Architecture (Part 1 ARB/RIBA)

Simon Beeson

Course Leader – Architecture

BA(Hons)Architecture, DipArch, MArch, ARB


Following qualification as an architect in 1989 (Part 1 University of Manchester, Part 2 and 3 Hull School of Architecture) I have been active in teaching, research and practice. On completing my Part 2 I worked with Julyan Wickham Associates and Allen Tod Architects. Between 1990 and 1995 I studied for a Masters of Architecture and worked with the University of Minnesota and as assistant to public artist Siah Armajani. I continued to teach occasionally for the University of Minnesota, most recently as guest critic on the Oaxaca Studio 2009. On my return to Britain I re-located to Edinburgh for 10 years. I curated three exhibitions on architects who build (Siah Armajani, Per Kirkeby, Erwin Heerich) and their use on models at Edinburgh University, with Scottish Arts Council support (1998-99). I joined the School of Architecture, Edinburgh College of Art in January 1999 to explore the relationship between architecture and the other arts, especially sculpture and public art, as Diploma unit tutor. This concern includes placing students at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop to diversify their experience of materials.  From 2002 to 2007 I was full time co-ordinator of the First Year and this introductory design teaching was documented as part of the European sub-network of architectural design in 2004 Monitoring Architectural Design EAAE. In January 2007 I joined the Arts University Bournemouth (formally Arts Institute at Bournemouth) as Course Leader to develop a new BA (Hons) Architecture degree, which was awarded ARB Part 1 status in February 2009 and RIBA Part 1 in 2010.

Professional practice

I am active in developing material ideas for understanding architecture as an emergent property of building, especially at first year level. As course leader I have been responsible for curriculum development for architecture at AUB. Teaching is structured around fully integrated units, including PDP assessment for all collaborative and extra-curricula activity by students. The course has also developed strong links with RIBA Dorset and the Art By The Sea Festival (Bournemouth). Undergraduate students are encouraged to develop research projects as part of their education. I am also active in developing an international summer school and links with courses in Brazil and India.

Professional memberships

  • ARB, HEA

Research Specialism

My research explores relationships between sculpture, ideas of play and architectural pedagogy. Current projects include the pedagogical use of models in architectural education, the ‘Mexican’ work of German artist Mathias Goeritz, and aspects of the pedagogy of Friedrich Froebel. Between 2002 and 2003 I was a research fellow at the Henry Moore Institute, considering the horizontal relief as an art form, followed by curating an exhibition on a relief work by William Turnbull in 2004. I have also worked on a number of public art works and workshops, including the “Chair project” with various schools and community groups. Permanent works include the Kielder Keepsake (Kielder Forest), Wall of Stories (Cowdenbeath), Stepping Stones Bridge (Tyrebagger Sculpture Trail) and Moot Hill (Ellon). I continue to make small relief works and occasional contemporary medals. Recent projects include the Table-top Sand-pit: a mobile architecture experiment and curating at The Gallery at AUB for CRAB by the Sea, an exhibition of the work of CRAB Studio, and Potential Architecture: works by Lucy+Jorge Orta.

Recent papers include “The Architect’s Table”; The National Conference on the Beginning Design Student (NCBDS) 2013; Proceedings; Temple University, Philadelphia.

My own recent works includes the project Building Walden, a co-creative collection of works created in Edinburgh 2013 and ArtSway 2014. I continue to explore the model world and sculptural relief as media of expression and creative thinking.

I am currently a part-time candidate for PhD Architecture by Design at the University of Edinburgh.

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Research output