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Westminster Talks: Waving or Drowning

University of Westminster

Wednesday, 8 February 2017 from 18:00 to 19:00 (GMT)

Westminster Talks: Waving or Drowning

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Type End Quantity
STAFF 8 Feb 2017 Free  
ALUMNI 8 Feb 2017 Free  
EXTERNAL/GUEST 8 Feb 2017 Free  

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The University of Westminster's Lecture Series 'Westminster Talks 2016-2017


Westminster Talks is proud to continue the series with a talk by Professor Stephen Brookhouse


Waving or drowning - can architectural education survive the tide of global procurement?

Procurement - the process of 'making buildings' and shaping the built environment - is a global enterprise that crosses professional boundaries and national borders. However the architectural profession - in common with the professions generally - continues to promote itself as the source of domain-specific excellence perpetuated by a silo-like approach to the professional skills supported by static statutory control and the mutual recognition of other professionals.

In contrast, the global procurement of construction projects has changed almost immeasurably over the last twenty years. As the centre of commercial activity and investment shifts from the 'old world' to the 'new' the majority of infrastructure and architectural projects are now carried out in the economies of the Middle East and Far East at a sustained pace unknown in established western economies. UK-trained architects and construction professionals are in demand as never before.

How have architects responded to these opportunities?

This lecture will critically review the current models of architectural education and discuss how architects and other construction professionals from across the world have crossed borders - physically and figuratively - to collaborate in international project teams to deliver world-class buildings. Location is no longer a barrier to teamwork and advances in the power of information technology have allowed the integration of design decision-making and fabrication. However these new models of working have highlighted the need to develop other professional skills that underpin creative thinking and design excellence.


Professor Stephen Brookhouse, Faculty of Architecture and the Built environment

Stephen Brookhouse is Professor of Professional Practice in the Department of Architecture at the University of Westminster.

After completing his architectural education at Liverpool University, where he won the Lord Holford Memorial Prize in his final year, he worked for a number of architectural practices on complex projects in central London including plans for St Georges Hospital, Hyde Park Corner. He then completed a postgraduate degree in Management Science at Imperial College and co-founded a multidisciplinary design consultancy specialising in strategic briefing, design and project management for a range of international 'blue chip' companies and professional organisations in London and Brussels.

Following a 'round robin' request to members of the Association of MBAs he began teaching Design Management and later Project Management for the Open University Business School, combining this with his work in architectural practice. His experiences led to an interest in work-based education and involvement with professional education at the RIBA where he subsequently chaired the Professional Education Committee.

Stephen joined the University of Westminster in 2001 as the RIBA Part 3 course leader and has since built the course to a position where almost forty per cent of all UK-educated architects qualify at the University of Westminster. The largest course of its type in the country, it was singled out by the RIBA as 'a strong exemplar for other institutions.'

The 'Part 3 Handbook', based on his teaching experiences at Westminster, and now in its third edition, is a standard reference text in the UK and internationally and 'Professional Studies in Architecture' has helped to frame the subject area. He is series editor and a contributor to a new set of guides for practitioners on professional skills in practice. His current area of research concerns how architects adapt to the changing world of global procurement and the skills required to maintain excellence in building design.

Stephen is also in demand internationally and currently lectures to students and practitioners from the UAE and Oman to Hong Kong and mainland China on international professional practice and project procurement in architecture.


For more information on Professor Stephen Brookhouse and the other talks in the series please visit:


Do you have questions about Westminster Talks: Waving or Drowning? Contact University of Westminster

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When & Where

The University of Westminster, Fyvie Hall
309 Regent St
W1B 2HW London
United Kingdom

Wednesday, 8 February 2017 from 18:00 to 19:00 (GMT)

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University of Westminster

The University of Westminster boasts a vibrant learning environment attracting more than 20,000 students from over 150 nations. We offer highly attractive practice-based courses which are independently rated as excellent, many with international recognition.

Our distinguished 175-year history has meant we lead the way in many areas of research, particularly politics, media, art and design, architecture and biomedical sciences. Additionally, our position in the heart of London allows us to continue to build on our close connections with leading figures and organisations in these areas as well as in the world of business, information technology, and law.

The Westminster Talks series features a diverse mix of speakers who are proud to have a shared history and an exciting future with us. The series aims to connect our audiences – students, alumni, staff, supporters and friends, offering a chance to find out about important research and practice underway at Westminster and the difference the work of our alumni, staff and honorary members have made in their fields.

Many of our speakers come from the University’s global community of over 170,000 alumni spread across 180 countries. Our alumni reflect the diversity and international outlook of our former students, who come from all backgrounds and cultures to study in London, and go on to have a huge impact and make great contributions to the world we live in.

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