View graph of relations


    Ruth is Professor of Architecture and Director of Impact in the School of Natural and Built Environment. She has been recognised for innovative approaches within Architectural Education and Research and is an engaged contributor to strategic discussions about the nature of architectural education and research within the profession. Her early-stage research was in the area of inclusive design and design pedagogy, but over the last few years she has focused on applied research based on an understanding of creative processes, inclusive and ecological strategies and pedagogical methodologies. Despite a strong commitment to theoretical and revisionist thinking, she finds, as an architect, she can only make sense of and resolve concepts within the realisation of the idea, hence her research is invariably project based with a variety of outputs, across product, exhibition, printed text and e-media. Her professional skills are underpinned by an activist and collaborative instinct. Research Areas are driven by an ethos that seeks to strengthen the connections between people and design and are currently focused on the interconnections and potentials between people, place, pedagogy and the socialisation of technology

    Research Statement

    Current Activities fall into two themes 1. socialisation of technology  2. socially engaged creative practice

    1. Socialisation of Technology 

    This work is draws on and has emerged from Morrow's work with Tactility Factory. This work evolved out of a critique of the built environment that identifies built environment products as driven by technical rather than human specification. Tactility Factory is a spin out company from QUB and UU, its primary product range integrates textile and concrete. It was awarded research and commerical funding, innovation awards and gained substantial investment. The work led to several book chapters and papers on related areas; and been exhibited and published internationally.

    Ruth is currently CoI on US/Ireland Project: RE-WIND: Re-Use Of Decommissioned Wind Turbine Blades - working on the Design Thrust with Colleagues in Georgia Tech, Atlanta; an AHRC project: Linen Lace Concrete with a Scottish lace makers and a EPSRC Funded Project: Advancing Creative Circular economies for Plastics via Technological-Social Transitions (ACCEPT) (begins April 2019) a mulit-disciplinary team based in QUB.

    Ruth's teaches a studio at Masters level: TechnoEcologies-  which focuses on material experimentation drawing on research and material expertise of Morrow, practicing architects, as well as the well-established material researchers in the School of the Natural and Built Environment and the wider EPS Faculty at QUB.  The students experimentation with and research on materials and processes releases new potentials, applications and new aesthetic outcomes for architectural (and other) applications.

    2. Engaged Creative Practice

    This is addressed firstly through a long standing collaboration with     a voluntary arts organisation based in central Belfast. Morrow has been curatorial advisor to PS2 since its foundation, 2004, collaborating with the Director, Peter Mutschler, and co-curating projects that occur ‘beyond’ PS2’s premises. Her role in these outside projects is to ensure an informed, critical and spatial approach; bring funding and networks; and analyse and theorise outcomes. Hence PS2’s practice is lead by and becomes the context for research. PS2 is part of an EU-wide network of engaged practitioners and partnered on the EU funded research network: Rhyzom: A Collaborative network for local cultural production and trans-local dissemination.

    Secondly through Street Society and Street Studio, a pedagogical and research-based studio involving students from across UG and PGT Architecture, Music, and Anthropology in locations beyond the university. In 2016 and 2017  Street Society contributed to the Urban Village Initiative , (a headline action within the NI Executive’s Together Building a United Community (TBUC) strategy) in terms of offering a means of community consultation and engagement. In Autumn 2017, UV team sponsored a semester-long Design Studio: Street Studio, as part of a pre-briefing exercise for a 'transformational ' site in Derry/ Londonderry.

    Both of these action-based research areas are underpinned by a developing understanding of improvisational theory drawn from Ruth's involvement in the cross disciplinary  'Translating Improvision Research Group' in QUB.


    Ruth is a founding member of the Association of Architectural Educators, which also organises an annual international peer-reviewed conference for architectural educators. She is also the founding Chief Editor of its peer-reviewed journal, Charrette. 

    Morrow was Chair of the RIBA President's Research Awards Jury (2014-2015) and has been a member of the jury 2012-2015 and 2018. 


    Ruth runs Design Studio in the MArch Course for both year 1 and year 2 masters students. She also contributes to other modules in undergraduate and postgraduate architecture courses.

    Prior to her appointment at Queens, Ruth was Professor of Architecture at the University of Ulster (2003-2009). She also held lecturing/ tutoring posts at University of Sheffield (2000-2003), University College Dublin (1998-2000) and University of Dundee (1994-1997)

    External Examiner:

    Central St Martins (2019-22)

    University of Westminster (2016- 2019)

    Oxford Brookes University (2010-2013)

    University of Plymouth, (2008-2011) - Senior Examiner

    University of West of England (2004 - 2007)

    University of Salford (2003-2006)

    Current PhD supervision:

    Paul Bower: Beyond 'Post-conflict' Architecture: Visualising the Role of Architectural Practice and its Profession in the 'Post-conflict' City of Belfast, Northern Ireland

    Timothy Twaddell: Improvisation and Architecture

    Aisling Shannon: Mouthpieces of the Limit: Liminal Spatial Praxis in Divided and Contested Contexts 

    Elizabeth Gillagan: Designing Green Building Materials

    Completed PhD supervision:

    James Brown, 2012: A Critique of the Live Project in Architectural Education

    Sarah Lappin, 2006: Architecture Centres

    External PhD examiner:

    University of Technology Sydney, 2018

    Newcastle University, 2018

    University College Dublin, 2015

    The Bartlett School, UCL, 2014

    University of Melbourne, 2011

    Robert Gordon University, 2009 (staff member)

    University of Sheffield, School of Architecture, 2009 and 2015

    Willingness to take PhD students


    PhD projects

    Happy to take on students across any of my research areas: 1. engaged social practice and 2. Socialization of technology 3. Architectural / Design Pedagogy

    View all

    Frequent Journals

    View all »

    Contribution to conference papers, events and activities

    ID: 52014