Portsmouth School of Architecture


Photo of Francis Graves

Francis Graves

  • Qualifications: RIBA, ARB, FHEA, PG. Cert., BArch, BSc
  • Role Title: Senior Lecturer
  • Address: Eldon Building, Winston Churchill Avenue, Portsmouth PO1 2DJ
  • Telephone: 023 9284 2912
  • Email: francis.graves@port.ac.uk
  • Department: Portsmouth School of Architecture
  • Faculty: Creative and Cultural Industries


I am an Architect registered with The Architects Registration Board (ARB) since 1982 and a Chartered Member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) since 1984. I obtained professional qualifications (RIBA Parts 1&2) from the University of Bath and (RIBA Part 3) from the University of Brighton. Teaching qualifications include a Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education from Newcastle University and a Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) obtained through The University of Portsmouth.

I started teaching part time in 1995 as a guest lecturer/design tutor in several schools of architecture including Cambridge, Cardiff, Manchester, Newcastle, The Architectural Association, Paris Malaquais and St Luc’s Brussels.

In 1997, I was appointed as a part-time postgraduate design tutor at the Newcastle University School of Architecture Landscape and Planning and combined my teaching with practice as a consultant Architect in London.

In practice, I have worked on all stages of Architectural & Urban Design projects with my own London based partnership, independently and as a consultant to other practices.

Since joining the Portsmouth School of Architecture in 2008, I principally teach Architectural Design and continue to engage in practice through the School’s Project Office and independent architectural design work. My research interests relate primarily to Live Projects in education and Practice. These resonate strongly with “The Porous Academy”, a European Association for Architectural Education (EAAE) project encouraging Schools of Architecture to have more impact on the design and development of local projects and their urban context. 

Teaching Responsibilities

I currently teach Architectural Design in the final undergraduate year (BA3) RIBA Part 1. I lead the first year postgraduate Master of Architecture (M.Arch.1) RIBA Part 2 and in 2010, established a MArch Design Studio FM+P (Finding Methodology + Practice) in collaboration with the School Project Office focussing on practice based design methods. This studio developed in 2015 into one that encourages “doing” & “making” at all stages of design. Design methodology has now been replaced with “Making, Understanding and Doing” (Studio 5 MUD) in association with Walter Menteth, director of Walter Menteth Architects, Project Compass in London and part time design tutor in the Portsmouth School of Architecture.

I continue to encourage design generation through technical resolution and coordinate Technology in the MArch RIBA Part 2 course delivering a postgraduate technology unit “Techne” and contribute to  technology teaching and assessment at undergraduate level

I also teach on the RIBA Part 3 & Masters in Professional  Practice (MAPP) through case study tutoring and contribute to the Year 4 programme for graduate RIBA Part 1 students on their year out.

I am regularly invited to participate in formal juries reviewing Masters Design Theses at the Paris Val de Seine school of Architecture and lead in the development of the staff Erasmus exchange agreement between the two schools.


Through my experience in practice, I have written on international contract administration and the use of medial representation as a tool in the creative process.

Because of my direct experience in practice of architectural design in a Mediterranean contexts, I have contributed to group research through the study/proposals of urban futures for traditional cluster villages in the South of France.

My continued engagement with architectural education has led to invitations to participate in and publish international reviews of Architectural Education in France and Belgium.

Through work with my MArch Studio, I have engaged with and influenced live local architectural and urban design projects. I am currently seeking funding to support a research proposal generated from the MArch’s long term collaboration with the Portsmouth Diocese's Council for Social Responsibility (CSR). This collaboration has engaged with local live urban and architectural design projects redeveloping church buildings proposing vibrant new activities in the heart of various local communities. An enhanced study has been proposed investigating more rigorously how such designs are interpreted by professional, semi-professional and lay stakeholders with a view to informing the community/stakeholder engagement with similar projects in the future both nationally and internationally.

Funding to develop and document Urban & Architectural design responses to climate change induced rise in sea levels in Portsmouth has been obtained from the university to establish an international Coastal Cities Network (CCN) through a cross faculty  collaboration between CCi & Technology and external funding secured for an Anglo Dutch “Elephant Cage” (an international multidisciplinary competition/ intensive design workshop) arranged in 2016-2017 in Portsmouth involving selected Design Professionals and Key Stakeholders from both the Netherlands and the UK and MArch Studio 5 (MUD) students.


Research profile

Explore my research profile, publications and activities on the Portsmouth Research Portal

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