Live Sites Cambridge University

Live Sites teaching at Cambridge University

In 2014 I applied for the role of design fellow at Cambridge University and am now in my fifth year teaching on the course. Between 2014-2019, we worked with real clients on real projects. We set groups of students up with organisations who need help with their work.

Each year we found projects that provided students with a broad experience of what architecture can whist ensuring the programme meets the learning outcomes for the course. The projects benefited the organisations directly through the hands-on and design work provided by the students.

Our involvement as a university also enables the client to lever additional resources and support.

As an example, of this practice, we worked with the Cambridge Cyrenians on their allotment site, which they run with and for rough sleepers in Cambridge.  Our students worked with the client group to design and build needed structures. The team designed, developed and delivered the buildings in two months as well as raising over one-third of the budget themselves.

Within the projects, we addressed CDM, costings and fundraising, supply chains, client relationships, professional standards, working with the design team, PR and project management. Each year there is some aspect that has challenged my professional understanding and helped me to grow as an architectural professional. Teaching feeds my design thinking and my ability to learn from others and has had a profound effect on my practice. In turn, experience in practice continually adjusts and feeds into my teaching.

First Year Live Projects

2018-19 A place to Meet, Empty Common Allotments, Cambridge

2017-18 A place to Study, Queens College Cambridge

2016-17 A space to Play, Cambridge University Junior School

2015-16 Growing Spaces, Cyrenians Allotment Project Cambridge

2014-15 Percussive Wall, Cambridge Junction.