Staff / Becky Sobell
0161 247 6925
Becky is co-leader of the third year BA in Architecture, leads the BA3 atelier USE, and teaches in the art-focused masters atelier USE.
Previously a practicing landscape architect, Becky's design work has won national design awards.
Prior to studying landscape, Becky was a horticulturist in the UK and abroad, working in: private gardens in California; Hill House Nursery in Devon (former home to Edward Hyams, a famous garden writer and plantsman of his time); and co-running Hulme Community Garden Centre in Manchester.
She also has a degree in linguistics from the University of Manchester.
Her background in multiple disciplines has led to an interest in cross disciplinary working. She has collaborated with artists, scientists, engineers and other designers on arts residencies, research projects and built environment projects.
Her research interests include wilderness, urban wildness, collaborative practice, art + landscape.
Becky has co-supervised one PhD to completion. She is external examiner for the BA in Landscape Architecture at the University of Sheffield, and for the Graduate Diploma, Postgraduate Diploma and Masters in Landscape Architecture at Birmingham City University.
Becky's work was submitted to the Research Excellence Framework 2014.
A contemporary renaissance garden, Angel Field tells a narrative of development of mankind. Walking from the origins pool in the wild wood, through the orchard to a theatre garden; you will find morsels of prose and poetry linked to the site.
RIBA Northern Network Awards, Winner: Project of the Year 2011
Roses Award 2011
Civic Trust Award 2011
In the Orchard of ‘Dappled Things’ Country Life [UK] Project Article. September 2010
Cockermouth Market Place
The Georgian Market Place in the ancient town of Cockermouth is re-enlivened with a series of bespoke design interventions. Each bollard, manhole cover, and some of the paving slabs tell local stories unearthed during extensive historical research, and conversations with local people.
Landscape Institute Award 2009
NW Tourism Award 2009 – Public Space Award
A seafront park inspired by the meeting of coastal processes and the interventions used to control them, brings back Rhyl’s heritage in the form of colourful planting and a beachcombing experience. Awards: Civic Trust Award 2009 & Special Award for Hard Landscaping Best Place Making, National Roses Silver Design Award 2008, Landscape Institute Award, November 2008, Highly Commended. Project Publications: A Fresh Start for the UK’s Seaside. (2009) In ‘Landscape Design’ Magazine (China) The tide appears to be turning. (2008) In ‘Landscape’ journal of the Landscape Institute. More Details >>
Garden of Light
This glittering, opulent courtyard inspired by the architecture of the grade 2* listed building, contains the world’s first outdoor chandeliers. Awards: Best Residential Development April 2006, The Daily Post and Echo Property Awards. Best Place Making and Best Low Cost Project, National Roses Design Awards 2006. Exhibitions: Avant Gardeners Exhibition. The University of Applied Arts Vienna. More Details >>
Residency team member, July 15th - August 15th 2011. Organised by Colorado Art Ranch. Funded by Colorado Art Ranch & MIRIAD. A transdisciplinary collaboration to envision future uses for the Ute Ulay Mine. This project was of an art-science collaboration with seven artists, and seven scientists, resulting in a symposium to present the team’s collaborative recommendations in a public forum. More Details >>
NORTHLIGHT student residency
NORTHLIGHT was a collaborative residency for students from the Manchester School of Architecture and University of Manchester, School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering. Becky worked with InSitu socially engaged artists, and Dr Matin Gillie from the University of Manchester to consolidate creative landscape, architectural and engineering ideas for a new headquarters for InSitu. This was a live project, and the results will feed into the detailed designs for the site. Funded by Arts Council England. It was based in Brierfield in Lancashire, and ran from 20. More Details >>
The Fairytale of Burscough Bridge
The design celebrates the fascinating history of the area, expressed in a unique and contemporary style which was inspired by the simplicity and functionality of the canal and railway architecture, combined with the flamboyant spirit, colour, songs and traditions of the canalboats and the people who worked on them. Awards: Landscape Institute Award, November 2008 RTPI Award, November 2008 Exhibitions: BCA Landscape & Smiling Wolf, (2007). The Fairytale of Burscough Bridge. Chapel Gallery, Ormskirk Jan/Feb 2009 BCA Landscape & Smiling Wolf, (2007). The Fairytale of Burscough Bridge At: RENEW Rooms, Liverpool. More Details >>
The Ute Ulay Project
The Ute Ulay is an historically important inactive silver mine in a large wilderness area near Lake City, Hinsdale County, Colorado. There are proposals to develop it. The masterplan will provide a counterplan for the project, and will identify key elements. The initial part of the project ran from Feb 4th to April 14th 2012, and was based in Lake City, Colorado.
ResearchA selection of recent research outputs.
Sobell, B., Fries, H., Hoke, B., Lewandowski, J., McLeod, A., Moyer, L., Wysong, L.,, 2011. Hardrock Revision Collaborative Vision, Moseley Art Center, Lake City, Colorado, USA, 15-20th August.
Sobell, B. Thomson, A., Rhodes, S., 2009. The Fairytale of Burscough Bridge, Chapel Gallery, Ormskirk, 16 July - 14 September.
Sobell, B., Thomson, A., Rhodes, S., 2008. Avant Gardeners, Vienna Botanical Gardens Conservatory, Vienna, Austria, 1-15 June.
Sobell, B., Thomson, A., Rhodes, S., 2008. The Fairytale of Burscough Bridge, RIBA, RENEW Rooms, Liverpool, 15 - 25 September.
Sobell, B., 2007. All Go Digital, The Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, PR China, 15 - 30 May.
Sobell, B., 2007. Made in Manchester, Chinese Profile Art Museum, Xiamen City, PR China, 12 - 26 October.
Sobell, B., 2007. Manchester – Our Tradition is Innovation, The Art Museum, Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, 8 - 18 November.
Sobell, B., 2005. 18 Modern Originals, Centre for the Urban Built Environment, Manchester, UK, 16 - 29 July.
Sobell, B. and Cureton, P., 2012. 'Thinking Drawing: image typologies for processes in landscape architecture'. In Amoroso, N. (eds.) Representing Landscapes, 3, 16-21, Routledge: Oxon & New York.
Sobell, B. Hudson, J., 2016. 'Designed wildness: Unlocking the potential of urban wastelands', The Future of Wild Europe, University of Leeds, 11–14 September.
Sobell, B., 2012. 'A Mine In Formation', International Federation of Landscape Architects Congress, Cape Town, South Africa, 5 – 7 September.
Sobell, B., 2012. 'Manpower: Making Landscape in the Rocky Mountains', European Council of Landscape Architecture Schools Conference, Warsaw, Poland, 19 – 22 September.
Fries, H., Hoke, B., Lewandowski, J., McLeod, A., Moyer, L., Sobell, B., Wysong, L., 2011. 'Hardrock Revision Collaborative Vision', Hardrock Revision Symposium, Lake City, Colorado, USA., 15 August.
Sobell, B. and Cureton, P., 2011. 'Thinking Drawing; Aesthetic choice as ethical marker in student drawings', European Council of Landscape Architecture Schools Conference 2011: Ethics/Aesthetics, University of Sheffield, UK., 7 – 9 September.
Sobell, B. and Thomson, A., 2010. 'Influence and Identity: Articulating the Future', World in Denmark: As Found, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, 17-19 June.
Sobell, B., 2012. 'The Brief and Other Ridiculous Ideas'.