker)

    06 Sep 2019

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk