Skip Navigation

About the Atelier

There is a long standing debate in architectural theory over the role of architecture in social critique and how and how much architecture can contribute to social change and progress - Rem Koolhaas recently declared 'a plausible relationship between architecture and the social' still needs to be established.

Our work attempts to connect architecture and the social in the most plausible way: by connecting architects and society - The desire to meet people outside of the discipline and outside of the school is an essential response to our investigation of the nature of architectural practice which addresses the challenges of the contemporary world. We question the nature of architectural practice in the context of the ideology of sustainability and 'the big society' and the facts of increasingly urbanised and aged population; but also in terms of changes to the profession itself - The number of famous 'Major' architects has remained fairly consistent over the last 150 years but the number working in the profession has grown forty fold .

Through a series of creative and collaborative engagements involving a diverse range of invitees we work directly with people of all ages who are affected by and who affect a city's development, including its policy makers and social agencies. We have structured the unit to be open to be affected by these unusual meetings and encounters and use these engagements to develop ideas, inspirations and projects. The students' work has real impact on people and policy while we gain important skills and confidence, developing projects with real social contexts, which can be interrogated and debated.

Our studies are normally focused on The City of Manchester, but we are currently also collaborating with partners in Berlin and Brussels are part of an international network of design research into inclusive urbanism.


Continuity in Architecture

Atelier Staff

Dr Stefan White
Senior Lecturer

Helen Aston
Senior Lecturer

Stephen McCusker
Associate Lecturer

Emily Crompton
Manchester Age Friendly Neighbourhoods (MAFN) Project Coordinator

Mark Hammond
Manchester Age Friendly Neighbourhoods (MAFN) Project Coordinator


Centre for Spatial Inclusion

MSA Projects - Sharing the City