A talk about Urban Symbiotics’ pioneering co-designed, user-centric placemaking 

In 2022 Urban Symbiotics won a Thornton Education Trust Inspire Future Generation Award (IFG) for youth community engagement as part of a co-designed Swaffham High Street Heritage Action Zone, as part of its Town Centre Masterplan for Historic England. Urban Symbiotics is a pioneer of bespoke user-centric, multi-disciplinary placemaking, architecture and urban design, exploring the innovative use of insight, engagement and codesign supporting social value. 

In a talk illuminated by case studies across the UK and globally, Urban Symbiotics’ founder Stephanie Edwards will discuss the practice’s approach developed by her and her cofounder, product designer James Stewart. 

Influenced 'by the world of product design, where the user is placed front and centre in the creation of human environments, Urban Symbiotics engages with community members and stakeholders on formulating the brief, particularly with those under-served such as younger and diverse community members. It seeks their insight in identifying their needs, continuing to engage with them to help develop concepts and validate solutions. The impacts are as diverse and inclusive as approaches taken, and include enhanced social cohesion, opportunities for bespoke and adaptable places and programming, enhanced mobility, increased community agency and reduced client costs. 

This event includes a networking reception with the speaker and audience members following the talk. 

About Stephanie Edwards;

Stephanie is an architect, urbanist and cofounder of Urban Symbiotics. Stephanie graduated from the Architectural Association in 2010. She worked at OMA before establishing Urban Symbiotics in 2018, an award-winning insight-led multi-disciplinary design practice based in London that focuses on the user experience to innovate architecture, masterplanning and the public realm.  

Stephanie focuses on delivering social value through various project types to facilitate building inclusive, equitable and progressive places. The Design Museum and the London Festival of Architecture have recognised her for creating 'architecture for a new generation', and Urban Symbiotics has been longlisted by the RIBA MacEwen 2021 awards for community endeavours targeting improvements for local communities. She is currently leading several regeneration frameworks, community visions and high-street strategies and meanwhile programming across London and the UK, and working on the Gascoigne and Becontree Estate in Barking and Dagenham, Meridian Water in Enfield and Nigeria as part of the UN Habitat's Global Future Cities Programme. Stephanie is a Design Review Member for OPDC, a Design Council Expert and was formally a RIBA trustee and UK Built Environment Group Advisory Group Member. 

Victoria Thornton OBE Hon FRIBA, Chair of the Thornton Education Trust, is an expert in architecture education and social value development. She established Open House/Open City 28 years ago pioneering creative architectural learning methodologies for adults and young people, and set up My City Too!, Accelerate into University, Summer Architecture Academy, Adopt a School and Architecture in Schools.  

President of the AA Council and Design Museum’s Built Environment and Learning Committee, she has chaired or held positions in Open House Worldwide Network, RIBA Royal Gold Medal Jury; Irish Architecture Foundation Board; Women in Architecture Award Jury; Farrell Review Advisory Board. Victoria is also the co-author of London’s Guide to Contemporary Architecture and was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the RIBA, an Honorary MA from London Metropolitan University and an OBE for services to architecture and education. 

Tickets for the talk are £15 each, and the price includes one free drink at the networking reception afterwards. 

More Information & Booking

Log in | Powered by White Fuse