Derek Hill Profile Picture Derek Hill

Derek Hill


  • United Kingdom

Personal profile

Academic / Professional qualifications


Part 3 Qualification ARB (No. 067418D)


Post Graduate Diploma, Advanced Architectural Design

Department of Architecture, University of Strathclyde


BSc(Hons) Architectural Studies, Second Class Honours,  Upper Division

Department of Architecture, University of Strathclyde



Expertise & Capabilities

Concept Design / Feasibility Design / Statutory Process / Collaborative Practice / Urban Housing / Architectural Pedagogy / Live Build / Mentoring / Architectural Storytelling


Derek is the Course Director for the BSc(Hons) Architectural Studies Degrees and the MArch Advanced Architectural Design + MArch Architectural Design (International) Programmes. He regularly runs an Architectural Design Studies Studio Unit in Year 3 and teaches elective classes in Year 2 and option classes in Years 4 and 5. In addition, Derek is the department representative to the GIA and coordinates our Strathclyde Architecture International School (SAIS).

Derek continues to encourage a curriculum which explores a series of 'live' projects and, through our ongoing relationship with Wiston Lodge, has delivered over 90 full scale structures as part of the live build initiative our Year 1 students experience in the first six weeks of their studies. Elsewhere, Derek has developed a network of visual artists, including Turner Prize winner Martin Boyce and Toby Paterson who serve as 'client' for Year 1 students as they respond to the task of designing a small gallery for the visual arts in Semester 2. Year 2 students have worked with Glasgow City Council and the University of Strathclyde's Sustainability & Environmental Management Department to develop feasibility studies as part of larger, ongoing projects. As part of the University's Flexible Working Programme, Y2 students engaged with Estate Services to carry out important survey and drawing work. Most recently, Y2 students can register for the elective 'Experience of Practice' which provides a period of industry placement for students to ensure that they understand better the profession and role of 'architect' in the early stages of their education.

In Year 3, Derek's Studio Unit deliver the narrative of the 'Performance Factory' through which students are first challenged to consider reuse strategies for the abandoned, raised train line from the southside through the edge of the city centre. From here, they use these outline proposals as the catalyst in identifying sites along the route to locate a public building with a performance driven programme. Students then prepare and produce their 'Undergraduate Thesis' and respond carefully to the factory analogy as they create spaces for both the production and consumption of performance. In March 2016, Derek was asked by A+DS to exhibit elements of the Unit's work in Gallery 1 of the Lighthouse.

Derek has developed a Special Studies Project in Year 4 titled 'Projects through Collaboration' which sees students from the Department work with invited practices and industry clients to deliver stalled projects. Running between 2013 and 2016 and again from 2018, Projects through Collaboration has engaged with industry contacts on over 20 projects, ranging from resourcing Dress for the Weather's Pub Typology Paper in 2014 to the conversion of a disused static caravan into a revenue generating teaching space (2016). The process output from the 2015/2016 session was the subject for a three week exhibition for A+DS at the Lighthouse.

During session 2016/2017, as Derek reflected on three years of the Collaboration class, he assisted Department colleagues to run another Year 4 Class which saw the return of the Department's End of Year publication as well as a series of exhibitions and events across the academic session. 

In Year 5, Derek has written a new Mentoring Class (Mentoring and Architectural Pedagogy - MAP) which promotes peer learning within our student population. Aligned to his own studio sessions, the Year 5 Mentors work with Derek to offer advice and the 'inside track' to Year 1 students in a series of skill based activities which explore the idea of MAPPING in architecture and Design. Year 5 students engaged in the process are asked to provide a reflective document on their experiences - both through their studies and their involvement in the class.

As a Masters Supervisor, Derek has overseen student projects which have engaged with the Merchant City Festival (ChalkTalk 2015) and the RIAS Festival of Architecture (the City / the Land 2016) (Critical Path 2017).

As coordinator of our SAIS programme, Derek has welcomed students and staff from Veritas University in San Jose, Costa Rica and IMUT in Hohot, Inner Mongolia to take part in separate, two week activities. Both sessions were themed THE CITY and THE LAND and allowed participants to explore urban and rural contexts and landscapes while engaging with design practices (McGinlay Bell, TAKTAL, Hoskins Architects, GIA) in a series of workshop events. Through this, the GIA asked Derek to host a guest lecture by architect and educator Adrian Aguilar from Veritas who talked about his heroes in Latin American Architecture.

In 2015, 2016 and 2017, Derek was nominated by students for the Union of Strathclyde Students Association Teaching Excellence Awards in the catagories of Most Enthusiastic and Most Supportive teacher. In 2019 he was again nominated in the catagories of Most Enthusiastic, Most Supportive and Most Innovative and ultimately won Best Overal Teacher.


Research Interests


This area of research is a developing interest and bridges between my experiences in architectural practice and education. As a practicing architect, a collaborative approach was vital to the success of any project, either through internal design team collaborations or across industry during the design and construction phase of a number of projects.


Collaborative processes are often limited to ‘group work’ within student, academic projects with little real collaboration. Instead, students work on related or similar tasks with individual outputs and submissions. Having developed a number of curricular activities related to ‘Collaborative Practice’ I have been in a position to test theories while developing student skillset in areas directly applicable to architectural practice.


Examples of ongoing outputs include:


2023 - University of Turku Curriculum Mapping Workshop. Focus group exploring parallel activity and peer to peer knowledge transfer.

2023 - Amity School of Architecture and Planning Workshop. Focus group exploring teaching and exchange opportunities.



The architect, as ‘chief builder’ requires a good, broad understanding of construction detaiiversity of ling to ensure that any designed idea is both practical and achievable. Without the ability to test through ‘making by doing’ students of architecture are in danger of not appropriately understanding the reality of problem solving.


