Costa Santos, Sandra


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Personal profile


Sandra Costa Santos is an architect and an academic, who graduated in Architecture (ETSAC, Spain) in 2000. Sandra practiced as an architect in UK and in Spain, until 2014. She first registered with the Architects Registration Board (ARB) in 2002, and then with the Colegio Oficial de Arquitectos de Galicia (COAG) in 2007. In 2011, Sandra was sought out to develop a bespoke CPD programme for the support office of the professional body for chartered architects in Galicia, Spain (CAT-COAG).    

Sandra has lectured since 2001 in a number of schools of architecture of various universities, including Robert Gordon University (UK), Northumbria University (UK), and CESUGA-University College Dublin (Spain), before joining University of Dundee as a full-time academic in 2018. Her scholarship has been validated by the relevant sector bodies in Spain (ACSUG) and in United Kingdom (HEA), where she became a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2015. She has been invited to deliver keynote presentations and to participate as external critic in interim reviews in Newcastle University and in Edinburgh University. She has also acted as External Examiner of the Architecture programmes in University College Dublin.

Following the completion of her PhD (2006), Sandra begun her research career in 2007. Directed by an interest on architectural space, her research is cross-disciplinary, and looks at the various ways in which architectural space is socio-culturally constructed and understood. Her approach to research is qualitative, and she is interested in both textual and visual methods. She has been a member of the Faculty Research Ethics Committee and Department Ethics Lead for Architecture & Built Environment in Northumbria University. Sandra is the principal investigator on the research project ‘Place and Belonging: what can we learn from Claremont Court Housing Scheme?’ which was awarded a grant in 2015 from the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC).


Architectural Design Projects

Architecture Research Methods

Architecture Dissertation


Place and Belonging: what can we learn from Claremont Court Housing Scheme? AHRC (2016-18). Principal Investigator. Co-Investigators: Vanessa May, Stephen Hicks (Manchester University). £247,777

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Research Output

Architectural identity and community formation: the case study of modernist Claremont Court housing scheme.

Costa Santos, S., Nov 2019, AHRA 2019: Architecture & Collective Life.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

  • Home and Community: Lessons from a Modernist Housing Scheme

    Costa Santos, S., Bertolino, N., Hicks, S., Lewis, C. & May, V., 1 May 2018, Oxford: Routledge. 124 p. (Routledge Focus)

    Research output: Book/ReportBook

  • Open Access
  • 168 Downloads (Pure)

    Researching the home using architectural and social science methods

    Lewis, C., May, V., Hicks, S., Costa Santos, S. & Bertolino, N., 31 Aug 2018, In : Methodological Innovations. 11, 2, p. 1-12 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 97 Downloads (Pure)

    Testing the Theory of 'Planned Communities': An exploration of the link between community design and everyday life through a participatory approach

    Bertolino, N. & Costa Santos, S., Nov 2018, Global Dimensions in Housing: Approaches in Design and Theory from Europe to the Pacific Rim. Day, K. & Cairns, G. (eds.). Libri Publishing

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter