Dr Chris Cottrell


Dr Chris Cottrell is practising spatial designer and Program Coordinator of Spatial Design at MADA

His research explores our relationship to the built environment, with a focus on helping us to recognise and care about the subtle or invisible forces that influence the world around us. Working with air, pressure, breath, movement, textiles, optical effects, sound and listening, the broader question is one of how we can create meaningful relationships to our surrounding environments. He is currently designing new environments for living and studying in collaboration with people on the autism spectrum.

Dr Cottrell’s research practice is inherently relational, prioritising collaboration with other participants and drawing out opportunities from material and contextual cues. He describes this practice as ‘architectural judo’, a transversal practice that operates across installation and performative art, architecture, interior design and writing. This practice is informed by his PhD studies at RMIT University, his professional training in Architecture (University of Auckland) and Masters in Fine Art (Edinburgh College of Art).

He has exhibited extensively in New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom and held international artist residencies in Slovenia, Scotland and New Zealand. His writing has been published in Leonardo, IDEA Journal, International Journal of Interior Architecture + Spatial Design and Interstices: Journal of Architecture and Related Arts. Research activities are archived at architecturaljudo.org