Leeds School of Arts

Professional Practice Symposium

In January the Leeds School of Architecture hosted a whole school Professional Studies Symposium to reconsider the Inter-disciplinary Landscapes of Architectural Production.

Prof studies symposium open lectures poster

Held on the 27th, the open event was attended by students across the subject area, and formed part of the PG Dip Architectural Professional Practice Course. The school welcomed a range of speakers who also engaged in an interesting Q and A session relating to the role and future forms of interdisciplinary practice , while the Keynote Evening Lecture by Rory Hyde focused on new forms of design practice for the public good.

Inter-disciplinary Landscapes of Architectural Production. The symposium looked the ever more diverse and dynamic landscapes of architectural production, culture and politics, and the wide range of tasks and modes of operation that architectural practitioners engage in besides traditional work in the architectural office. These included work in consultancy, facilitation, policy making, systems planning, event planning and curating, activist and charity work, artistic practices, community projects, journalistic and investigative work, educational work (schools, academia, adult learning), critical and academic writing and publishing.

Speaker: Ruth Morrow is Professor of Architecture and Director of Impact in the School of Natural and Built Environment at Queens University Belfast. She has been recognised for innovative approaches within Architectural Education and Research and is an engaged contributor to strategic discussions about the nature of architectural education and research within the profession. Her early-stage research was in the area of inclusive design and design pedagogy, but over the last few years she has focused on applied research based on an understanding of creative processes, inclusive and ecological strategies and pedagogical methodologies. Despite a strong commitment to theoretical and revisionist thinking, she finds, as an architect, she can only make sense of and resolve concepts within the realisation of the idea, hence her research is invariably project based with a variety of outputs, across product, exhibition, printed text and e-media. Her professional skills are underpinned by an activist and collaborative instinct. Research Areas are driven by an ethos that seeks to strengthen the connections between people and design and are currently focused on the interconnections and potentials between people, place, pedagogy and the socialisation of technology

Speaker: Akil Scafe-Smith is a designer and researcher from Streatham, South London. He is an alumni of the Arts & Science BASc at UCL and holds a master’s in building and Urban Design in Development from the Bartlett Development Planning Unit.

In 2016, with colleague and friend Gameli Ladzekpo, Akil formed RESOLVE, an interdisciplinary design collective that aims to address multi-scalar social challenges by combining architecture, art, technology and engineering. RESOLVE’s inaugural project was the Rebel Space pavilion, a temporary event space in the heart of Brixton that hosted 7 days of exhibitions, talks, screenings and music as part of the London Design Festival 2016. They have since gone on to deliver a series of projects and installations both in Brixton and internationally, in addition to curating workshops that introduce young people from under-represented backgrounds to STEM subjects and concepts in interdisciplinary design.

In 2018 he became part of the first cohort of Public Practice, an initiative supported by the Mayor of London that places a new generation of planners within local government to shape places for the public good. Under this initiative he is currently working as a Project Officer for Placemaking in the London Borough of Croydon’s Spatial Planning Team.

Speaker: Gayle Appleyard is co-founding partner of GAGARIN Studio and until recently Senior Lecturer at Leeds Metropolitan University. Her research explored the creative & sustainable re-modeling of existing buildings and Interior Architecture. Gayle has regularly co-ordinated live projects within academic studio practice, engaging students and clients to strengthen collaborative outcomes. Clients include Castleford Heritage Trust, Leeds City Varieties, Calderdale Council, Halifax Piece Hall, Hepworth Gallery & Leeds City Art Gallery. Although moving her focus back to practice recently, she continues her role as External Examiner and Academic advisor for a number of University Schools of Architecture.

Gayle is a graduate of the Royal College of Art and has worked for award winning, international architecture and interior design practices including Eva Jiricna Architects and HMKM as well as establishing her own practice, Red Apple whilst living in London. Her experience includes the design and project management of a range of retail, residential, commercial and workplace environments including Explosive Brand Agency, Joan & David Stores, Harvey Nichols (Leeds and Riyadh), Moschino, Hugo Boss and Valentino flagship stores around the world. She brings her extensive design skills, project management ability and professional experience of interior environments to the team.

Gayle is a CABE Built Environment Expert, supporting the Design Council in their work delivering high-quality design to places throughout England.


This event was part of our Architecture Open Lecture Series.

Keynote speaker: Dr Rory Hyde is a designer, curator and writer based in London. His work is focused on new forms of design practice for the public good, and redefining the role of the designer today. He is Curator of Contemporary Architecture and Urbanism at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne, and Design Advocate for the Mayor of London.

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