Professor Rosa Urbano Gutierrez is the latest appointment to be made at Manchester School of Architecture.

Joining the team on 1 June as a Professor in Architecture, Urbano Gutierrez has been a registered architect in Spain since 2003.

Her research lies at the interface between sustainable architectural design and material technology, with an emphasis on the impact of innovative environments on building occupants – looking at comfort, perception and wellbeing.

As the founding director of the Environmental Ceramics for Architecture Laboratory (ECAlab, 2011) and HouseLab (2020), her research has developed new methodologies for optimising the integration of ecological performance in the design process.

As part of her new role, she will be establishing a new atelier called ‘Non-Standard Habitats’, which will use research by design to reimagine the ways we live and the kinds of spaces we use.

The atelier will allow her to further develop key areas of her research, which in recent years has focused on how materials can inform the environment; designing therapy spaces for young people with autism and other neurodiverse conditions; and how biophilic design can connect humans to nature via the built environment.

“I’m really excited about the new role and putting together a new atelier,” said Urbano-Gutierrez.

“I’ve always been very interested in research-led design and Non-Standard Habitats will enable us to design environments that better suit our needs as humans and support our health and wellbeing.

“Being in Manchester and collaborating with local communities is also something I’m looking forward to. It’s such a vibrant place, with great architecture and lots being built all the time. Unlike London, where the city is saturated, Manchester has so much space and scope for things to happen.”

Professor Kevin Singh, Head of Manchester School of Architecture said of the appointment, “Our search engaged with over 100 academics from around the world and so we are delighted that Rosa will be joining us to form and lead a new Atelier.

“The Atelier will offer our students even more choice in the final year of the BA and in the M.Arch, as they select thematic areas to work within to inform their career choices. Rosa’s area of expertise will also open up new research areas for the School and provide leadership and a focal point for other staff who are researching in similar areas.”

Formerly, Urbano Gutierrez was a Reader in Architecture at The University of Liverpool and has conducted research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2008-10), Harvard University (2006-8) and the Polytechnic University of Madrid (2003-5, 2009-12).