Dr. Douglas Spencer

Lecturer in Historical & Critical Thinking, Architectural Association

Douglas-Specer-squareDr Douglas Spencer teaches architectural history and theory at the Architectural Association, The Royal College of Art and the University of East London. His recent writing includes contributions to the collections The Missed Encounter of Architecture with Philosophy (Bloomsbury, 2014), Architecture Against the Post-Political (Routledge, 2014) and New Geographies 6: Grounding Metabolism (Harvard 2014). He is a regular contributor to the journal Radical Philosophy and has also written for AA FilesThe Journal of Architecture and Telos. He is currently writing a book titled The Architecture of Neoliberalism, to be published by Bloomsbury in 2016.


Having studied Art History, Film Studies, Design History and Cultural Studies – in addition to the history and theory of Architecture and elements of philosophy and political economy – he can call upon a broad array of perspectives through which to analyse particular issues and practices in architecture, urbanism and landscape. In his PhD thesis, ‘Smooth Operators: Architectural Deleuzism in Societies of Control’ (Westminster, 2012), for instance, he drew upon elements of French and Italian neo-Marxist thought, Adorno’s Aesthetic Theory, critical theories of management, and the philosophy of Deleuze and Guattari to present a critique of contemporary architectural discourse and practice. In his forthcoming book he is further developing this work with a special interest in the relationship between neoliberal thought, the production of subjectivity and the managerial practices in which contemporary architecture is implicated.


Dr Spencer’s main areas of research include political aesthetics, architecture and the production of subjectivity, the uses of theory in architecture, managerialism and the design of workspaces and educational facilities, criticality and post-criticality, and issues of territory and governance in relation to architecture, urbanism and landscape.