Nic Clear

Nic Clear BA, DipArch

Nic Clear
BA, DipArch

Head of Department

Department of Architecture & Landscape

Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities

Nic Clear is a qualified architect and head of architecture and landscape at the School of Architecture, Design & Construction. Nic joined the University of Greenwich in 2011 having taught at the Bartlett School of Architecture for over 20 years, where he was programme director of MArch Architecture. He was also history and theory co-ordinator of the Masters in Architectural Design, and has taught in the UK, Europe, US and Canada.

Nic ran his own company, Clear Space, for many years before setting up the now-defunct General Lighting and Power whose work spanned pop promos, architecture, advertising campaigns and art installations. Having abandoned the 'corporate architectural complex', Nic now divides his time between teaching, writing fiction, performing, and making his own drawings and films.

Nic has been at the forefront of the use of the moving image in architecture and architectural education for over 15 years, developing skills and techniques in the production of a wide variety of projects from documentary programmes to highly speculative 'virtual' conceptions of space.

He has lectured widely on the use of video and animation in architectural practice, particularly at postgraduate level, and has run international workshops designed to explain the techniques and methodologies used in designing with and representing architectural ideas through the moving image

The work Nic has developed is unique within architecture and architectural education due to the way film, video, animation and motion graphics are utilised to generate, develop and represent architectural and spatial practices. This work has an extensive reputation and has been shown at international film festivals across Europe, Asia and the US.

  • Department Head
  • Postgraduate design tutor, Unit 15, postgraduate thesis tutor
  • Grand Challenge Cities: Leader
  • Stockwell Street Galleries Group

Nic research covers three main areas:

Architecture and science fiction

Architectural design, like science fiction, is always about the future. When an architect makes a proposition it is always assumed that it takes place in some imagined future. Architects nearly always assume that this future will be ‘better’ than the present, often as a consequence of what is being proposed, and in this sense all architecture is to a degree ‘utopian’.

Architecture and the moving image

In Nic’s research, film, animation and motion graphics facilitate the creation of new modalities of architectural space, representation and practice actively engaging with a wide variety of techniques, from traditional filming to sophisticated computer-generated imagery. The work produced demonstrates a unique approach to both content and form, and suggests a whole new series of possibilities for architectural production.

Architecture and its representations

Nic makes architectural representations about architectural representations. His drawings and texts are not for buildings; they are drawings and texts about drawings and texts. The reflexive nature of his research examines the processes and protocols of producing information in a digital and networked society. Through his research Nic aims to creatively explore the potential mis-readings of architectural information and drawing to create works that challenge the hermetic processes of architectural graphism.

Clear, N. (2014) ‘Architecture’ in Latham, R. (ed), ‘The Oxford Handbook of Science Fiction’, Oxford University Press.

Clear, N (2013) ‘Refreshingly Unconcerned With The Vulgar Exigencies of Veracity and Value Judgment: The Utopian Visions of Iain M Banks’ The Culture and Constant’ New Babylon’, in (ed) Watts, P. Chthonic Deluge, Design Ecologies no 3.1, Journal of ENIAtype Architecture.

Clear, N. (2013) ‘Drawing Time’, in Spiller, N (ed), Drawing Architecture. Architectural Design, Chichester. John Wiley and Sons.

Clear, N. (2013) ‘The Persistence of the Pastoral’, in Titman, M (ed), The New Pastoralism: Landscape into Architecture. Architectural Design, Chichester. John Wiley and Sons.

Clear, N. (2012) One, Or Several Houses, Clear, N. Catalogue essay for Do So Huh ‘Home Within a Home’, Leeum Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea

Clear, N. (2011) ‘The Politics Of Protocell Architecture’. in Armstrong,R., Spiller,N. (ed.) Protocell Architecture. Architectural Design, Chichester: John Wiley & Sons

Clear, N. (2009) Architectures of the Near Future, Clear,N. (ed.) Architectural Design Vol 79 no 5. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.

Clear,N., Borden,I (2009) ‘Urbanisms’. in Borden,I., Allen,L.,O'Hare,N., Spiller,N. (ed.) Bartlett Designs: Speculating With Architecture. Chichester: Wiley.

Clear, N (2009) ‘A Performed Line’. Chapter 17 in Lieberman,O., Stark,G (ed.) -ing spatialacts. Circulating Objects series. Series edited by Lieberman,O. Canterbury, CSA.

