Dr Dermott John James Mc Meel


Dermott McMeel is a lecturer and researcher in Design and Digital Media at the University of Auckland. He has degrees in Architecture from the Queens University in Belfast (1995, 1999) and a PhD (The Artistry of Construction) from the University of Edinburgh (2009).

Dermott’s research focuses on the social, organisational and cultural disruption that technology causes in the built environment. He has sustained a critical enquiry into how architecture, public space and design processes are influenced by communication technology through a variety of installations, funded research, journal articles and conference publications.

Research | Current

Currently Dermott is a team member on a 6 year project researching the next generation of digital manufacturing materials and processes (NZ$ 12,000,000) funded by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment. Ongoing research is investigating: how fitness data affects our relationship with the built environment; how is artificial intelligence reshaping the home?; and in what way robotics change value systems in  the creative processes, including building design and construction.

Dermott was PI on ACEFutures, a research project investigating new technologies in the construction process, funded by the Building Research Association for New Zealand (NZ$65,000); PI on Digital Fieldnotes, an investigation into group working through locative media, funded by the University of Auckland (NZ$ 25,000). Dermott is also a member of the New Zealand National BIM Education Working Group, written advisory reports on innovation in the construction sector, and is Chair of the AECFutures thinktank supporting innovation in the construction sector.

Dermott is currently accepting PhD students interested in Robotics, Blockchain and AI research related to design and architecture.

Teaching | Current

  • Social, collaborative, experiential and philosophical implications of digital media
  • The influence of technology on the design/making process and the built environment
  • Locative media and the effect of mobile devices on the craft of design and construction, in both commercial and educational contexts

Postgraduate supervision

Dermott is currently supervising PhD's in:

  • The relationship between virtual and real spaces in architecture.
  • The impact of BIM on professional skills.
  • Digital fabrication: Increasing Value in the building industry through digital fabrication

Areas of expertise

  • Digital Design
  • Media and Culture
  • Robotics and creative processes
  • Value and Automation
  • BIM
  • Innovation and Disruptive Technologies

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Davies, K., Wilkinson, S., & McMeel, D. (2017). A review of specialist role definitions in bim guides and standards. Journal of Information Technology in Construction, 22, 185-203. Related URL.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/44379
  • McMeel, D. (2017). Material control: Reflections on the social and material practices of digital fabrication. Design Philosophy Papers, 15 (2), 103-117. 10.1080/14487136.2017.1375739
  • Kourteva, E., & Mc Meel, D. (2017). Entropy: Unpacking the form through post digital making. The Design Journal: An International Journal for all Aspects of Design, 20 (sup1), S172-S183. 10.1080/14606925.2017.1352726
  • Davies, K., McMeel, D., & Wilkinson, S. (2017). Making friends with Frankenstein: Hybrid practice in BIM. Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, 24 (1), 78-93. 10.1108/ECAM-04-2015-0061
  • McMeel, D., & Amor, R. (2016). Knitting patterns: Managing design complexity with computation. International Journal of Art, Culture and Design Technologies, 5 (2), 1-16. 10.4018/IJACDT.2016070101
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Robert Amor
  • McMeel, D. (2016). Space to think! Territory, the architectural uncanny and space management. Digital Creativity, 27 (3), 196-213. 10.1080/14626268.2016.1188828

Contact details

Primary office location

New Zealand

Social links

Web links