I began my architecture degree in 1998 and was immediately captured by the idea that architectural decisions should be driven by a strong ontological position rather than aesthetic opinion and rules of thumb. In 2001 I studied at the Ecole d’architecture, urbanisme and paysage in Lille where I was introduced to the philosophical texts of Gilles Deleuze. Three years later I qualified as a chartered architect and over the following eleven years I went on to design and run many schemes from inception to completion including a £32m refurbishment of a historic building in the heart of the NOMA estate, Manchester.
But across this period I kept these two worlds apart; practising architect in the day and Deleuzian scholar at night. My academic interest is now directed at bringing these two worlds together to answer a question that has troubled me since 1998 and continues to trouble so many planning and architectural students and practitioners alike: once I have developed a strong theoretical line of enquiry how do I make the transition to a design, a planning decision, a set of robust details, a physical building? In other words, how does one make philosophy useful to practitioners sat at their desks and drawing boards?