- Environmentally sustainable urban development
- Participatory design and community engagement
- Management, strategy direction, and operations
- Programmatic design, financing, implementation and evaluation
- Conservation Registrant, RIBA 2013
- Registered Architect, ARB, 2009
- Diploma Professional Practice RIBA Part III, University of Westminster, UK, 2009
- Master of Architecture, University of Bath, UK, 2007
- Bachelor of Architecture, University of Nottingham, England, 2004
In a nutshell, tell us about yourself.
My background is as an architect, but one who has always been focused on people and how individuals and communities relate to their neighbourhood and urban context. I have also always had a strong environmental focus as well as a deep interest in cultures. The buildings and projects I have worked on have demonstrated my passion for ecosystems as well as social systems globally.
Before joining E Co, I was Deputy director of a social enterprise called Doh Eain, based in Myanmar, where we designed and delivered a diverse range of programmes that were anchored in a vision for inclusive liveable cities. This included broad cross-cutting thematic content and was based both in the international development as well as the humanitarian sectors, including projects on livelihoods, urban planning, participatory design, research, community engagement, and environmental modelling. As a consultant for UN-Habitat, I designed a methodology for vulnerability assessment and local adaptation and mitigation planning to arrive at Local Climate Action Plans anchored in community ownership.
I am passionate about human-centred design, locally-led systemic approaches and how a solid technical understanding of detail and science can open up multiple opportunities for regenerative systems.
Which book has changed your life?
I am currently reading Carol Sanford’s ‘No More Gold Stars: Regenerating the Capacity to Think For Ourselves’ – this book may well change my life! It speaks already to my own values of personal agency, the power of independent thinking and the incredible capacity that exists within people. I love how it makes you think and question well established behaviours, and I’m currently trying to get my head around the practices described in the book. I definitely recommend it to others!
How do you like to spend your weekend?
With my daughter and/or on a bike, and, when possible, on a hill in the Peak District.
What drives you to do this kind of work?
I think it is the inequality I have seen. Over the years, especially the last five in Myanmar, I have seen the grassroots impact of social, environmental, economic, and climate related inequalities and injustices.
I have also been exposed to systemic inequalities in global political institutions, which is frustrating for those downstream. I would like, in some small part, to be part of the change in that system.
What’s the best thing about your job?
I am surrounded by incredible, intelligent, capable people who are excellent at the work they do. It is a real privilege to be working to support them to collectively focus on the mission of climate resilience globally, particularly for those most vulnerable to the shocks and stresses of climate change.
What would you desire most if stranded on a desert island?
I always carry a penknife with me, I don’t think I would need much else.
Who’s the most inspiring person you’ve ever met?
I meet inspiring people all the time! I am lucky to know, and call friends and colleagues, some of the most inspiring people there are.