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A close-up of James Graham building, Headingley Campus

Design and Ecological Engineering


Design and Ecological Engineering

We are increasingly aware of the role ecological services play in the maintenance of human life and well-being. Oxygen, healthy soils, clean water, fuelwood, pollination, food production, rural amenities and many other vital support systems are dependent on the careful design and management of sustainable human and natural ecosystems. 

This research theme is focused on:

  • Developing and promoting the planning, design and implementation of integrated solutions compatible with permanently healthy ecosystem services.

Research Expertise:

  • Emma Oldroyd
    Emma is a Chartered Landscape Architect and Senior Lecturer in Landscape Architecture and Urban Design.
  • Trudi Entwistle
    Trudi practices both as an artist and landscape architect. Her artwork lies somewhere between the boundaries of land art, sculpture and design. It is site specific and investigates how sculptural forms integrate with their surroundings, interacting with human movement and the changing elements of light, weather, natural growth and decay.
  • Alan Simson
    Alan Simson is a chartered landscape architect and urban forester. Currently, he is a Reader in Landscape Architecture and Urban Forestry.
  • Tom Bliss
    Tom's main area of activity lies in the overlap between ecology, landscape design, architecture, planning, urban geography and urban design.

Case Studies

Back to Front: Front Gardens that Look and Taste Better
Leeds Beckett University has completed the Back to Front manual to promote front garden food growing. This successful project was driven in partnership with Leeds City Council and NHS Leeds.

For more information please visit our research case studies web pages
Infra was created to make change and develop designs and policies that make an effect. From the regional to the local, across disciplines, ranging from blue sky, far-out research to near market design and consultancy, we aim to design a better world.

For more information please visit our research case studies web pages
Look at Art, Lock in Carbon
Building upon the emerging partnership between Leeds Beckett University and The Hepworth, Wakefield, an internship of ten students from across the School of Art, Architecture and Design was created to form the ‘Hepworth Fringe Team’.

For more information please visit our
research case studies web pages
New Wortley Community Centre

New Wortley Community Centre is a sustainable new building in a disadvantaged area of Leeds that is based on designs by Leeds Beckett Architecture student, Vahagn Mkrtchyan.

The Project Office worked with New Wortley Community Association to secure more than £800,000 of grant funding to design and construct the building, and the construction phase began in August 2015. It contains community-managed functions that will enable the centre to expand its reach, provide more resources for the community and sustain itself financially in the future.

Simon Warren, a Senior Lecturer in the School of Art, Architecture and Design and Co-Director of Project Office, commented: “New Wortley Community Centre is a hub of activity and is hugely valued by the community since its opening in 1983. It's at the heart of New Wortley and in urgent need of additional space. The new multi-purpose building will contain community led commercial functions such as a café, shop and meeting rooms that will enable the centre to expand its reach and sustain itself in the future.”

Bryan Bloom, Chairman of New Wortley Community Association, said: "The board of New Wortley Community Association is delighted to be working in partnership with Leeds Beckett School of Architecture on this exciting project. The new building will provide a much-needed boost to the local community which will improve the quality of life for local residents.”

Social and Resilient Design for Sustainable Communities

Project Office is an architecture consultancy that provides a full architectural service and is a collaboration of staff and students concerned with ethical, social, and resilient architectural design and research.

Project Office is co-directed by Craig Stott and Simon Warren, senior lecturers in the School of Art, Architecture and Design at Leeds Beckett. Simon is a registered Architect with twenty five years of experience in delivering projects and Craig originally trained as a structural engineer before diversifying into architecture. With full Professional Indemnity Insurance, Project Office is able to oversee any site works as project architects.

Working with communities, charitable organisations, education providers, local authorities and individuals concerned with ethical and socially resilient architecture and design, Project Office is focused on the learning of future architects and the delivery of real projects, ethically, for its clients.

For more information please visit our Business Consultancy web pages.

The Urbal Mapping Project
Tom Bliss’ film 'The Urbal Fix' presented a potential spatial framework for metropolitan resilience by filtering 'pre-car' planning theories through Continuous Productive Urbal Landscape theory.

For more information please visit our
research case studies web pages.
The White Rose Forest

Working in the UK and in Europe for many years, we have researched the benefits an urban forest can provide. These benefits can be environmental, financial, social and cultural, and are now acknowledged to be fundamental for the delivery of ecosystem services and the health, happiness and well-being of people in our expanding towns and cities.

The aim of the White Rose Forest partnership was to create a sustainable and well-wooded landscape for the benefit of people, the economy and wildlife of West Yorkshire; landscape being defined not as ‘a nice view’ but as ‘the composition of our world’. The WRF is now a leading member of the Yorkshire West Local Nature Partnership [LNP].

Over the past 15 years, the project has achieved many of its targets and gained industry-wide recognition. It has attracted more than 30 partners from the public, private and voluntary sectors, and is on course to plant a target of 4,000 hectares by 2016.

Trans-disciplinary Research: Urbal Group. A wide-ranging project (involving LSi, Leeds University, Permaculture UK and local organisations) to examine the potential for productive, linked green space and new urban systems.

For more information please visit our research case studies web pages
Urban Forestry/ Landscape Urbanism
The urban forestry/landscape urbanism work carried out at Leeds Beckett University started in earnest in 1997 with the EU’s COST Action E12 Urban Forest and Trees, led by Alan Simson, Leeds beckett, on behalf of the UK.

For more information please visit our research case studies web pages.