Rhodri Windsor-Liscombe

PhD, BA (Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London)

Before taking up the post as Associate Dean of Graduate (Awards and Scholarships), Dr. Windsor-Liscombe chaired the Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies Program and served as head of UBC’s Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory, where he was first appointed as assistant professor in 1976. He became full professor in 1988. In addition to the supervision of many successful graduate students, he has served on, or chaired many national and international adjudication committees, including the Canada Council and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Dr. Windsor-Liscombe is a graduate of the Courtauld Institute of Art. He previously taught at London and McGill Universities. His major publications include: William Wilkins 1778–1839 (Cambridge, 1980)—revisited in The Age of Wilkins, The Architecture of Improvement (with David Watkin, Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum, 2000); Francis Rattenbury and British Columbia: Architecture and Challenge in the Imperial Age (with Anthony A. Barrett, UBC, 1983); “Altogether American”: Robert Mills Architect and Engineer (Oxford, 1994); and The New Spirit. Modern Architecture in Vancouver 1938–1963 (Canadian Centre for Architecture, 1997; awarded the Vancouver Book Prize at the Vancouver International Writers’ Festival in 1998). In addition to numerous invited lectures, conference papers and entries in academic dictionaries, he has curated exhibitions and published extensively in refereed journals and scholarly anthologies.

One component of his research, centering on intersections between Modern Movement design practice and late British imperial policy, was awarded a J.S. Guggenheim Fellowship 2000–2001. A related project, funded by a major SSHRCC Research Grant, examines the changing social and cultural role of architecture in Reconstruction-era Canada with particular respect to the design of the urban fabric. These studies of urban design led to his being commissioned to write the lead position paper on The Ideal City in preparation for the World Urban Forum in Vancouver 2006; in association with this he organized the Living out the Metropolis Lectures and the more comprehensive Living the Global City series. The design process and more especially association between aesthetic and technological design represent a further dimension of inquiry, the latter being currently focused on the development and impact of the jet engine. In 2012 he was awarded a three-year SSHRCC Insight Grant for “The aesthetics of automobile culture in Reconstruction-era Canada, 1947–1967.” He continues to review scholarly publications, serve on grant adjudication committees and is completing the Heritage Properties register for the Town of Annapolis Royal.

In 2011 he edited and contributed to a UBC Press anthology, Architecture and the Canadian Fabric, publication being supported by a grant from the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences. Following participation in an Urban History website—examining changing concepts in planning focused on Vancouver—he developed a major website/educational app investigating the interchanges between modern movement design/theory and late (British) imperial policy: Colonizing Modernism. In 2016 he published Canada. Modern Architectures in History, in the Reaktion Press international series and also with Michelangelo Sabatino wrote the chapter on architecture in Canada and the United States 1914–present for the latest edition of Sir Banister Fletcher’s History of Architecture.

He has served as Vice President and President of the Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada and was Local Chair of the 2005 Annual Meeting of the Society of Architectural Historians. During his tenure at UBC he has been awarded the Killam Teaching Prize, the Killam Senior Research Award and the Margaret Fulton Award for enhancing the graduate student experience. He was elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 1988. He is a Life Member (Fellow) of Clare Hall at Cambridge University.