Professor Flora Samuel

Professor of Architecture in the Built Environment, Urban Living Research Group Lead





As the first Vice President for Research at the Royal Institute of British Architects Flora is passionate about supporting the development of research in practice. Her 2018 book Why Architects Matter: Evidencing and Communicating the Value of Architects was well received by practitioners across the globe – she and Lorraine Farrelly were recently commissioned to develop two reports on the value of architecture for the Architects Council of Europe. She is currently writing the follow up Why Housing Matters to be published in 2021.

Post Occupancy Evaluation of buildings and places is key to Flora’s work. as this is vital, both to understand what works and also for demonstrating value. Flora believes that the evidencing of social value will become increasingly central to housing policy and procurement. As the lead author of the Social Value Toolkit for Architecture published by the RIBA in July 2020, she is an industry leader on the social value of housing design and placemaking and has a regular monthly column in Building Design on the subject. Together with Eli Hatleskog Flora published a special edition of Architectural Design on the Social Value of Architecture in July 2020. Flora is an advisor on this subject to multiple organisations including the UK Green Building Council, the Building Research Establishment and the London Sustainable Development Commission. Through the Newton Funded Mapping Eco Social Assets project, working with project researcher Eli Hatleskog, she developed a methodology for mapping social value which has been cited as best practice in a Greater London Authority ‘Insights’ paper. This methodology provides the foundation for a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with Stantec called the Better Places Toolkit which aims to bring social value into land transactions. She is also working with the Quality of Life Foundation to develop improved tools for planning consultation.

Flora leads on design value on the UK Collaborative Housing Evidence Centre (CACHE) and has produced a series of reports on design value and the impact of COVID 19 on homes and neighbourhoods with the team there. She is also a co-investigator on RE-DWELL a Marie Curie Innovative Training Network project led by La Salle in Barcelona.

 Urban Living Projects

Outputs / Publications

Flora Samuel, ‘Plan Voisin’, in David Leatherbarrow (ed.) The Companions to the History of Architecture, Wiley, Volume 4, 2017. 

Rowena Hay, Flora Samuel, Kelly J. Watson, Simon Bradbury, ‘Post-occupancy evaluation in architecture: experiences and perspectives from the UK’, Building Research and Information, May 2017,

Flora Samuel, ‘Suburban Self Build’, Field, 2, 2008, pp.111-125.

Rowena Hay, Simon Bradbury, Dylan Dixon, Kat Martindale, Flora Samuel, Alex Tait, Building Knowledge: Pathways to Post-Occupancy Evaluation (April 2017), RIBA/University of Reading

Flora Samuel, Nishat Awan, Carolyn Butterworth, Sophie Handler, Jo Lintonbon, AHRC Cultural Value of Architecture in Homes and Neighbourhoods Report (July 2014).

RIBA Home Improvements Report on Housing Research in Practice (publication October 2013). ISBN 978-0-9576914-5-2

Flora Samuel, Laura Coucill 2014, Home Improvements Knowledge Exchange in the Creative Economy Final Report . Additional outputs of the Home Improvements Project:

Selected Invited Reviews:


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