Working on ‘live build’ projects within the curriculum, from as early as the initial weeks of Year 1, ensures students have a good sense of the practical processes of the profession.


Registration for PhD study planned for spring 2025 which will align with key teaching and curriculum activity, serving as a formal platform for reflection and documentation of a wide variety of topics and modules.


Examples of ongoing outputs include:


2024 – Conference “Imagining Pasts, Remembering Futures” (Trinity College, Dublin and All Ireland Architecture Research Group). Paper (Abstract): “Disciplinary Borders: Between Design Practices and Historical Disciplines”

2024 – Conference “Border Control: Excursion, Incursion and Exclusion” (University for the Creative Arts, Canterbury). Paper (Abstract): “Disciplinary Borders: Between Design Practices and Historical Disciplines”

2024 – “Pathways: Secondary Education to Higher Education”. Careers talk, Mearns Castle High School, to S4 Art and Design Pupils.

2023 – “Pathways: Secondary Education to Higher Education”. Careers workshop, Woodfarm High School, with S2 Art and Design Pupils.

2023 – “Remapping Collaborations at Strathclyde”. Project Submission/Exhibition. Eureka! 2023 London Biennale. To delivered in collaboration with Year 3 Design Studies students from the Department of Architecture.

2023 - AAE Conference “Productive Disruptive” (Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University). Paper (Abstract): “CRITICAL PATHS: Conversations on an Alternative Symbiosis between Academia and Practice”

2023 - Collaborative mini-charrette with Glasgow School of Art and New Practice ( public realm proposals for the new Buchanan Galleries urban district. Delivered as part of module AB966.

2019 – Glasgow City Council Partnership. Meanwhile Use Project: Development of 279-281 High Street Glasgow as a meanwhile use space (Art Gallery) by Glasgow City Council. Project launch with exhibition of Department of Architecture student work (Drawing on High Street).

2019 – Glasgow City Council Partnership. Student Collaborative Project: Relocation of Greenfriars Community Garden working in partnership with Glasgow City Council and the Greyfriars gardeners.

2019 - Glasgow City Council High Street Area Strategy Document: Contributor/Partnership Working

2019 - Routes through Practice Charrette in partnership with ThreeSixty Architecture. Invited speaker / creator. A panel discussion and presentation on the various post study routes to, and through architectural practice.

2012-2019 Collaborative Live Build with Wiston Lodge. A 10 year project in collaboration with Year 1 students and Wiston Lodge (

2018 - Glasgow Institute of Architects “PaperCut” Series (16/02/18): Panel Member: “Lines of Inquiry – Collaborative Practice”. Invited speaker. A panel discussion and presentation on various collaborative working opportunities developed in the BSc(Hons) Architectural Studies Degree programme

2016 – Strathclyde International Architecture School (SAIS). “The City and the Land”. Inner Mongolian University of Technology.

2016 - AAE Charrette “Architectural Education in Scotland” (Spring 2016) Paper: “Contextual Explorations through the City: Short Stories from the Architectural Design Studio”

2015 – Merchant City Festival. “Future Architects Workshop”. Single day workshop for future architects.

2015 - Merchant City Festival / Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland Festival of Architecture. “ChalkTalk” Mobile Installation, in collaboration with Andrea Hickey and Neal Hemmingway.

2014 - AAE Conference “Living and Learning” (Sheffield School of Architecture). Paper: “The Real Deal: Case Studies in Alternative Teaching Strategies”

2014 - ADU 2020 Conference “Creative Adjacencies” (KU Leuven University, Ghent). Paper: “The Real Deal: Case Studies in Alternative Teaching Strategies”

2013 - Live Projects Network. Workshop: “Urban Brandscapes – The Ghosts of San Jose” (San Jose, Costa Rica 2013)


Industrial Relevance


2019                 Best Overall Teacher, Strathclyde Teaching Excellence Awards

2016                 RIAS Festival of Architecture Grant

Successful awards of grant funding from the 2015 and 2016 RIAS Festivals of Architecture which allowed a series of student projects and collaborations to be included in the Festival Programme, thus attracting both local and national interest and attention on University and Department activity. These activities are now included in Open Day and recruitment material as the Departments seeks to demonstrate its unique selling point to applicants.

Lighthouse Exhibition as part of an ongoing programme of events with Architecture and Design Scotland which saw the Department coordinate and lead an architectural workshop with the Mackintosh School of Architecture and London based practice Denizen Works, with the primary focus on research methods in architecture.

Live Project with Greyfriars Garden Community Project as part of the Glasgow City Council High Street Area Strategy Plan. 32 UG students embarked on a research and design project in collaboration with GCC and Greyfriars Garden to develop proposals for the relocation of the community garden. The output of this process (running as a Year 2 elective class) allowed two MArch students to make final proposals as part of their 2019 Masters Submission (this was presented to the Council in late September 2019, receiving widespread plaudits for both the quality of the design and the level of practical thinking). The proposals will now be costed by GCC with a view to starting on site on late 2019, early 2020.

Involvement in gathering industry sponsorship of the Department’s Annual Yearbook by tapping to existing and new contacts in practice. This was preceded by helping to re-establish the Department Yearbook in 2014 and rebranding the publication as ‘A-Space’.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

Education/Academic qualification

Post Graduate Diploma in Advanced Architectural Design, University Of Strathclyde

12 Sept 20008 Jun 2001

Award Date: 8 Jun 2001

Bachelor of Science, Architectural Studies, University Of Strathclyde

12 Sept 19957 Jul 1999

Award Date: 7 Jul 1999

External positions

External Examiner, Nottingham University

1 Jun 20191 Mar 2023


  • Collaborative Design
  • Pedagogy
  • Architectural Design


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