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Dr Willem de Bruijn

MRes Arts Course Leader

M.Sc. Architecture (TU Delft), Ph.D. (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 University of London (UCL, The Bartlett School of Architecture). Following the completion of his PhD, Willem has been a Guest Lecturer and Visiting Lecturer at Chelsea College of Art and Design, Westminster University (School of Architecture) and University of East London (School of Architecture), where he 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 M.Arch. courses. Willem is currently also award leader for the MRes Arts (Master of Research), which offers students in the arts an opportunity to acquire skills in research in preparation of doctoral study.

Willem is currently a full-time academic teaching on the BA (Hons) Architecture, M.Arch. and MRes Arts courses at AUB. Previously, Willem has worked as an Associate Researcher at the Arcadian Library in London and as a freelance designer and editor on publications such as Sigmund Freud’s Desk: An Anecdoted Guide by Ro Spankie (Freud Museum London, 2015). Willem has also been involved in various art projects and has participated in group shows in the UK and abroad, most recently at Loudest Whispers 2020 in London.

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

Willem’s research is underpinned by a broad interest in architecture, art and design. Central to his work is a concern with the image understood as a form of cultural currency where visualisation is understood to be different from representation. Willem is particularly interested in discursive uses of the image that challenge the predominantly verbal narratives and arguments that art history and critical theory produce. Drawing on the work of art historian Aby Warburg (1866-1929), Willem has developed ways of investigating the visual and pictorial as a key aspect of critical thought. Willem’s most recent outputs have been oriented towards pedagogical applications of Warburg’s iconographic method in the teaching of critical thinking skills, theory and argumentation, most notably through collage – primarily within an architectural context, although increasingly also within the arts more generally. Willem’s research thus aims to expand notions of ‘visual literacy’ and ‘visual learning’ to encompass a critical deployment of the image across the curriculum, from undergraduate to doctoral level.

Willem is a member of the Architectural Humanities Research Association (AHRA) and the Black Mirror Research Network, which aims to explore the influence and role of enchantment, esotericism, the occult and magic in modernist and contemporary art.


Edited Books

  • (2017) Black Mirror: Magic in Art. Poole: Arts University Bournemouth, TheGallery, text+work.
  • (2014) The Arcadian Library: Bindings and Provenance, edited by Giles Mandelbrote and Willem de Bruijn. London: The Arcadian Library in association with Oxford University Press.
  • (2012) PhD Research Projects 2012. London: The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL.
  • (2011) PhD Research Projects 2011. London: The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL.

Journal Articles and Chapters in Books

  • (2020 [forthcoming]). ‘Writing with Pictures: Reconsidering Aby Warburg’s Bilderatlas in the Context of Architectural Scholarship, Education and Google Images’, in: Troiani, I. and Ewing, S. (eds), Visual Research Methods in Architecture. Bristol and Chicago: Intellect, pp. 188–200.
  • (2020) ‘The Collage Workshop: Exploring the Image as Argumentative Tool’, in: iJADE (The International Journal of Art & Design Education), Vol. 39, No. 2, pp. 290–305.
  • (2019) ‘Black-Mirror Architecture: Para-Historical Musings on the Architectural Peculiar’, in: Noble, J., Shepherd, D., Bransford, J. and Ansell, R. (eds), Black Mirror 2: elsewhere. Lopen: Fulgur Press, pp. 73–89.
  • (2018) ‘Writerly Experimentation in Architecture: The Laboratory (not) as Metaphor’, in: Writingplace, No. 1, pp. 48–58. Special issue: Literary Methods in Architectural Education.
  • (2012) ‘Thesis-Building: Architecture, Alchemy and the Constructive Moment(s) of a Doctoral Dissertation’, in: Footprint (Spring), pp. 165–181.
  • (2012) ‘From Text to Theatre: An Architectural Reading of Heinrich Khunrath’s Amphitheatrum Sapientiae Aeternae (1595; 1609)’, in: Library Trends, Vol. 61, No. 2, pp. 347–370. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
  • (2008) ‘The Crafting Drawings Workshop’, in: Toh Shimazaki Architecture Forum Vol. 2: Textured Surfaces & Tactile Details, pp. D8–D9. London: Toh Shimazaki Architecture.
  • (2007) ‘Anticipating Antiquity: Jean-Jacques Boissard’s Topographia Urbis Romae and the Reworking of Rome’, in: The International Journal of the Book, Vol. 4, No. 3, pp. 45–57.
  • (2007) ‘Border, Line, Architecture: Filarete’s Trattato di Architettura, Considered in Relation to the Medieval Manuscript Tradition’, in: Research Projects 2007, edited by Penelope Haralambidou and Jonathan Hill, pp. 10–11. London: The Bartlett School of Architecture.
  • (2005/06) ‘Bookscapes: Towards a Conceptualisation of the Architectural Book’, in: The International Journal of the Book, Vol. 3, No. 3, pp. 11–24.

Willem supervises four doctoral students (two as DoS) in the areas of architecture, urban studies and fine art. Any expressions of interest in pursuing a PhD within the areas of art and architecture are welcomed. Please refer to the Research page on the AUB website for further details.


  • Lund, D. (2021). Ingenious adaptations: The development of the professionally-made architectural model in Britain, 1883-2020.