Urban Designer and planner David Rudlin and influential designer Ben Kelly are the two latest Visiting Professor appointments to be made at Manchester School of Architecture.

Former chair of the Academy of Urbanism, Rudlin is Director of Urban Design at Manchester Studio BDP – known for their work on notable local projects such as Manchester’s Victoria Station refurbishment and Oldham’s Town Hall - and previously served as Director of pioneering design practice URBED for over 30 years.

With roots going back to 1976, URBED was amongst a number of studios that pioneered the process of urban regeneration in the 1970s and 1980, specialising in sustainable urbanism, industrial heritage reuse and domestic retrofits. URBED and Rudlin would go on to be awarded the Wolfson Economic Prize for their work on designs for a 21st-century Garden City. Rudlin has also authored a number of reports into the future of urbanism, and writes a monthly column for BD Magazine.

Rudlin has previously collaborated with MSA on the URBED+ partnership, a collaboration between academia and practice that forms a vehicle for research, advocacy, education and public engagement for issues surrounding urbanism.

“Following on from the establishment in 2019 of URBED+ as an innovative vehicle for collaborative research and advocacy, we are delighted to further extend the school’s relationship with David Rudlin as our new Visiting Professor in Urbanism" said Lucy Montague, Programme Leader for MA Architecture and Urbanism at MSA. "David is a vital figure in his field. His influence is not only seen in the legacy of built masterplans across the UK but through the strength and prominence of his thought leadership which has impacted guidance, policy and practice internationally. His insights are built on an exceptional capacity for reflective practice and this very much reflects our ethos here – seeking to drive forward urban design thinking in ways that directly impact the reality of cities.”

Designer Ben Kelly has worked on projects across the UK, Asia and Europe, and is best known for his work on the interior design on Manchester’s legendary Hacienda nightclub, in addition to work for musical and artistic icons including The Sex Pistols, Factory Records and Vivienne Westwood. Work by Kelly is housed in the permanent collections of the V&A Museum and the British Council.

Kelly’s signature design elements – often described as post-industrial - include the use of International Orange and black and yellow stripes, which have been referenced by numerous designers and institutions, including Raf Simmons, Virgil Abloh and Yohji Yamamoto. Kelly continues to lead interior design practice Ben Kelly Design (BKD).

“It is just brilliant to be able to announce that Ben Kelly has been awarded the Visiting Professorship for the MA Architecture and Adaptive Reuse programme" said Sally Stone, Programme Lead for MA Architecture and Adaptive Reuse. "Ben is one of the most globally influential designers, responsible for the paradigm-changing Hacienda Club - once described as the ‘most famous night club in the world. His joyful, post-industrial, post-modern approach to adaptive reuse has proved to be absolutely revolutionary, and many of Ben’s major works are in Manchester, so it is great to be able to recognise his massive contribution to architecture, design and Manchester through this Visiting Professorship at the Manchester School of Architecture”


(Ben Kelly photo by Kasia Bobula)