Collaboration for innovation in housing: The role of the civic university in delivering new homes in the city

Columbano, Alessandro and Jones, Matthew (2020) Collaboration for innovation in housing: The role of the civic university in delivering new homes in the city. In: AHRA Housing and the City, 19-21 November 2020, Nottingham.

Columbano-Jones_Collaborative Self Build_BCU.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (2MB)


This paper discusses the interactions between universities, local authorities and practices in the creation of new housing in the city. Through case studies drawn from the Birmingham School of Architecture and Design from 1950 and the present, the paper sets out to explore the collaborative potential of the civic university in developing innovative housing solutions.
The Birmingham School of Architecture and Design pioneered ‘live projects’ as a pedagogic model in schools of architecture in the UK and as part of this programme delivered a number of innovative housing projects in collaboration with the public sector.
The School continues the tradition of live projects through its more contemporary initiative, The Co\\aborative Lab:oratory (Co.LAB). The module brings together students from across a range of disciplines, academics and external partners to work on inter and trans-disciplinary projects through collaborative working approaches. Working with Cherwell District Council’s Build! Team, Co.LAB has led the development of a low carbon timber frame self-build housing system. Continuing the tradition of learning by doing, students tested the system at 1:1 scale. Working with the council, a full prototype is under development for construction.
By comparing historic archival knowledge with our case study, the paper seeks to highlight the challenges and virtues of university-public sector collaboration as a means to deliver innovative outcomes. It makes a case for greater role in collaboration between the university and public sector as a means to develop alternative models of housing in the city.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
23 April 2020Accepted
21 November 2020Completed
Uncontrolled Keywords: housing; city; self-build; live projects; Co.LAB
Subjects: CAH13 - architecture, building and planning > CAH13-01 - architecture, building and planning > CAH13-01-01 - architecture
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Design and Media > Birmingham School of Architecture and Design
Depositing User: Matthew Jones
Date Deposited: 27 May 2021 08:56
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2022 13:21

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


In this section...