Dr Gregory Cowan

Staff Member Gregory Cowan

Dr Gregory Cowan PhD, PG Cert SSSL, AHEA, MArch(res), BArch(hons), RIBA, AHEA, VSO, AA

  • Lecturer

E-mail: gregory.cowan@uwtsd.ac.uk

Role in the University

Gregory supervises on the DBA programme and teaches in the BABM and BALM programmes since 2017, based in London, and internationally since 2020.


Gregory is an international educator and architect, and a transformational life coach. Working with architects, designers, entrepreneurs and others in London (UK), Frankfurt (Germany), Graz and Vienna (Austria), Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia) and Perth (Australia), Gregory has researched, taught, and written in English, German and Portuguese about cities, design, problem solving, collaboration, communities and streets. He researched Street Design in Station, Inner Urban and Canalside Areas.

Teaching since his bachelor's degree in 1986, Gregory has been developing courses, in teams and individually, on diverse areas of architectural design, culture, theory and professional practice. In the 2010s, he taught tourism management urban tourism, alternative tourism, event design and planning, urban design, across several universities. Since 2017, he has taught foundations of business management and communication skills for employability, and academic skills Levels 4 and 5. He supervises research for DBA part 2 with innovative business entrepreneurs. He is currently further advancing his skills in transformational life coaching with Animas.

Member of

  • Associate of the Higher Education Academy (AHEA)
  • Chartered Member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)
  • Member of the Architectural Association (AA Inc.)
  • Returned volunteer, Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO)

Academic Interests

Gregory's academic interests in undergraduate studies include Communication Skills, Team Working, Project Planning, Problem Solving and Decision Making, Digital Skills and Research Methods, Academic Skills, the Modern Workplace, and Community Engagement. He is also interested in alcotourism, urban alternative tourism and night-time urbanism, architectural professional practice, sustainable international planning and architectural design.

His postgraduate research supervision includes Post-Pandemic International Micro-entrepreneurship, Education Management, Sustainable Fashion Business Management, Digitalisation, and Gender and Organisational Change. He teaches Master of Urban Design and Master of Sustainable International Planning.

Research Interests

Gregory's research since 2009 has investigated social and physical spaces of street design and the “urban noir” in station areas. Grounded, qualitative and mixed-methods research was applied, using “ero-epic” interview methodology, with hard-to-reach stakeholders, in culturally complex and contested diverse inner urban areas. In 'Occupying Streets’, Gregory developed a comparative study between station areas in two large European cites; London King’s Cross, and Frankfurt Bahnhofsviertel (Station Quarter) within the Frankfurt Rhein Main conurbation.

This culminated in his PhD thesis (bit.ly/OccupyingStreets), completed in 2015, at the University of Westminster. Research between 1998-2002 investigated nomadology in architecture – an apparent oxymoron, challenging Western concepts of architecture. Diagramming, ephemerality, movement and collaborations are each used as ‘strategies’ for reconciling nomadism with architecture. The research master's dissertation entitled ‘Nomadology in Architecture’ (j.mp/nomadology)

Enterprise, Commercial & Consultancy Activities

As an architect in Australia, Austria, and Germany, Gregory worked in teams developing educational and infrastructure projects and also mixed-use residential projects. Awards as a finalist in international architecture competitions in Graz, Austria and Wagga Wagga, Australia, contributed to his experience for developing his architecture consultancy, and also his teaching consultancy, as he worked in an international team in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, developing teaching at a university.

Gregory developed the student and graduate community of RIBA and also undertook education consultancy work with the RIBA education committee on the international validation of architecture courses in Seoul, Korea, Bio Bio and Santiago, Chile, and Buenos Aires, Argentina. This work also helped equip him to work as a consultant assessor for RIBA in training and assessing continuing professional development and education materials, which continues.


  • Cowan, Gregory and Eckhard, Petra, 2020 “The Architect’s Mooring” (English and German) in Gewohnt - Un/common, GAM 16 Graz Architecture Magazine, pp 168-81 [gam.tugraz.at]
  • Cowan, Gregory and Celma Paese 2019 “Ruas Nuas: Passeando para Trabalhar” lecture to postgraduates at the Second International Symposium on Derrida and Approximations at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Ilha Grande, Brazil, 25 October 2017)
  • Cowan, Gregory 2017 “ErosCentre: The Strange Attractions of Frankfurt Station Quarter” at the Symposium on Tourism and The Night (University of Westminster, July 15, 2017)
  • Cowan, Gregory 2017 “Noir Urbanism: Leisure and Pleasure” (lecture to postgraduates) University of Westminster, MA Tourism in Cities, London UK, 28 February 2017
  • Cowan, Gregory 2016 “Leisure and Pleasure: City at Night” (lecture to undergraduates) at the University of Westminster, BA Tourism in London UK, 27 October 2016
  • Cowan, Gregory 2016 “Occupying Streets: Shared Space” (lecture to professionals and civic leaders) at Urban Design London - hosted by Transport for London at Palestra, London UK, 26 January 2016
  • Cowan, Gregory 2014 “London's Streets” in “Edge Condition” journal (London) v.1 n.1 April 2014
  • Cowan, Gregory 2011 “Occupying Streets at all hours: Frankfurt and London” presented at World Planning Schools Congress 2011
  • Cowan, Gregory 2010 “Street Occupations – the politics of designing and sharing city streets” in “The Weather Ring” Special magazine, Perth Western Australia, June 2010 pp.20-25
  • Cowan, Gregory 2010 “Occupying the Street” lecture 29 March 2010 at Aalto University, Pori, Finland
  • Cowan, Gregory 2010 “Learning from Ulaanbaatar” Conference Paper for Entlang der Grossen Mauer / Along the Great Wall, Institute for Comparative Architectural Research, Vienna 2009
  • Cowan, Gregory 2009 “Street Occupations and the Night Economy in Kings Cross, London” Conference presentation, December 2009 at Field:Work, Arts and Humanities Research Association, Edinburgh
  • Cowan, Gregory “Nomadologist in Ulaanbaatar” 2009 in “AARCHITECTURE the AA Student journal”, Short article on Mongolia for AARCHITECTURE, (7), pp 22-3, 2009
  • Cowan, Gregory 2008 “Ger District Architecture, Mongolia” in the professional journal ‘The Architect Western Australia’ 08 (01), p 88, 2008
  • Cowan, Gregory 2008 “Tent Embassies: Collapsing, Australia and Architecture” chapter in ‘Informal Architectures; Space and Contemporary Culture’, Kiendl, A ed. London: Black Dog, pp 56-65 (ISBN:978 1 906155)
  • Cowan, Gregory 2005 Injection Magazine 2005, 'The Story of a Practice.' [Feature on Design Heroine Architects] by Dr Gregory J Cowan, Professor Harriet Harriss, and Indy Johar
  • Cowan, Gregory 2004 Book Review: From ACT UP to the WTO: Urban Protest and Community Building In the Era of Globalisation Progress in Development Studies, Jan 1, 2004
  • Cowan, Gregory 2004 “Street Protest Architecture: Dissent Space in Australia” in ‘Bad Subjects: Political Education for Everyday Life’, no. 65
  • Cowan, Gregory 2002 Scott Cane, Pila Nguru: The Spinifex People [Book Review] Journal of Australian Studies, Jan 1, 2002
  • Cowan, Gregory 2001 Collapsing Australian Architecture: The Aboriginal Tent Embassy Journal of Australian Studies, Jan 1, 2001

Additional Information