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Designing for the Future: Why cross-disciplinary design matters

October 7 @ 17:00 18:00 BST

Presented by


The Academy of Urbanism and RTPI West Midlands Urban Design Forum Panel discussion, based around the Planning for the Future White Paper.

The panellists shall be:

  • Nick Corbett, Associate Director, Heritage and Placemaking, WSP
  • Luke Hillson, Design Director, Barton Willmore
  • Noha Nasser, Founding Director, MELA Social Enterprise
  • Kevin Roeton, Principal Town Planner, WSP
  • Simeon Shtebunaev, Doctoral Researcher, Birmingham City University
  • Kathryn Ventham, Partner, Barton Willmore

The session will be chaired by Luke Hillson, Design Director, Barton Willmore.


Speaker Biographies

Nick Corbett is an author and chartered town planner specialising in heritage and placemaking. He is an expert member of the High Streets Task Force, founder of Transforming Cities, co-founder of Urban Design London and is an Associate Director with WSP in the UK, based in the Birmingham Mailbox. Nick is an author and chartered town planner specialising in heritage and placemaking. He is the founder of Transforming Cities Ltd, co-founder of Urban Design London and is an Associate Director with WSP in the UK, based in the Birmingham Mailbox.

Luke Hillson is the design director at Barton Willmore, a UK-wide design and planning consultancy. A highly talented Masterplanner and Urban Designer, Luke is one of the country’s forwardmost designers in creating responsive and engaging high quality places for people. Through his research, passion and years of experience, Luke creates places that embody health and wellbeing, climate response, sustainability and accessibility principles. This exemplar approach is balanced with a detailed understanding of real world technical constraints and commercial demands, ensuring that proposals are deliverable. Luke is also a national Built Environment Expert advisor for the Design Council, the Chairperson of the West Midlands RTPI, the Chair of the WM Urban Design Forum, a Visiting Lecturer in design at Coventry University, a Recognised Practitioner with the Urban Design Group and an Academician at The Academy of Urbanism.

Noha Nasser is a passionate architect, urban designer, academic and consultant who believes that community-based solutions to urban design and heritage can build a strong identity of place and bring people together. She is the Founding Director of MELA. Noha is a Council of Europe Intercultural Cities Expert in Public Space, a Fellow of the RSA and is Chair of the Association of Collaborative Design CIC with a mission to mainstream and champion co-design in the built environment. Noha is also is a Trustee of the charity Canning Town Caravanserai, a pioneering model of regeneration and social cohesion through meanwhile use.

Kevin Roeton is a Principal Planning Consultant for WSP, Chartered Member of the RTPI and AoU Young Urbanist lead for the Midlands. He has experience working on design as a Development Management case officer in local authorities across the Midlands. During his time at Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Kevin worked on improving residential design quality in less affluent areas. As a multi-disciplinary planning consultant, he advocates cross-disciplinary approaches, such as working alongside Highways engineers and considers this key to delivering high quality places. During the panel discussion Kevin seeks to bring into the spotlight the need for more collaboration amongst related professions and place-making criteria in the newly anticipated ‘Manual for Streets’.

Simeon Shtebunaev is a doctoral researcher in Birmingham City University, researching how young people engage in the planning of future ‘smart’ cities. He is a Young Planner and sat on the RTPI General Assembly and International committee (2018-2019). Simeon also served as a trustee of the RIBA (2016-2019) and as a Vice-President for Students and Associates, co-founding the RIBA Future Architects initiative. Currently, Simeon is part of the Youth Steering Committee of the organisation Beatfreeks, part of the Commonplace Young Urban Panel and represents the architectural sector at the West Midlands Combined Authority’s Cultural Leadership Board. 

Kathryn Ventham is a Planning Partner at Barton Willmore in the City Centre Birmingham office, a UK-wide design and planning consultancy. Kathryn has a wealth of expertise and experience in a huge variety of development projects within the West Midlands and across the UK. Kathryn places great emphasis on creating high quality environments through the planning process, ensuring that the design is an intrinsic part throughout the process.

For any queries regarding this event please contact Olga Gaitani at og@academyofurbanism.org.uk.


Online Session