Clear, N. (2008) Adjacencies: innovative practices in spatial design and education, Clear,N., Stark,G. (ed.) Circulating Objects series. Series edited by Oren Lieberman. Canterbury: CSA

Clear, N. (2007) 'Five Concepts Drawings' and 'Notes on Drawing Drawings' in AVATAR (ed) Spiller, N. Haecceity Critical Architectural Theory, www.Haecceityinc.com

Clear, N. (2005) ‘I Love CAD’. Chapter 10 in Hardingham,S. (ed.) The 1970's Is Here And Now. Architectural Design, Vol 75 no2, Chichester: John Wiley & Sons

Clear, N. (2005) ‘Concept Planning Process Realisation: The Methodologies of Architecture and Film’. Chapter 16 in Sheil,R (ed.) Design Through Making.. Architectural Design Vol 75 no 3, Chichester: John Wiley & Sons

Clear, N. (2003) Constant Architecture Dementia’. Chapter 22 in Beschoor-Plug,H., Lohrmann,K. (ed.) Clear Skies with Patches Of Grey. TU Berlin, 104-107.

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Conference presentations

Clear, N. 2013. Ludic Architectures/Ludic Landscapes. In: New Architectures/New Landscapes, University of Greenwich 20 September 2013, London.

Clear, N. 2013. Refreshingly Unconcerned With The Vulgar Exigencies of Veracity and Value Judgment: The Utopian Visions of Iain M Banks’ The Culture and Constant’ New Babylon’. In: The State of the Culture, Brunel University, 11 September 2013, Uxbridge.

Clear, N. 2013. Architecture and Animation. In: Revisiting Form: Architecture, Socialism, Modernism. Baltic Arts Centre, 12 April 2013, Newcastle.

Clear, N. 2013. ‘Special Circumstances: The Utopian Architectures of Iain M Banks and Constant Nieuwenhuys. In: Future Cites 2, University of Greenwich, 11 April 2013, London.

Clear, N. 2012. Spaces For Design, Spaces For Theory In: Spaces For Architectural Education, University of Greenwich, 21 September 2012, London

Clear, N. 2011. The Architecture of the City as Science Fiction. In: Future Cites Conference, University of Greenwich, 19-20 April 2012, London.

Clear, N. 2011, Architecture and Animation. In: Design Ecologies: The Ill Defined Niche, Royal College of Art Sculpture Department, 25 November 2011, London.

Clear, N. 2012, Cities 2030. In: Work Rest and Play, National Conference on Urban Design, University of Greenwich, 20 October 2011, London.

Clear, N. 2010. JG Ballard is an Enemy of The Architectural Profession. In: Ballardian Architecture: Inner and Outer Space, Royal Academy, 15 May 2010, London.

Clear. N. 2010. The Politics of Protocell Architecture’. In: Architecture and Unconventional Computing, Building Centre, 26 February 2010, London.

Clear, N. 2009. The Near Future. In: Credit Crunch House, CABE, Bartlett School of Architecture, 8 September 2009, London.

Clear, N. 2009. Architectures of the Near Future. In: Thrilling Wonder Stories, Architectural Association, 29 May 2009, London.

Clear, N. 2009. Synthetic Space. In: Architecture and Complexity, Bartlett School of Architecture, 9 January 2009, London.

Clear, N. 2008. Post-post, after After-Effects: Spending the Afternoon with Andrew Kramer from videocopilot.net. In: Time and Motion, University of the Creative Arts, 25 November 2008, Canterbury.

Exhibitions

Group Show: ‘Unlikely Union’, Stringer Gallery, London 2013

Film Screening: ‘Best of Unit 15 2010-2011’, Alphaville Digital Arts Festival, Vortex Jazz Cafe, London 2011

Film Screening: ‘Best of Unit 15 2009-2010’, Alphaville Digital Arts Festival, Whitechapel Gallery, London 2010

Solo Exhibition: Vectorw*rks, Bartlett School of Architecture, London 2010

Film Installation: ‘Manifesto For Protocell Architecture’, World Architecture Forum, Barcelona 2009

Film Screening: ‘Grand Challenge of Sustainable Cities’, UCL, London 2009

Film Screening: ‘A History of UCL’, Lord Mayor’s Show 2008, London 2008

Film Installation: ‘I Remember David Greene’, L.A.W.u.N. Project 20, Architectural Association London 2008

Film Screening ’10 Years of Unit 15’, Barbican Cinema London 2008

Group Show ‘The King and I’, Herbert Read Gallery, Canterbury 2008

Film Screening: ‘FHTE’, ‘Fantasy Cities’, Roxy Cinema, London 2007

Group Show: ‘Synthetic Space’, Bartlett School of Architecture 2007

Exhibition: Last Summer; Selected Bartlett Work at the Royal Academy Summer Show 2006, [conceived and organised by Nic Clear], Bartlett School of Architecture

Group Show, ‘Units Moved’, Yard Gallery, London

Group Show: Royal Academy Summer Show 2006, Royal Academy, London

Solo Exhibition: ‘CAD Monkey’, Govett Kerr Gallery, London

Film Screening, ‘Strange Space’, Bartlett School of Architecture

Browse our publications database