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Designing for humans An architect's duty

The Architect

Above: University of Winchester building project (copyright: Design Engine Architects, used with permission)

This week, I took part in a thought-provoking debate in the new Blavatnik School of Government in Oxford. The evening was hosted by engineers Hoare Lea and titled ‘Designing the Future – Ideas for a Better Environment’. One of the five topics under discussion was the notion of shifting the emphasis from designing buildings to perform satisfactorily for human comfort, to putting human comfort at the centre of building performance. The two are not mutually exclusive, but when it was set out so simply it made a lot of sense.

Human comfort involves a heady mix of stimulation for the senses: temperature, ventilation, natural daylight, artificial light, ergonomics, noise (sometimes defined as ‘unwanted sound’) and so on. A single failure in this mix – think badly lit restaurant or a music venue with poor acoustics – and the experience is ruined. I once ran a student project based on sensory architecture and it produced some of the most unexpected and inspirational moments in my teaching life.

The Architect

About Richard Rose-Casemore

Richard Rose-Casemore

Richard Rose-Casemore is a practitioner and an academic. Having worked for some of the leading practices in the UK, he co-founded Design Engine Architects in 2000, and enjoys working in all sectors and at all scales, from masterplanning to interior design, with architecture at the centre. He has been the recipient of numerous national and international awards during 25 years of practice, and received the Stephen Lawrence Prize for his own house. Richard has travelled widely in his teaching and practice, and worked in South Africa for a year as an undergraduate. He has a particular passion for teaching and led a Masters studio at Oxford Brookes University School of Architecture between 1995 and 2010. He continues to act as a visiting critic and external examiner at various UK Schools. Richard is currently a Fellow of Royal Society of Arts, a Fellow of Oxford Brookes University, an Academician of Urbanism, a Member of the Chartered Society of Designers, and sits on the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Validation Board. He was a CABE Representative for five years and now chairs or sits on various Design Review Panels and the Higher Education Design Quality Forum (HEDQF).

Articles by Richard Rose-Casemore

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