Personal profile

Research interests

I am Senior Lecturer in Architectural History and Theory in the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering. My principal research area is twentieth-century architecture in Britain, in which I take a primarily social historical approach.

My most recent project has been on post-war Roman Catholic church architecture in Britain, in which I investigated the relationships between architecture (including the development of modernism), the historical changes associated with the liturgy around Vatican II, and the social aspects of parishes and urbanism in the period. The culmination of this work was my book, Building the Modern Church: Roman Catholic Church Architecture in Britain, 1955 to 1975 (Ashgate/Routledge, 2014). This project was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and Architecture, during my previous post as Lecturer at the Mackintosh School of Architecture, Glasgow School of Art. I continue to publish new research in the subject, as well as working with academic networks to support wider research in the same area.

A second approach in my research is a continuing interest in creative methods in architectural design informed by cultural theory, which I have explored in several other publications.  

I have also previously researched and written on late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century French architecture and design, including Art Nouveau, from similar perspectives. This included a British Academy funded project on the relationship between the architect Rene Binet and the evolutionary biologist Ernst Haeckel.

I teach Architectural History and Theory on various Architecture courses in the Department, and run the MArch Research Paper (dissertation) unit. I also supervise dissertations on the MSc course in Conservation of Historic Buildings. I have supervised several PhD students to completion and examined others; see below for further details. Please get in touch with me directly at an early stage if you are interested in beginning a PhD.

Willing to supervise PhD

If you are a prospective student, you are welcome to contact me directly to discuss your interests, and if appropriate I can give advice on your application. I am able to supervise PhDs in a broad range of subjects in Architectural History and Theory, but I especially welcome anyone interested in the following subjects:

- twentieth century architecture;
- architecture, religion and society;
- commerce, economics and buildings;
- nineteenth century architecture.

Previous PhD topics supervised to completion include mid-twentieth century housing in British new towns, and Scottish town halls since the early nineteenth century.

Education / Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, University of Cambridge

Master of Arts, University of Edinburgh

External positions

External Examiner for Architectural History, University of Edinburgh

1 Oct 2017 → …

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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church Social Sciences
suburb Social Sciences
twentieth century Social Sciences
archives Social Sciences
architecture Social Sciences
Suburbs Arts & Humanities
Suburban Arts & Humanities
Church architecture Arts & Humanities

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2003 2017

twentieth century
Catholic Church (Roman)

Modern Medievalism: Dom Charles Norris, Dalle de Verre and the Blessed Sacrament Chapel

Proctor, R. 18 Sep 2017 Buckfast Abbey: History, Art and Architecture. Beacham, P. (ed.). London: Merrell, p. 207-231 24 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Obituary: Brian Mooney, 1928-2017

Proctor, R. 23 May 2017 RIBA Journal

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

Architecture, power and ritual in Scottish town halls, 1833-1973

O'Connor, S. 2016 273 p.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Open Access
religious behavior
social history

Book review: Saint John’s Abbey Church: Marcel Breuer and the Creation of a Modern Sacred Space. Victoria M. Young. (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2014)

Proctor, R. 6 Apr 2016 Material Religion: The Journal of Objects, Art and Belief, 11, 4, p. 567-568 2 p.

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationBook/Film/Article review

Open Access