Action learning and understanding design as a process – teaching in Cambridge

I was back in Cambridge this morning to teach my first of four modules this academic year on the Interdisciplinary Design for the Built Environment Masters module. This first workshop combines an exploration of design as a process and introduces participants to the concept of action learning. Full write-up on my blog.

Fourth IStructE Net-Zero Structural Design wrapped up

Today Will Arnold and I wrapped up our fourth IStructE Net-Zero Structural Design course, this time delivered in-house for a public sector client with a considerable estate portfolio to manage. Having only started delivering this course in January, the material is proving to be particularly versatile, lending itself to a much broader range of built environment professions that just structural engineers.

Here’s some of the feedback we got today:

I feel much more confident in knowing what questions do ask and what my expectations are of others.

Enormous [impact]. Already applying in my work.

Better knowledge to be able to question specialists.

For details of when we are running this course again, check out the link below.

This is one of those courses where it feels like we are really coming to work and making a difference. Thanks to everyone who attended.

Back to face-to-face conceptual design teaching

I am very happy to be teaching once again face-to-face at the Institution of Structural Engineers. Today we ran our first in-person Introduction to Conceptual Design for Structural Engineers in two years. 

In this session we placed a strong focus on developing the confidence to think conceptually, making sure we are bringing wide enough inputs to the process and how to stay motivated to keep coming up with design ideas when other factors – time pressure, distraction, cognitive ease – make it hard to.

A new development since we last ran the course face to face is that Will Arnold and I are now running Net-Zero Structural Design training too. These courses are designed to complement each other and so now there is a now much stronger focus on zero-carbon thinking in the conceptual design course. 

For info on upcoming conceptual design and net-zero design courses check out the More Courses tab.

Introducing plans for the Constructivist Regenerative Design Learning Lab

In 2022, we plan to launch the Constructivist Regenerative Design Learning Lab. The Learning Lab will be a six month experimental programme for 15-20 individuals that aims to broaden and deepen understanding of regenerative design principles for the built environment sector. This initiative has been made possible through funding from the Royal Commission for the exhibition of 1851. While we firm up the details, this post provides an outline of how we intend the lab to work.

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New alumni group for Training After Declaring

Image of participants in a workshop called Training After Declaring a Climate Emergency

News is we’ve launched an online alumni group for people who have attended our course ‘Training on what to do after declaring a climate emergency’. One of our aims for the course is to create a community of peer support for people who are trying to make organisational change in the climate emergency.

So far two cohorts of trainees have completed the course, and we will be launching our third cohort later in the spring. With the launch of the alumni network we are bringing together these two cohorts so that they can start to provide each other with mutual support.

The training is for people who been handed the task of figuring out what to after their organisation has declared a climate emergency. It is also for people who are trying to figure out how to get their organisations to make that declaration.

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Trainee feedback: training on what to do after declaring a climate emergency

We asked members from our first cohort of ‘Training on what to do after declaring a Climate Emergency‘ participants what they thought of the course and why other people should think about going. Here are some of the things they said.

The support of the group alongside discussion of change models and tools was transformative in developing insight on how I can make positive change and resolve to take action. I would highly recommend it to those seeking to develop personal or organisational strategies in response to the climate emergency.

Julia Ratcliffe – Director – Scale Consulting
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Designing your learning process – week one of IDBE

At Constructivist we talk lots about models for learning and also about models for understanding design. In this workshop we are combining the two: thinking about how to design your learning process. It’s my contribution to week one for a new cohort of students on the Cambridge Masters programme Interdisciplinary Design for the Build Environment.

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