Job title: Professor of Architectural Computing

Role: REF Coordinator for UoA 13

Tel: +44 (0)131 650 2332


Office address: room 3.55 Minto House

Research outputs: Prof Richard Coyne on Edinburgh Research Explorer

Richard Coyne is animated by the cultural, social and spatial implications of computers and pervasive digital media. He enjoys architecture, writing, blogging, designing, philosophy, coding and media mashups.

Richard researches and teaches in information technology in practice, computer-aided design in architecture, the philosophy of information technology, social media, digital media, and design theory. He inaugurated the MSc in Design and Digital Media, in which he also teaches. Richard is Programme Director of the MSc by Research in Digital Media and Culture.

Richard is author of several books on the implications of information technology and design with MIT Press and Routledge. His research has been supported by AHRC, EPSRC and ESRC.

Major Roles:

  • Dean of Postgraduate Research in the College of Humanities and Social Science (2013-16)
  • Head of the School of Arts, Culture and Environment (2008-2011)
  • Member of the AHRC review panel: Visual Arts and Media (practice, history and theory) (until 2008)
  • Member of the RAE Architecture and Built Environment subpanel 30 (2007-8)
  • Member of the REF Architecture, Built Environment and Town Planning subpanel (C16) (2014)
  • Member of the editorial board of arq: Architectural Research Quarterly
  • Member of the Board of Governors of Edinburgh College of Art (2008-2011)
  • Chair of RIBA Research Awards judging panel (2007-2009)
  • Member of the Higher Education Academy, RSA and the RIBA
  • Life Member of Clare Hall, Cambridge
  • Registered architect (Australia)
  • Previously worked at the Universities of Sydney and Melbourne

Richard teaches in courses on architectural theory, and an innovative postgraduate class on Media and Culture involving the "flipped classroom" method, described here in Coyne, Richard, John Lee, and Denitsa Petrova. 2017. Re-visiting the flipped classroom in a design context. Journal of Learning Design, (10) 2, 1-13. 

Richard’s research is conducted within the Digital Media Design research group. He collaborates with John Lee, Martin Parker, Jules Rawlinson, Andrew Connor, Denitsa Petrova and a team of about 10 PhD students and research associates. Research themes interact with project work in a suite of digital MSc programmes.

Richard’s research demonstrates the value of a broad interdisciplinary framework for examining the relationship between computing, design, and contemporary cultural theories. He investigates the way we configure spaces through the use of pervasive mobile devices. Richard has developed this theme through the sonic metaphor of tuning and phenomenological concepts of mood (Stimmung). He recently published a book Mood and Mobility (MIT Press), and his tenth book, Network Nature: The Place of Nature in the Digital Age was published in 2018 by Bloomsbury Press. Richard was recently co-investigator on a major funded project on mobility and aging entitled Mobility, Mood and Place.

Richard develops many of his research and teaching interests through a regular blog post.

Current PhD students

PhD Supervision Topics

Accepting applications.


  • Place of nature in the digital age
  • Mood and affect in digital environments
  • Biosemiotics, big data and the configuration of space
  • Social media and conservation activism
  • Intimacy and risk: Performativity in architecture
  • Homelessness and public space
  • Electroencephalography (EEG) and responsive environments
  • Number and navigation: How the perception of quantity influences movement through space
  • 3D printing and new art practices
  • Learning from sounds walks​