• 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 activity 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 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 Lecturer

M.Arch Tutor & Lecturer

PhD Primary & Second Supervisor

Administrative Duties:

M.Arch Co-ordination


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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