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Learning Environments Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Centre (LEEDIC)

LEEDIC is a cross-disciplinary research network aimed at creating more equitable educational environments that can support a diversity of learners.

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LEEDIC reading material

About

The Learning Environments Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Centre (LEEDIC) brings together ground-breaking EDI expertise in pedagogy, learning, spaces and resources to develop evidence-based research and actions, aimed at creating more equitable educational environments that can support a diversity of learners.

Our role

Educational demand is expanding globally, supporting by extensive public and private investment– yet evidence shows this remains a deeply unequal system.  LEEDIC brings together and extends activities across The Bartlett and other UCL disciplines to improve equity, diversity and inclusion across:

  • Formal learning, teaching and research spaces
  • Informal learning spaces beyond the academy
  • Educational technologies and systems
  • Built environment education and practice
  • Educational development and design processes
  • Community and lifelong learning opportunities
  • Social sustainability and UN development goals for education

We understand education and the environments in which it takes place as a broad ranging theme, covering diverse forms of learning across schools, colleges, universities, museums, galleries, community centres and workplaces.

Our vision

The Bartlett Learning Environment Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Centre aims to make a significant contribution to the design and management of high quality, inclusive and sustainable learning environments worldwide, to guide appropriate investment in education policies, practices, pedagogies and estates, and to highlight the possibilities of learning environments development for enabling equality and diversity across societies and communities.

Study with us

LEEDIC researchers and partners teach on our Master’s Degree (MSc) in Learning Environments, as well as offering lecture series, symposia, short courses and summer schools.

MSc Learning Environments

Learn to understand the complex intersections between learning and the physical environments in which it takes place, so as to improve future educational spaces.

Find out more.

Short courses

More information to come.

PhD Students and visiting scholars

The Learning Environments Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Centre Environments is open to applications from possible PhD students researching EDI-related topics in education. We also aim to support visiting scholars and research fellows to work with us on a short or longer-term basis. 

If you are interested in collaborations or further study, get in touch here.

Consultancy and partnerships

We undertake commissioned research, consultancy, and policy briefings, bringing together theoretical and practical understanding that is based on rigorous empirical investigation and analysis, communicated in clear, direct and accessible language.

The centre is committed to translating academic research into the public domain, working with academic and non-academic partners and stakeholders in the UK and abroad: educational institutions, businesses, charities, public sector and policy organisations.

To explore consultancy and partnerships, get in touch here.

Research

The Bartlett Learning Environments Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Centre provides a platform for research and other activities across The Bartlett and UCL. Current projects include:

New Urban Schools and Social Infrastructure

The production of a discussion paper to better understand the constraints and opportunities for urban, mixed-use learning environments and the capacity for schools in the UK to offer greater social and community value. Find out more.

Improving children’s experience of place in temporary settlements

UCL Grand Challenges supported this innovative project researching the experience of Rohingya children in refugee camps in Bangladesh. Find out more.

Architecture Beyond Sight

A long-term project that aims to challenge architecture’s tendency to prioritise the visual over other senses. By enabling blind and partially sighted people to study architecture, it investigates how design can incorporate other ways of experiencing, imagining and creating space - ultimately for the benefit of everyone. Find out more.

Project Lighthouse

A collaboration with ReSpace Projects to explore how an online community-university partnership could help with improving the management and use of community buildings. Find out more.

Opening up architecture and building archives, collections and exhibitions

A collaboration with the Barbican Arts Centre to explore curatorial and archival practices in architecture that open up more diverse understandings of, and engagements with, built space. Find out more.

Members

LEEDIC draws together scholars from across The Bartlett, UCL and internationally, as well as collaborating with a wide variety of external partners.

Dr. Jos Boys –  LEEDIC Director & Course Lead MSc Learning Environments

JOS BOYS
Jos has worked for over 15 years as an independent Learning Spaces consultant and researcher. Her background is in architecture and urban planning and she has written extensively about the complex and often contested inter-relationships between pedagogies, academic development, institutional policy and strategies, facilities planning and learning space design. 

Jos has also worked as a tutor in architecture and related disciplines; as an academic developer and instructional designer; and as a community-based design practitioner and activist. She was a founding member of Matrix feminist design co-operative and co-director of The DisOrdinary Architecture Project. She is particularly interested in how to improve our understanding of everyday social, material and spatial practices, in support of the most disadvantaged in society.

See Dr Boys’ academic profile

Alexi Marmot – Emerita Professor

Alexi Marmot
Alexi is an internationally acknowledged expert in the design, management, and use of places for work and for learning. Originally educated in architecture and town planning, Alexi has developed techniques for evidence-based consultative design, documenting what teachers and pupils desire, how people use space, how buildings and estates operate in practice, and how to create buildings that really work for their organisations.

See Professor Marmot's academic profile

Dr. Clare Melhuish – Director, Bartlett Urban Lab

Clare Melhuish
Clare Melhuish is an anthropologist specialising in architecture and the built environment, including Modern Movement architectural heritage and social identity, domestic space and cultures, ethnographic research, urban design and regeneration, and the ethnography of architectural design practice.

