Profile of Miss Laura Coucill Birmingham School of Architecture

Laura Coucill

Laura Coucill graduated from the Manchester School of Architecture in 2009 with a distinction in BArch. She also completed a BA(Hons) and MA in Architecture + Urbanism in Manchester. She is currently funded by the AHRC to complete a PhD at Birmingham School of Architecture. Laura has experience in Practice and as an Undergraduate Associate Lecturer at the Manchester School of Architecture. Laura is also a co-author of Isolative Urbanism: An Ecology of Control [2009].

General research interests

Primary research interests include the impact of lifestyle and commodity on the urban landscape, reflecting how cultural values manifest themselves in the built environment. Interests include how cultural values are affected by policy [particularly sustainability policy], code and guidance of place-based design. Integral to this is research into types of programmed, synthesised and systematic landscapes, illustrating the control and manufacture of urban design.

PhD/Postdoctoral Research Title

Your Policy is my Culture

PhD Abstract

In the depths of subjectivity lurks utopia: And in the fringes of C21 UK government policy, loiters the objectives for a sustainable future; a future which looks remarkably like the past:
Modernist visions of the utopian future are gradually being erased from the landscape and replaced by the desirable pseudo-vernacular: Preservation of heritage and character now runs rife in our landscapes substituting global homogeneity with that of the local. What’s interesting is the impact of sustainability objectives on the repetition of the pastiche: Where vernacular is related directly to the native or indigenous, the pseudo-vernacular is devoid of original context and requisite of political criteria: The result is a neo-functional landscape, where appearance hales an aesthetic of passive control as a result of the opposite; stringent Boolean logic planning decisions adopted to define perfection.
Character and the definition of place, through the control of policy, are now a precondition of the future, to which sustainable ambitions are retrofitted. Encouraged by the parameters of policy, the neo-traditional is allowed to flourish. Does that make the future green, or representational of green?
If the desires of political climate change agenda are dominated by a C02 emission reduction of 80% by 2050 and CABE anticipate that 75% of housing stock will still be in use in the targeted year; that equates to carbon negative housing, or a fraction of the housing that currently exists. In this scenario can character and carbon reduction coexist, or is the neo-traditional doomed?

Latest deposited documents

Letter of Introduction_LC image
Letter of Introduction_LC (January 2010)

Laura Coucill graduated from the Manchester School of Architecture in 2009 with a distinction in BArch. She also completed a BA(Hons) and MA in...

Bursary Application_LC image
Bursary Application_LC (January 2010)

The subject of this workshop is well within the remit of my research at the Birmingham School of Architecture in the UK. It would offer the...

Your Policy is my Culture image
Your Policy is my Culture (January 2010)

The UK Government anticipate the UK population to increase to 72.3[1] million by 2050; that’s an increase of approximately 17[2]%. Given...