Dr Gregory Cowan

Dr Gregory Cowan B Arch (Hons), M Arch (Res), PhD

  • Lecturer

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

Role in the University

  • Lecturer


Gregory is an Australian-qualified architect-educator with experience in London (UK), Frankfurt (Germany), Graz and Vienna (Austria), Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia) and Perth (Australia). Gregory teaches, researches, and writes (English and German) about problem solving and collaboration, urbanism and streets, in Europe and internationally, based in London. He researching and teaches Street Design and Place Making for Station, Inner Urban and Canalside Areas, business and enterprise.

Gregory has been teaching undergraduate students since his second bachelor's degree in 1986, covering many diverse areas of architectural design, culture, theory and professional practice. Prior to 2017 he also taught tourism management including urban tourism, alternative tourism and event design and tourism, urban event planning, urban design, and many diverse areas across several universities. Since 2017, he has taught across levels 4 and 5, focussing on the foundations of business management and communication skills for employability and academic skills for university.

Member of

  • Royal Institute of British Architects (Chartered member)
  • Architectural Association (Member) 
  • Voluntary Service Overseas (International Development Volunteer)

Academic Interests

Gregory's academic interests for undergraduate study include Communication Skills, Effective Team Working, Project Planning, Problem Solving and Decision Making, Digital Skills and Research Methods, Academic Skills, Introducing the Modern Workplace, 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 interests include Education Management, Sustainable Fashion Business Management, Digitalisation and Organisational Change. Previously course teaching in Master of Urban Design and Master of Sustainable International Planning learning modules.

Although I had some postgraduate teaching experience when I completed my research master's degree in 2002, I have mainly taught postgraduates since 2009, from architecture and urban design at the University of Westminster, via freelance editing to doctoral co-supervision at UWTSD.

Research Interests

Gregory's research has investigated social and physical spaces of street design and urban noir in station areas since 2009. Grounded, qualitative and mixed-methods research was applied, using an ero-epic interview methodology, with hard-to-reach stakeholders, in culturally complex and contested diverse inner urban areas. He has also 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 entitled 'Occupying Streets: Street Design in Station Areas, London and Frankfurt' which he completed 2015 through the University of Westminster. His research between 1998-2002 investigated contexts applications and strategies for nomadism and nomadology in architecture – an apparent oxymoron, by challenging Western concepts of architecture. Diagramming, ephemerality, movement and collaborations are each proposed as ‘strategies’ for reconciling nomadism with architecture. This research culminated in his master's dissertation entitled ‘Nomadology in Architecture: Ephemerality, Movement and Collaboration.

Enterprise, Commercial & Consultancy Activities

As an architect in Australia and Austria he has worked in teams developing educational and infrastructure projects and also mixed use residential projects, including awards as a finalist in international architecture competitions in Graz, Austria and Wagga Wagga, Australia. These contributed to his experience for developing his architecture consultancy and also teaching consultancy as he worked in an international teaching team in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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


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 CowanProfessor 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