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Dr Brian A McGrail

Dr Brian McGrail
Faculty of Social Sciences
The Open University
Milton Keynes MK7 6AA
+44 (0)1908 274066

Photograph of Brian Mcgrail

Brian A McGrail (The Virtual Remake of High-Rise Housing: Electronic Technology and Social Space) is Research Fellow in the Faculty of Social Sciences, Open University, Milton Keynes. His first degeree was in Political Science (Edinburgh, 1988). He subsequently studied part-time for a PhD in urban studies from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh (1997), with a specialisation in the changing social forms of housing provision, and has also benefited from working as research assistant to Michael Pryke on an 18-month ESRC project entitled 'The Changing Patterns of Financial Landownership'. Before and during his doctoral research he worked as a local government funded contract researcher and as an associate lecturer in the Department of Building Engineering and Surveying, Heriot-Watt University. The on-going goal of his research has been to use an interdisciplinary approach to investigate changing social relationships and their interaction with processes of spatial production, specifically the emergence of building typologies and methods of spatial design. The place of new electronic technologies within such processes are viewed as an integral part of his wider research interest in urban development.

He served on the editorial committee of Capital & Class from 1991 to 1994 and still acts as an editor for Common Sense; two journals for which he continues to write regular reviews and editorials. Publications include a joint study of Low Pay in West Lothian (1989), with Hugo Whitaker and Paul White, a critical appraisal of proposed restructuring in Scotland's water utilities (1993), and a critique of Susan Fainstein's 'The City Builders' (1996), in addition to two recent Working Papers on Financial Landownership, with Michael Pryke (1997, 1998). He has recently presented papers at 'Telecommunications & the City' (Athens, Georgia), and 'Surveillance: an Interdisciplinary conference' (John Moores, Liverpool), and is currently revising these for publication and writing a chapter for inclusion in a book on 'future living arrangements in an ageing society' (edited by Sheila Peace and Caroline Holland).


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