Dr. Willem de Bruijn

MSc Architecture (TU Delft), PhD (The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, UoL)


Willem studied architecture at Delft University of Technology and KTH Stockholm. He holds a PhD in History and Theory of Architecture from The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. His doctoral thesis, titled Book-Building: A Historical and Theoretical Investigation into Architecture and Alchemy, was nominated for the RIBA President’s Award for Reseach. Following the completion of his PhD in 2010, Willem has been a Guest Lecturer and a Visiting Lecturer at Chelsea College of Art and Design, Westminster University (School of Architecture) and University of East London (School of Architecture), where he has taught a variety of subjects including history and theory of architecture, critical theory and philosophy of art. Willem joined the Arts University Bournemouth in 2015 to teach Contextual Studies on the BA (Hons) Architecture and MArch course.

Professional practice

Willem is currently teaching Contextual Studies on the BA (Hons) Architecture and Master of Architecture (MArch) courses. He is also involved in studio tutoring and active in setting up cross-course collaborations. His teaching follows an integrated approach where theory and design are considered part of the same intellectual pursuit through thinking and making, the object of which can be a book, a model or a series of prints.

Professional memberships

  • AHRA (Member)
  • Higher Education Academy (Fellow)
  • Architectural Association (Member)

Research Specialism

My research is situated at the crossroads of architecture, art history, philosophy and visual studies. I am particularly interested in visualisations of theory through the medium of collage and print. My research also covers areas of educational theory and pedagogy, looking at image-led learning to expand and develop new forms of visual literacy in arts and design education and architecture in particular. In this context I have developed the notion of a critical practice of the image, which implies a discursive, rather than merely ‘illustrative’ use of images in the development of a theoretical argument. I have published articles and presented conference papers based on chapters from my doctoral thesis and my current research into Aby Warburg’s Bilderatlas Mnemosyne and the relevance of Warburg’s iconographic method of cultural analysis for architectural scholarship and education. Outside academia, I work as an artist, writer and printmaker, and regularly contribute to exhibitions such as Loudest Whispers in London.

Research Supervision

I supervise four doctoral students at AUB. Their research covers the areas of architectural model-making, urban analysis, drawing, film and landscape representation. Any expressions of interest in pursuing a PhD within and across the areas of architecture, architectural history and theory, philosophy and fine art can be made by sending an email directly to wdebruijn@aub.ac.uk. PhD applications can be made via the AUB website.

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Research output