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Whilst Co.LAB delivers projects as part of the BSoAD’s curriculum, we consider more than just designing temporary structures. Much of our work has an element of research intent supporting it – and we are able to utilise being embedded in an academic institution to maximise the generated output, creating new knowledge and practices for future dissemination. Our research lies in specific areas of focus. They either have individual projects investigating these subject areas in detail or are non-project specific and instead explored across several activities undertaken by Co.LAB:

  • Trans-disciplinary practice between art, design and architectural production (including exhibitions and curation)
  • Collaborative pedagogy, how organisational structures and teaching strategies impact on architectural education including studio culture.
  • Networked Cultures and the relationship between creative economies, entrepreneurship and spatial enterprise.
  • Participatory design practices and community engagement in urban development, gentrification and culture generated through the built environment and festivals as vehicles of expression.


The research to date, has been disseminated in the following outputs:

  • Steam & the City: STEAM design thinking in the post industrial city. AMPS: Education Design and Practice, Stevens Institute, New York, 2019
  • From Pub To Production Space, Birmingham Design Festival, STEAMhouse, June 2019
  • Creating a Culture of Production, Arup Studio and Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, June 2019
  • Language of Us. RIBA West Midlands, Centrala, April 2018
  • Birmingham Production Space, ACE g4a funding. Research led by Ruth Claxton/Workshop Birmingham. Findings available to view here
  • The Studio, the architect, the post-studio, the artist; AAE Conference, University of Sheffield, Sept 2014. Paper available here
  • Collaboration is Not a Dirty Word, RIBA Research Matters seminar, London, 2013
  • The Remote Studio, CEBE Studio Culture 6, University of Nottingham, 2010
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