Dr Alistair Cartwright



Personal Statement

My research sits at the intersection of architectural history and social history. I draw on visual culture, oral history and archival analysis of records such as valuation lists and postal directories to track the contested occupation, adaptation and re-use of built spaces over time. Expanding on a longstanding interest in the social 'afterlives' of buildings, landscapes and places, my current research explores the architecture and politics of post-disaster reconstruction in Mauritius during the transition from British colony to independence.

Prior to joining Liverpool School of Architecture as a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow, I was a postdoctoral fellow at the Paul Mellon Centre and Development Manager at Open City, an architectural education charity dedicated to making London's built environment more open and accessible.

I have written on topics such as the aesthetics of the ‘un-ideal home’, subdivision in private rented housing, and the role of rent tribunals as spaces of resistance for publications including the London Journal, Architectural Histories, Twentieth Century British History and Jacobin. A recent historical materialist account of the building regulations in England and Wales features in the edited collection Building/Object: Shared and Contested Territories of Design and Architecture (Bloomsbury 2022).

Alongside academic work, I am an experienced fundraiser specialising in trusts and foundations having working for various charities focused on the built environment and other fields.