School of Architecture, Planning & Landscape

Staff Profile

Armelle Tardiveau

Degree Programme Director BA (Hons) Architecture and Urban Planning, Lecturer in Architecture


I am a design practitioner, educator and researcher in the disciplines of architecture and urban design. I am a French native and speak four languages which has allowed me to gain experience in architectural practices across Europe including the UK, Switzerland and Spain. In 2004 together with Daniel Mallo, I co-founded ec-architects, a socially engaged design practice.

Working with artists, landscape architects and ethnographers, ec-architects has thrived in creating an interdisciplinary environment for projects and competitions spanning from the urban scale to the small details. More recently, the practice’s design-led research has developed participatory design methods and activists spatial interventions to trigger change and processes of co-production in the public realm working with UK and international institutions including Creative Partnerships Cumbria, Art Gene, the Natural History Society of Northumbria, Cobalt Business Park, Sustrans North East and Scotswood Natural Community Garden in Newcastle upon Tyne.


While still a student in architecture at London Metropolitan University, my interest in design-led research was sparked by an invitation from Professor André Viljoen  in 1998 to support a paper on resilient cities and citizens’ engagement.

Since then design and action have become central to the collaborative research I have engaged in the past few years with Daniel Mallo. Often as a means to an end, but not uniquely, my research approach  aims to trigger transformative processes and its impact has led to opening up aspirations and visions, stimulating community empowerment and co-production. On-going research explores the potential of participatory design and activism as a vehicle for the intensification of democratic practices in public space and a catalyst of new socio-material relations.

Key areas of research include:

Temporary Urbanism as a socially engaged practice:

Theorising temporary urbanism as a socially engaged form of urban activism through design that can be generative in making spatially embedded struggle visible and opening up opportunities that interlink the physical and socio-political spheres.

Design participation:

Growing concerns about the oversimplified participation highlights the too often disguised instrumentality of the consultation process and the lack of power of participants. Through design, innovative participatory methodologies are explored to mediate political concerns and contribute to the empowerment of participants.


Co-production can be understood as a shift of citizens’ engagement in the place making process from debate to action whereby citizens not only contribute to decision-making but also become responsible stakeholders and producers of space thus ensuring a strong, resilient and mutually supportive community.

Funded projects

2015 ESRC Impact Acceleration Account, Co-Production Fund

Sustrans DIY Streets (Fenham): creating and evaluating inspirational participation

The project draws from the expertise of Sustrans and APL/ Culture Lab in community engagement and participation in the design of public realm. By using a combination of methods, we have sought to overcome the limitations of engagement practice. The methodological framework is based on inspirational participation which focuses on the creation of temporary urban settings that help activate dialogue and imagination.

Funding awarded £9,900. Research staff involved: Prof. Geoff Vigar, Daniel Mallo, Armelle Tardiveau together with Rorie Parsons (ESRC-funded PhD student), Bryony Simcox (3rd year Architecture student) and Clara Cirvellaro (PhD student, Culture Lab).

2016 Department for Communities and Local Government

Fenham Pocket Park

DIY Streets strengthened the desire in the community to seek funding for what they now recognised as a hub in the neighbourhood. A group of local people were successful in being awarded £15,000 from the Department for Communities and Local Government to build a Pocket Park. The design was led by Newcastle University with all stakeholders and the Pocket Park opened in May 2016.

Stakeholders included members of the City Council, local residents, Fenham Association of Residents, Fenham Library, Fenham Swimming Pool, Sustrans, Your Homes Newcastle and Fenham New Model Allotments.


2017 ESRC Impact Acceleration Account, Co-Production Fund and Newcastle Institute for Social Renewal

Scotswood Natural Community Garden: evaluating human and non-human assets for the co-production of a new facility

Located in a deprived neighbourhood in the west end of Newcastle upon Tyne, this ethnographically inspired participatory design project will create a shared vision for the future of Scotswood Natural Community Garden, a largely volunteer-run local resource, whose mission ‘is to inspire and promote learning about nature, the environment, and sustainable living’. The fieldwork will take place during the Spring/Summer with the final report being submitted by the end of 2017.

Funding awarded ESRC IAA (£9,100) and NISR (£1195).
Research staff involved: Daniel Mallo, Armelle Tardiveau (Newcastle University) and Dr Abigail Schoneboom (Northumbria University).


 2017 AHRC Connected Communities grant application   

From non-place to place: enhancing the edge-city office park through co-designed green micro-interventions

Building on funded consultancy carried out in July 2014 at Cobalt Business Park (£9,300), which illuminated the urgent need to address the problem of ‘placelessness’ in edge city office parks, this research proposal will develop a theoretically integrated approach to place-making and create innovative participatory design strategies that promote sustainability through a cross-cutting approach to natural assets, sense of community and subjectivity of social actors.

This research application is supported by Newcastle University’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Bid Preparation Fund (£4,400)

Research staff involved: Prof. Geoff Vigar (PI), Armelle Tardiveau, Daniel Mallo (Newcastle University) and Abigail Schoneboom (Northumbria University).


An intrinsically interdisciplinary  approach to design has allowed me to teach design across the school of architecture and planning in graduating years of Part 1 and Part 2 in Architecture (BA and MArch) as well as in the MA in Urban Design (MAUD). More recently, I have had the great opportunity to steer the design curriculum for our new pioneering programme Architecture and Urban Planning (BA AUP), introducing new modules such as creative practice dissertation and establishing a design studio bringing together community engagement and urban prototyping.

Over the years, teaching, practice and research have merged through engagement projects situated within the curriculum. As part of the design studio and linked research modules, a series of temporary live projects have been built with students. Such projects have enabled new perceptions, contributed to developing valuable relationship with local communities and provided students with a sense of empowerment, some of whom have pursued a career embedded in socially engaged design practice.

Pallet Pavilion at the 2013 British Science Festival (2012/13)

Architectural Design, stage 3 BA Architecture

As part of British Science Festival 2013 a group of stage 3 architecture students designed and built the ‘Pallet Pavilion’, a showcase for ecological relationships and urban biodiversity. Project developed in partnership with the Natural History Society of Northumbria and funded by Newcastle University’s Ignite grant scheme (£5,000).

Gosforth Park Nature Reserve, towards an educational facility (2012/13)

Linked Research, stage 5/6 MA Architecture

MArch students carried out a series of workshops with Year 7 school children from Longbenton Community College in order to develop, together with education specialists, new approaches to outdoor teaching and an architectural brief for a new education and research facility in Gosforth Park Nature Reserve. Project funded by Newcastle University Central Engagement (£3,600). In partnership with the Natural History Society of Northumbria and Long Benton Community College with the support of the Research Centre for Learning and Teaching (CfLaT) at Newcastle University.

Gateshead Action Research (2011/12)

Linked Research, stage 5/6 MA Architecture

With view to mobilize disenfranchised and disempowered tenants in a social housing estate, a group of MArch students conceived and organised a series of actions with view to transform a disused outside space into a community hub. Funded by the SPINDUS research project led by KU Leuven (Belgium) (£3,000) and APL Engagement Committee (£1,500)