See Dr. Melhuish's academic profile

Dr. Sai Loo

SAI LOO
Sai is a Lecturer in the Institute of Education UCL. His research centres on the working and teaching and learning settings of occupational education (OE) across schools, colleges, universities and workplaces. His recent research monographs by Routledge include Creative Working in the Knowledge Economy (2021) and Vocationalism in Further and Higher Education: Policy, Programmes and Pedagogy (Eds.) (2018).
David Roberts

DAVID ROBERTS
David is a Teaching Fellow in Architectural Design and Architectural History & Theory Tutor in The Bartlett School of Architecture UCL. He is also a Research Ethics Fellow at the Bartlett Faculty of Built Environment. Alongside his work at UCL, David is part of collaborative art practice Fugitive Images and of architecture collective Involve. His research, art and cultural activist practice has focused on community groups whose homes and livelihoods are under threat from urban policy, as well as ways to extend architectural education to primary and secondary school children. He is co-researcher with Jos Boys on the ‘Opening up Architectural and Building Archives’ project.
Soledad Martinez Perez

SOL
Sol is currently completing her PhD in joint supervision with the Institute of Education and The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. She was co-founder and coordinator of the Spatial Engagement Network which aims to connect researchers and practitioners interested in pedagogy, places and politics across University College London and beyond. Sol is a trained architect by background, running her own practice in Chile before coming to study in London. She was a PG teaching assistant on MSc Learning Environments for 2020-21, and module leader for ‘Effective Learning Environments’ for 2021-22.
Maria Venegas Raba

MARIA
Maria is an architectural historian and researcher working with photography, film, text-based performances and experimental publications to address questions of how we access the past. She is currently completing a PhD which investigates the complexities of memory, fact and fiction, and the possibilities of locating archival absences to re-imagine alternative histories of the past.

Maria is a co-founder of the Bartlett Decolonial Reading Group, an intersectional collective that engages with questions on power, knowledge(s) circulation, legitimation practices, and the intersection between colonial legacies and spaces of resistance through workshops, seminars and other sites for dissensus. Maria was project assistant for the Bartlett Innovation Fund supported ‘Matrix – an emerging online learning space for architecture’ and is one of the commissioned researchers for the follow-on project, funded by UCL Innovation and Enterprise, which explores opening up architectural, building and city archives to wider participation.

Anna Jeffery

ANNA JEFFERY
Anna is a practicing architect. Until recently she was an Associate with Architectural Initiative, specialising in the procurement and design of schools. She was co-lead with Jos Boys on the HEIF funded project which worked with a wide range of stakeholders to draw out key themes in understanding how schools can support their localities, to create a discussion paper ‘Educating the City: Urban Schools as Social Infrastructure’.

Partners

Professor Marie Harder

MARIE
Marie is a Thousand Talents Professor at the University of Fudan, Shanghai, China, and also a Professor at the University of Brighton. She is an Honorary Professor in the Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction. Her background is in sustainable waste management, with a particular interest in behaviour change towards recycling. She is currently using residential compounds in China as 'living labs' to systematically develop new frameworks for designing recycling schemes, and thus linking related empirical and theoretical concepts.

Marie’s research centres on participatory methods for eliciting and acting upon shared values across sustainable development as well as urban design, in order to enable transformational learning.

Professor Joel Sanders

JOEL
Joel is a Professor in the School of Architecture Yale University, USA as well as Principal of his own practice. He recently launched MIXdesign, a new inclusive design consultancy that promotes human connectivity among people of different ages, genders, disabilities, races and religions, enabling progressive institutions, government agencies and companies to recruit and retain diverse talent. For the past two years, Sanders has spearheaded Stalled!, an interdisciplinary design-research project that takes as its point of departure debates surrounding transgender access to public restrooms to address the need to create safe, sustainable and inclusive public restrooms for everyone. Joel has published extensively since then on queerness and architecture and his 1996 classic STUD: Architectures of Masculinity has recently been re-published by Routledge.
Zoe Partington, Co-founder The DisOrdinary Architecture Project

ZOE
Zoe is co-director of The DisOrdinary Architecture Project which aims to promote new models of practice for the built environment, led by the creativity and experiences of disabled and Deaf artists. She is co-lead with Mandy Redvers-Rowe and Jos Boys, on the Architecture Beyond Sight programme at The Bartlett, a week-long intensive residential foundation course for blind and visually impaired people interested in studying architecture, which takes place annually.

Zoe is an artist who works with viscerally powerful audio, visual and tactile representations to explore disabled people’s perceptions and experiences of space. Her practice is informed by her own experiences of sight loss that has taken her and her work on a journey as a tool for change. Zoe also works as a consultant, auditor and creative equality trainer for the cultural sector. She is an international advisor and trainer, co-consulting, for Shape Arts London, most recently coordinating the creation of the online National Disability Arts Collection and Archive (NDACA). She is also assisting the British Council in Brazil to develop disability arts equality frameworks for their 2016 Cultural Olympiad and with Japan in preparation for the 2020 Cultural Olympiad.

Jon Astbury, Architecture and Design Curator, Barbican Arts Centre, London UK

JON ASTBURY
Jon is Assistant Architecture and Design Curator at the Barbican Centre, London. He is also a writer and lecturer and has formerly held editorial positions at The Architectural Review and the Architects’ Journal. He is co-partner on the ‘Opening Up Architectural and Building Archives’ project, and recently curated an exhibition at the Barbican with Jos Boys as adjunct curator called ‘How We Live Now: re-imagining spaces with Matrix Feminist Design Cooperative.’
Gee Sinha

Gee Sinha
Gee is founder and Director of ReSpace Projects. It was established in London in 2015 by a small group of citizens who wanted to demonstrate that issues of waste and inequality could in part be resolved by simply sharing resources, ReSpace is pioneering new models of social enterprise and has recently been included in the Mayor's Circular economy routemap as being a key collaborator in the London Plan.

Gee's work is in developing innovative systems that cross multiple social levels and are self-sustaining and self-replicating. Through the UCL funded project.