Co.LAB, the Collaborative Laboratory, is a multifaceted organisation embedded within the School of Architecture & Design at Birmingham City University. We focus on design research, enterprise, employability and practice-led interdisciplinary exploration through collaborative practice as a key working methodology. It acts as a vehicle to directly engage the school, its staff and students to collaborate (Co.) with ‘partners’ across architecture, landscape, urbanism, interiors, product design and other creative disciplines.
Projects intervene across the city – acting as a laboratory (LAB) to test our ideas against. We explore issues of liveness: the relevancy of the creative arts, and all its disciplinarities, to challenge the limits and crossovers between these disciplines – developing new creative practices in order to explore contemporary issues that affect our urbanised contexts.
Co.LAB was developed to continue the school’s collaborative spirit expanding on the prosperous creative and professional network in the region. We believe this approach can foster distinct benefits towards educational, entrepreneurial and socially-driven solutions for our partners, motivate, inspire and up-skill our students.
Co.LAB contributes to the creative and cultural capacity of the city of Birmingham, help articulate its place as a prominent international city, intensifying networks and collaborative links between creative practitioners, architectural professionals, industry, academia, cultural organisations and community groups. Our projects forge these links alongside Co.LAB’s ongoing research activity supporting new creative facilities and nurturing architectural enterprise through our graduates.