He works as a journalist and critic for Architects Journal, Architectural Review, Dezeen, the Guardian, the London Review of Books, New Humanist and Prospect. He is the author of several books: Militant Modernism (Zero, 2009), A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain (Verso, 2010), Uncommon – An Essay on Pulp (Zero, 2011), Across the Plaza (Strelka, 2012), A New Kind of Bleak – Journeys through Urban Britain (Verso 2012), which was set to music by the group Golau Glau; Landscapes of Communism (Penguin 2015), The Ministry of Nostalgia (Verso, 2016),Trans-Europe Express (Penguin 2018) and The Adventures of Owen Hatherley in the Post-Soviet Space (Repeater, 2018).
He also edited and introduced an updated edition of Ian Nairn’s Nairn’s Towns (Notting Hill Editions, 2013), and wrote texts for the exhibition Brutalust: Celebrating Post-War Southampton, at the K6 Gallery. Between 2006 and 2010 he wrote the blog ‘Sit Down Man, You’re a Bloody Tragedy’. He is the culture editor of Tribune.