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Personal profile

Research interests

For several years Libby’s work has sat at the disciplinary and methodological intersection of architecture and medicine.  Her work explores the points of tension where medical and non-medical space come into focus, namely within Mental Health Services and Midwifery. Libby’s diploma dissertation (2010) was an enquiry into the disciplinary co-production of a midwife led birthing centre in Brent & Harrow.  A feminist reading of the body was adopted then and continues to be used as the point of intersection between professional disciplines, providing a bridge where the creation and critique of artefacts; the user experience or building proposals can be undertaken. 

This interest has informed an ongoing collaboration within Brighton in the Midwifery Programme, initially through options module development, and now as a series of ethnographically grounded birth space workshops, that use transdisciplinary co-design to reveal often-hidden disciplinary standpoints.  

Scholarly biography

Libby studied architecture at the University of Nottingham (BA Arch Hons) and the University of Westminster, under the tutelage of Murray Fraser (Graduate Diploma) and Stephen Brookhouse, (Professional Registration).  Libby has taught at the University of Brighton since 2013, initially as a visiting lecturer for architectural technology on the Interior Architecture course, and as a design lecturer in Undergraduate Architecture.  Libby was appointed a Senior Lecturer in 2014 and has worked across all levels of the undergraduate course.  Teaching across the subject areas of design & technology within the UG Course Libby provides specific content in relation to Health for the Architectural Humanities and Revit (Building Integrated Modelling) as part of curriculum based Digital Skills.  Libby has previously been the Second Year Lead for the UG Course (2017-2018), run modules in Level 4 and 5 (2016 – present), a studio Lead for L5/6 Design Studio and assessed Part 3 (professional qualification exam) submissions.

Libby has worked in architectural practice since 2007, completing her professional registration as an UK Architect as the building lead on the Central Facilities Building for the Hopwood Park Hospital in 2012 (Medical Architecture Psychiatric Hospital - Hopewood Park - Medical Architecture). Libby’s interest in healthcare started after her undergraduate degree, where she took her first position in London at Medical Architecture and Arts Projects (now known as Medical Architecture).  The research base of the practice enabled Libby to be involved in projects from early-stage feasibility work, NHS estate enhancement schemes, policy development – contributing to Health Building Notes for Mental Health HBN35, and a range of scales and types of healthcare building provision; from acute settings (A&E) to high security mental health facilities, in the UK and abroad. Latterly Libby worked with Edward Williams Architects on the external works for Midland Metropolitan Hospital and delivered on residential and educational projects.  

Libby is currently the School Engagement Lead for the School of Architecture, Technology & Engineering (2021-present) and leads the First Year of the Architecture Undergraduate Course (2018 – present).

Approach to teaching

Leading the 1st Year of the architecture course at Brighton is an opportunity and privilege. In doing so one can set the expectation for subsequent years, that the course will from the outset tackle and prepare students for key concerns of our time.

The circular economy is often dismissed as too complex for Level 4/1st Year, however, Libby has successfully introduced this in Week 1, asking students to consider the possibility for deconstruction of places they know well. Climate literacy is incorporated across module components in 1st Year, and responds to a national student call for change in the architectural curriculum through the Architecture Declares Manifesto and the patent need to bring climate literacy to the profession.

Libby’s has always situated design and technology project briefs in current affairs, believing that dealing with the challenges of our time, builds motivation and enables students to see how they can affect change.  The discursive nature of tutorials and the design studio provides a dynamic place for students to explore and identify their position in the world in relation to design.

In line with a feminist approach to design acknowledging the student author in their work is encouraged. In recognising one’s standpoint as a designer enables students to consider alternative positions, designing for diversity, where anthropometric 'norms' do not account for the elderly, pregnant women or for minority groups. 

Libby is also involved in interdisciplinary teaching and co-design; in line with her research Libby has been working with the midwifery programme over several years to develop and deliver workshops that use design as a vehicle to expose disciplinary standpoints, to challenge exiting practice, and reveal the value of the individual story as a design generator. The challenges of this work are in creating a middle ground in which all attendees are empowered to participate, the pedagogic methodologies of which has been recently introduced to students on the MA Sustainable course.

Education/Academic qualification

Master, University of Brighton

20152016

Master

20112012

Master

20082010

Bachelor, University of Nottingham

Sep 2002Oct 2005

External positions

Project Architect

20152019

Architect - BIM/ Revit Specialist

Nov 2014Mar 2015

Architectural Assistant to Project Architect

20072012

Clinical Practice Research Unit - Assistant, University of Central Lancashire

Jun 2005Jan 2006

Keywords

  • NA Architecture

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