Educating radical practitioners: A case study of regenerative design on a UK High Street

Jones, Matthew and Doron, Holly and Orchard-Webb, Johanne and Presott, Lorna and Vowles, Hannah (2023) Educating radical practitioners: A case study of regenerative design on a UK High Street. ARENA Journal of Architectural Research, 8 (1). p. 7. ISSN 2397-0820

375-4440-2-PB.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (2MB)


Universities have a responsibility to educate future practitioners with the knowledge, skills and attributes to achieve the shift required to create regenerative futures. Engaging students in real-world problems and thinking creatively about teaching and assessment practices is vital in developing sustainability competencies while also positively contributing to social, environmental, and economic progression and regeneration of local communities. This paper presents an analysis of a live project collaboration between Birmingham School of Architecture & Design and CoLab Dudley, a social innovation lab based on Dudley High Street, in achieving these goals. The project, exploring regenerative futures for Dudley High Street 2030, engaged students, academics, collaborators and a wider network of local people in a two-way collaborative learning process, generating new knowledge toward positive change.

Using Tilbury and Mulà’s five principles of Education for Sustainable Development as a model, we analyse the collaboration to tease out the way in which the work might impact on the education of future practitioners. The research identifies a positive impact of real-life collaboration for students, academics and collaborators in nurturing the conditions for radicality and reveals the fertile conditions necessary for successful partnerships to develop. In going beyond technological solutions to consider the deep cultural changes required to achieve sustainable futures, the research reveals the potential of engaging students with real-world communities, social innovation processes, participatory partnerships and futures thinking can drive the transformation need to create radical practitioners ready to rise to the sustainability challenge.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number:
20 October 2022Accepted
17 April 2023Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sustainability; Pedagogy; Regenerative design; High Streets; Sustainable Design
Subjects: CAH13 - architecture, building and planning > CAH13-01 - architecture, building and planning > CAH13-01-01 - architecture
CAH25 - design, and creative and performing arts > CAH25-01 - creative arts and design > CAH25-01-01 - creative arts and design (non-specific)
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Design and Media > Birmingham School of Architecture and Design
Depositing User: Matthew Jones
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2022 11:26
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2023 10:38

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


In this section...