Alastair Blyth

Alastair is Assistant Head, School of Architecture and Cities, University of Westminster.

His main research focus is learning environments, working with policy makers, clients, designers and educators on creating effective learning environments. He regularly speaks at international conferences and seminars about the importance of the design of the environment.

Alastair spent five years as a policy analyst at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in the Centre for Effective Learning Environments. His focus at the OECD  was on innovative design of physical learning environments, procurement and higher education buildings in city and regional development.

At the University of Westminster (2003–2007) he ran a research programme in the department of property and construction. He taught in the School of Architecture on the professional practice programme and on the post graduate programmes on design management and construction law.

In private practice he specialised in project briefing working on a range of education and commercial projects. For the UK’s Design Council (1997–1999) he explored the design processes involved in developing sustainable schools. In his early career he was an editor and journalist for the Architects’ Journal and the RIBA Journal.

Alastair  is a UK registered architect, an Academician at the academy of Urbanism and a member of Chatham House.

Alastair Blyth BSc (Hons) Dip Arch (UCL) MA RIBA FRSA AoU

Hiral Patel

Hiral’s research, teaching and consultancy aims to better understand clients and users of the built environment. She has research expertise in the themes of learning environments, socio-material practices, building performance, organisational spaces and adaptation of buildings. Based on her doctoral research on academic libraries, Hiral has undertaken consultancy projects on higher education spaces including a horizon scanning project for Higher Education Design Quality Forum. Her research on the DEGW archive aimed at theorising the relationship between organisation and space through engaging with a community of workplace thought leaders.  Her current ESRC Impact Accelerator project with leading UK architectural practices aims to develop new ways of designing higher education spaces and co-create a research agenda for future learning environments that are fit for the fourth industrial revolution.


Fiona Young

Fiona is an architect and researcher in the field of learning environments. She is a Studio Director of Hayball Architects in Sydney where her role involves supporting educators and architectural teams bridge understandings around pedagogy and space in the development of educational environments.

As part of the Innovative Learning Environments and Teacher Change (ILETC) project at the Learning Environments Applied Research Network (LEaRN), University of Melbourne, Fiona’s research focus is on the affordances of learning environments for student deep learning.

She has particular interests in translational thinking between cultural and educational sectors, stakeholder engagement and the development of teacher spatial literacy to enhance the use of new learning spaces.

Fiona is a member of the Government Architect New South Wales (GANSW) State Design Review Panel. She regularly engages with industry via conference presentations, workshops and publications. Fiona is a past Chair of the New South Wales Chapter of Learning Environments Australasia and has held various roles within the organisation at chapter, regional and global levels.

John Worthington

John Worthington is Co-Founder of DEGW and Director of The Academy of Urbanism. He was Professor of Architecture and Director of the Institute of Advanced Architectural Studies,The University of York (1992–97); Visiting Professor, University of Sheffield(1997–2007), Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg (2000–2003) Professorial Fellow University of Melbourne (2007–2009). Board member London Thames Gateway Development Corporation (2004 – 2009).

John’s current interests are the interrelationship between design and briefing with a specific focus on urban design and estates strategies. Throughout his career he has been concerned with supporting business organizations, institutions and public authorities in making the most effective use of resources by matching available space and buildings to organizational demands. He was responsible for the briefing and research for Stockley International Business Park, Heathrow; the regeneration of Carl Zeiss, Jena; Utrecht central station site: and the high building strategies for Rotterdam and Dublin.

John Worthington AA (Dip Hons) M Arch (PENN) FRIBA FRSA AoU

2 thoughts on “Authors

  1. Pingback: Briefing – the art of dialogue | Managing the Brief For Better Design

  2. Pingback: DEGW Archives: Paradise Lost and The Clever Developer - The Soft Build

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