• York Street, Belfast Campus

    BT15 1ED Belfast

    United Kingdom

1995 …2021

Research activity per year

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Personal profile


Dr Saul Golden RIBA, SFHEA, is a Lecturer in Architecture and Spatial Design at Ulster University’s Belfast School of Architecture and the Built Environment. He holds a BSc in Architecture from the University of Virginia and a MArch-Urban Design degree from University of Washington with his RIBA Part III from the Bartlett University College London. He has over 25 years international experience across architecture, interior, and urban design in the US, UK, Europe, and Africa, including with Perkins Eastman, NY, and as Associate of Gensler, London, prior to academic roles at Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University. 

His 2016 PhD, Beyond Architecture: Other Influences on Approaches to Practice and Urban Space, uniquely examined the changing nature of architecture agency. In 2016, he established the Urban Research Lab, applying transdisciplinary and performative tactics to shape and co-construct meaning in shared urban spaces.  He was PI for a 2017 GCRF Pump-prime project Sustainable Design and Shared Space, investigating integrated architecture-water-energy approaches to basic survival needs and inequality in Ghana with collaborators from the Institute for Industrial Research, Mustard Architecture, Just Ghana, and The Cooper Union in New York. His professional and academic roles further overlap in his expertise in healthcare design and healthy-communities research, including as Project Architect (with Kennedy FitzGerald & Assocites, Belfast) for the Altnagelvin Laboratory and Pharaceutical Services Centre; as Consultant to Kennedy FitzGerald for the design stages of the Ulster Hospital, Belfast; as Consultant and Whitepaper author for Ideal Standard (Plc) and Armitage Shanks UK; and as PI for a 2021 funded healthy cities and planning partnership, Belfast-THRI(VES), with Belfast City Council.

Saul currently has four PhD supervision roles across architecture, urban design, intergenerational healthy communities, engineering, art-practice, graphic design and social sciences topics address health, design, and sustainability on projects in the UK, Europe, Central and South America, and China.

Saul enjoys a strong international professional network including recognition for his practice Gillespie-Golden Architects and peer-elected roles as RIBA and RSUA Council Trustee from 2016-19. He serves on the RIBA Research Grants Sub-Committee and is a visiting researcher with the Bamford Centre for Mental Health and Wellbeing, External Examiner for BA Design at Florence Institute for Design International, and Co-Chairs the Smart and Healthy Cities Cluster of the All-Island Ireland Center for Global Research.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

Education/Academic qualification

Higher Education Academy

Award Date: 3 Mar 2017


1 Jan 200920 Apr 2016

Award Date: 20 Apr 2016

University College London

… → 29 Jun 1999

Award Date: 29 Jun 1999

Master, University of Washington

Sep 199413 Jun 1997

Award Date: 13 Jun 1997

Bachelor, University of Virginia

Sep 198817 May 1992

Award Date: 17 May 1992

University of Liverpool

Aug 1995Dec 1995

External positions

External Examiner - Interior Architecture, Griffith College

Nov 2019 → …

External Examiner-Design-Florence Institute of Design International, University of Chester

Nov 2017 → …

Invited Committee Member - Research & Grants Sub-Committee, RIBA

Oct 2016 → …

Director-Trustee, Royal Institute of British Architects


Director-Trustee, Royal Society of Ulster Architects


Strategic Design Group, Ministerial Advisory Group (MAG), Department for Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL)


Director-Trustee, Place, The Architecture and Built Environment Centre for Northern Ireland

Oct 2012Nov 2018


  • NA Architecture
  • Spatial Planning
  • Urban Design
  • Architecture
  • Shared Space
  • Healthy Communities
  • Ageing Populations
  • Sustainability
  • Placemaking
  • Interior Design
  • Ageing-in-place
  • H Social Sciences (General)
  • agency
  • critical spatial practice
  • identity
  • habitus


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