Projects per year
Duncan has practised, researched, and taught around issues of sustainable design, the Circular Economy and closed-loop systems for over 25 years. He has worked on projects as diverse as 'The Greenwich Millennium Village' in London with Ralph Erskine, the RIBA’s ‘House of the Future’, and more recently the multi-award-winning New Country House & Estate Master Plan in Hadlow Down East Sussex. Author of ‘The Re-Use Atlas: a designer’s guide towards a circular economy’ published by RIBA, he is perhaps best known for a series of thought-provoking ‘house’ projects testing issues of sustainable design and resource management including 'The House that Kevin Built’ in 2008 and ‘The Brighton Waste House’ in 2014.
Duncan is currently the Principal Investigator for two separate Interreg research programmes. One considers the viability of local waste flows to be processed into insulation for the social housing sector. The other, in partnership with Rotor DC of Brussels tests ideas associated with deconstructing late 20th Century/ early 21st Century buildings and re-constructing them. He lectures widely on issues relating to sustainable development and the circular economy in the design and construction industries. In December 2018 Duncan delivered a keynote address ‘Designers can save Planet Earth’ at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change at Imperial College. He is the curator of the annual ‘Waste Zone’ at FutureBuild; a three-day symposium and exhibition focusing on discussing many of the most pressing issues presenting the emerging concept of Circular Cities, involving over 50 invited speakers including Prof. Walter Stahel, Prof. Michael Braungart, Clare Ollerenshaw (LWARB), Gillie Hobbs (BRE), Dr. Zoe Laughlin (Inst.of Making) and David Benjamin of New York’s ‘The Living’.
Duncan’s research tests the viability of a number of practices and materials, recognising the potential of discarded “waste” as a valuable resource in the future of construction, as well as live projects as valuable teaching aides. Through his projects he fosters community development and regeneration, working with apprentice builders and students, informing young people of all ages as to their role in sustainable living. Duncan creates examples of community practice that, through the use of innovative techniques such as ‘resource mapping’ can redefine what local materials are and match them with local skills and trades.
Duncan has taught at both undergraduate and post-graduate level since 1994, recently running an undergraduate design studio at the School of Architecture & Design, as well as coordinating undergraduate Technology & Professional Practices modules. His research practice informs his teaching, and vice versa. Duncan recently coordinated the design and construction of the multi-award-winning Brighton Waste House with over 360 undergraduate students, volunteers, and apprentices. As well as being a successful ‘live project’ and pedagogic tool, it is also Europe’s first permanent building made of waste material and the host of a number of funded on-going research projects.
Duncan supervises and examines at PhD level and is available for supervision on topics that consider practices of sustainable design and closed loop systems at a variety of scales from investigations into waste and other sustainable material flows, one-off ‘live’ building projects, to testing strategies for Circular Cities & regions. His research tests the viability of a number of practices and materials, recognising the potential of discarded “waste” as a valuable resource in the future of construction, as well as live projects as valuable teaching aides. Through his collaborative projects he fosters community development and regeneration, working with apprentice builders and students, informing young people of all ages as to their role in sustainable living. He creates examples of community practice that, through the use of innovative techniques such as ‘resource mapping’ and co-design can redefine what local materials and circular systems are, and match them with local skills and trades.
Key Words: Circular Economy, Circular Cities, Sustainable Design, Closed-loop systems, Sustainable Architecture, Sustainable Materials, Re-Use, Reduce
Master, School of Architecture and Design
1 Oct 1990 → 7 Jun 1992
Award Date: 5 Jun 1992
Bachelor, Polytechnic of North London
25 Sep 1985 → 6 Jun 1988
Award Date: 19 Feb 1986
- NA Architecture
Research Output per year
Research output: Other contribution
Research output: Book/Report › Commissioned report
Research output: Book/Report › Book - authored
Activities per year