Connecting People and Places

Connecting People and Places: a research project

It is well-known amongst those in the Built Environment sector that architects from a BAME background make up only 0.9% of those in the profession. The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust’s ongoing consultation with our alumni has informed our belief that this is due to the lack of inspirational role models for students, along with socioeconomic barriers and the limited dialogue between the Built Environment, Heritage and BAME communities.

Connecting People and Places is a research project funded by Historic England which aims to address this gap by identifying and celebrating the built environment within the context of BAME local community and heritage in England. A team of aspiring architecture students has been eagerly researching and visiting the buildings, landmarks, and architects of interest to find out as much as they can about their stories, how they have shaped history, and their value within our communities today.

Phase One of the project – exploring and documenting case studies in England’s six regions (the North West, North East & Yorkshire, the Midlands, East of England, South West and London & the South East) – is currently underway, with phase 2 (a touring exhibition) and phase 3 (a printed resource) to come in 2020. By making this information readily available to all, we hope to showcase the incredible impact BAME communities have already had on the landscape of England, and inspire more young people to take an interest in and get involved with their local heritage.

I have found it incredibly interesting learning about the processes Historic England undertake to list a building. Additionally, it has been very insightful learning that a listed entry can be a range of structures from a pier to a war memorial.

Shawn Adams

During the research project, one thing I found really interesting was the absolute focus on the community itself. We used the community to guide us and to navigate us to the right information that could never be found in books, it made collecting our findings more meaningful.

Ayshah Begum

For a taste of the fascinating stories we have already collected on our project, visit our Soundcloud page.