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, responding to new challenges in higher education and the architectural profession. Over the last few years she has focused on applied research based on an understanding of creative processes, inclusive 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
Achievements and Distinctions
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.
|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 and an AHRC project: Linen Lace Concrete with a Scottish lace makers.
Ruth's teaches a studio at Masters level: Without Precedent- which focuses on material experimentation drawing on research and material exertise of Morrow, tutors from practice, as well as the well-established material research ongoing 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 release 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 PS2 pssquared.org 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 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)
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: Green Building Products
Completed PhD supervision:
James Brown, 2012: A Critique of the Live Project in Architectural Education
Sarah Lappin, 2006: Architecture Centres
External PhD examiner:
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
Happy to take on students across any of my research areas: 1. engaged social practice and 2. Socialization of technology 3. Architectural / Design Pedagogy
Concepts for Reusing Composite Materials from Decommissioned Wind Turbine Blades in Affordable Housing
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article
Research output: Book/Report › Commissioned report
Research output: Contribution to conference › Paper
Activity: Visiting an external institution › Research and Teaching at External Organisation
Activity: Talk or presentation › Invited or keynote talk at national or international conference
Activity: Membership › Membership of peer review panel or committee
Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)
Prize: Other distinction
Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)
Contribution to conference papers, events and activities