4×4 Manchester: Freedom

4×4 Manchester met in May 2016 to answer the Big Questions. The second event asked speakers to explore the topic of Freedom.

Speakers: Graham Marshall, David Rudlin, Michael Riebel and Lucy Montague.

Graham Marshall

Graham’s early interest in placemaking led him to London to study landscape architecture and urban design in a desire to spend a lifetime designing and changing places. During his training and early years in practice, a number of mentors left Graham with a powerful insight on the value of a wide perspective when considering places.

An award winning urban designer/ landscape architect, he was Design Team Leader for the National Garden Festival Wales and worked with several leading London urban design practices during the 1990’s, making significant contributions to national planning/ design policy. Graham was a founding director of Liverpool Vision Urban Regeneration Company in 1999. Returning to consultancy in 2005, he acted primarily as a design advisor to public clients, including a role as Urban Design Advisor to the London Development Agency and GLA. He has been an active member of several regional Design Review Panels and is a Built Environment Expert with Design Council CABE.

Graham now directs Prosocial Place, an urban design practice that puts the mental wellbeing of individuals, groups and communities at the forefront of our thinking to develop an integrated evidence base and practice that informs urban planning, design, development and place stewardship. He is a visiting Senior Fellow of the Heseltine Institute and visiting Senior Fellow at the Institute of Psychology, Health and Society at the University of Liverpool.

David Rudlin

David Rudlin manages URBED (Urbanism Environment and Design) and also a director of the URBED Trust. He is a planner by training and started his career with Manchester City Council with responsibility for the early stages of the redevelopment of Hulme. He was also secretary of the Homes for Change housing cooperative, responsible for commissioning one of the flagship buildings of the Hulme Redevelopment. He also co-wrote the Hulme Guide to Development.

David recently won the 2014 Wolfson Economic Prize, answering the question ‘How would you deliver a new garden city which is visionary, economically viable, and popular?’

David is a regular speaker at the 4×4 Event series and this year took on the theme of Freedom.

Michael Riebel

Michael is trained as an art historian and architect. He also holds an MSc in Urban Design and Sociology from the London School of Economics. His dissertation on the spatial perception of the residents in an East London council estate was graded with distinction.
Michael works as a researcher for Hawkins/Brown’s think tank & also which synthesizes its aggregated architectural experience, while speculating on future forms and practice of the built environment.
Michael combines a wealth of experience as a researcher and architect, having worked on a large variety of projects and studies, including works for Daniel Libeskind, FCBstudios and the Farrell Review.

With a broad background in art history, architecture and sociology Michael has a comprehensive understanding of architecture as a multifaceted process within a specific framework of social and political conditions. Michael combines his detailed knowledge of the built environment with critical thinking, and approaches his research tasks with the necessary mix of rigid analysis and speculative, open-minded attitude.

Hawkins/Brown is an internationally-renowned, award winning practice of over 200 architects, interior designers, urban designers and researchers. Founded in 1988, they bring a wealth of experience designing and delivering innovative and socially sustainable buildings across multiple sectors. People are at the heart of everything they do, from their design approach to the way they run our studios. Their designers bring a fresh and collaborative approach to each new design challenge, creating places with personality and purpose that are well-made, well-used and well-loved.

Lucy Montague

Lucy joined the University of Huddersfield in 2014 as a Senior Lecturer in Urban Design. Prior to this she was a Teaching Fellow in Urban Design at The Bartlett School of Planning, University College London and from 2009 to 2013 she completed her PhD at Edinburgh College of Art, The Universuty of Edinburgh, entitled ‘Designing the Urban: Reflections on the role of theory in the individual design process.

Her research continues to engage with the field of urban design and focus primarily on the relationship between theory and praxis in the built environment, the creative process and research by design methodologies.

Current projects include a book about the ways in which urban design concepts are graphically communicated in drawings and models, co-authored with David Rudlin of URBED; a review of current urban design theory and literature in order to map how knowledge used by the field has changed over the last twenty-five years; and a chapter that explores the concept of placelessness from a design perspective, for ‘Place and Placelessness Revisited’, to be published this month by Routledge, New York.

Lucy regularly reviews papers related to urban design for international journals. She has previously worked in architecture and urban design firms in London and Melbourne.

Watch videos from the other 4×4 events by clicking the links below:



War & Peace

Housing Crisis

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