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I currently work 3 days a week teaching on both the Architecture undergraduate course (RIBA part 1) and the Masters level course (RIBA part 2). I am a studio lecturer and am involved in design projects primarily. My main interests lie in the realms of sustainable and community-oriented design processes. I am a member of the University’s Sustainability Forum.
I originally joined the University in 1998 as a part-time lecturer, whilst running my own small architectural practice in Hebden Bridge, specialising in sustainable, community projects. Prior to this I spent three and a half years living in Asia and Australia, both traveling and working, which has been one of the highlights of my life.
In 2007 I took a full time position in the University as Year one leader on the BA Architecture course, and was module leader for all the design and communication modules. However, in 2013 I asked for my hours to be reduced here after suffering health problems, and a want to pick up some community orientated work externally once again.
I am now the treasurer for a local CLT (Community land trust) whose remit is to get land into community trust to enable the building of affordable housing. We are looking to asset transfer land from our local council at a minimal cost, and are currently looking at 3 sites to develop; one for retirement bungalows, one for young people and one for a self build group (who I also shadow) with sport facility improvements.
I am also a core member of SOS Hebden Bridge, and we have been successful in blocking a planning application for a town centre supermarket, plus raising awareness of the benefits of shopping at independent, local businesses. Our next move is a project called ‘Keep Hebden Funky’, where we will be seeking to further embed educational ideas within the valley regarding local sustainability. This is also going to be the main driver in my PhD, which I am hoping to start in January 2015.
As mentioned previously, my main interests lie in the areas of sustainability and community.
In a day and age where we seem to be under threat from large corporation, and agro–agriculture powerhouses, there is an ever-growing movement towards community orientated ethical projects.
It is these projects that I am particularly fascinated with; the people, their ethical thinking, and the projects they procure. Not only are we looking at low impact living, but using products and companies that have an ethical vision that is to the benefit of the people and the planet, whilst still remaining economically viable. I am interested in the dreaming of a good and better future that fits with all these criteria. Yes, I want to save the world! And I know that I am part of a large body of like-minded people who actively strive towards this aim. Reassuring isn’t it!
However, how can we inspire, educate and involve more and more people in this vision? That is my research aim. I am lucky to live in an area where these viewpoints are common. Hebden Bridge is a thriving and active small town that nestles in the steep sided valley in West Yorkshire. The community here are successful in getting stainable and community led projects off the ground. It is also a main tourist attraction for this reason, and for the stunning countryside, artist community, and local, independent shops, so rare now in the UK. So, where better to start gathering information and further inspiring an active community before taking the educational tools explored here to other towns, to further educate the general public in the ideals of ethical processes.
My areas of expertise are in community sustainable projects. I am also utterly fascinated with architecture and have a particular interest in the use of Art in Architecture.
Recent Masters dissertation supervision has included topics on Straw Bail Building techniques; Comparisons of Green Building Standards; Designing Out Prostitution; and Community Markets in Nigeria, which run to coincide with Masters Design theses on Art Galleries, Cultural Centres, Waste Recycling Centres, and Community Educational Centres.
I currently teach on;
BA Architecture Year One; Design Studio 1 (TFA1840), Design Studio 2 (TFA 1841) and Personal Development 1 (TFA 1440)
Masters In Architecture Year One; Advanced Principles of Design (THA 1100), Advanced and Sustainable Technology (THA 1200), Integrated Urban Design and Architecture (TMA1603) and Advanced Architectural Design Studio (TMA1801)
Masters In Architecture Year Two; Masters of Architecture Dissertation (TMA1160), Masters of Architecture (International) Dissertation (TMA1502), Masters of Architecture Design Thesis (TMA1180), Masters of Architecture (International) Design Thesis (TMA1503) and Masters of Architecture Design Thesis Preliminary Study (TMA1170)