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Design Office

Design Office

Design Office is an innovative architecture and urban design practice –celebrated in the Architect’s Journal’s 40 Under 40 listing of the UK’s most exciting emerging architectural talent

Design Office takes a research-led approach to architectural and urban design. We produce design projects informed by the latest research, also helping the university to transfer knowledge and engage its research with the wider world.

Our expertise goes beyond the reach of conventional architectural and urban design consultancies. We are experienced at working in unusual situations, and in response to special challenges, for our clients and collaborators. We facilitate research-led solutions, often including participatory workshops with stakeholders.

We also produce new knowledge through a wide range of architectural outputs including built projects, and books, academic papers, comics, collages, and social media.

Design Office regularly works in partnership with other practices. Sustainability is an important strand of our work. We were included in the AJ’s most recent 40 Under 40 of emerging architectural talent.

Armstrong Building

What do we do?

We provide architectural and urban design consultancy and services to a range of clients. We have offered our knowledge and support to individuals, organisations, and corporations.

We focus on research-led practice and practice-led research. This means that we draw from the accumulated expertise of our school and our distinctive research abilities, relating to the School’s research themes and research centres.

We seek out special projects that contain research challenges. We are distinctively equipped to help with these, and are also interested in pursuing collaborations with existing design firms.

Ceiling Void

How do we do it?

All research begins by formulating the problem, and engaging closely with diverse clients and user groups to understand and articulate their needs.

We develop an appreciation of the parameters and variables of any design problem to create solutions, produce sketch and detail designs, and specialist reports. We provide full architectural and urban design consultancy services.

We have experience in working with existing buildings, on sensitive sites, and in difficult locations. We are also able to:

  • provide specialist design and advice on conservation and heritage
  • provide specialist design and advice in relation to sustainability
  • carry-out post-occupancy evaluation of buildings
  • provide informed project facilitation and briefing
  • advise on existing designs and plans

Our approach can include – where appropriate – setting-up student projects to address particular urban design and architectural design problems, and then making further proposals to develop the outcomes.

Selected Projects


For further information please contact:

Adam Sharr
Professor of Architecture


Kim McCartney
Research and Consultancy Manager