Some of the great works, writers and architects, whose ideas consistently inspire us.


Design Inspirations


Jane Jacobs

Taking abstract ideas of urbanism, community and neighbourhood, she breathed life, soul and substance into them with a lifetime of careful observations, anecdotes and analysis. She put real people at the heart of everything.

Death & Life of Great American Cities


Christopher Alexander

Form follows life. A manifesto for a more intimate, sensitive, but also flexible fit between community, life, relationships, and the spaces they inhabit.

A Pattern Language


Kevin Lynch

How do we read space in cities -and the city as a whole- when we move through it?  Lynch breaks this down, in order to create a more sophisticated and nuanced form of legibility, for the architect to refer to when operating in the urban fabric.

The Image Of The City


Rob Hopkins

Laying out the agenda for a carbon neutral, self sustaining future for our towns, that revolves around proactive communities adopting and inventing new economic models.

The Transition Handbook



A publication exploring twenty five trailblazing projects working in the new Civic Economy, each in their own fashion generating prosperity in sustainable, socially engaged ways.

Compendium for the Civic Economy


Atelier Bow-Wow

Architecture literally at the scale of a person (pet architecture) that sneaks into all the nooks and crannies which otherwise get overlooked, bringing life and activity to every conceivable metropolitan space. Also, architectures of extreme hybridization, where the most unlikely uses find themselves bedfellows in the most unlikely places, a golf drive and garage in one building under a motorway’s raised slip-road…

Pet Architecture Guide Book

Made In Tokyo Guide Book


Motivating Critiques


Stewart Brand

Buildings usually live on past their initial use, and already planning for adaptability at the design stage could mean our cities might evolve more easily, with less need for demolitions and wholesale redevelopment.

How Buildings Learn


Mike Davis

Segregation, privatisation, and spatially enforced perpetual consumption, Mike Davis draws case studies from around the world, warning us of the worst tendencies of neo-liberal economics when it dictates urban form.

City of Quartz

Planet of Slums

Variations on a Theme Park


Anna Minton

What defines the way British cities are now? Anna Minton strips away the jargon of the New Labour years, and lays bare the players, forces and policies that are still acting to change our cities to a degree not seen since the post-war period.

Ground Control 


Owen Hatherley

Architecture and cities always embody a period’s values and priorities, and Hatherley’s devastating review of the past decade’s urban production pinpoints the lack of civic and social values in society and the economy at large, as the true reasons for our built environment’s aesthetic and substantive insipidness.

A Guide To The New Ruins of Great Britain


Bernard Rudofsky

Celebrating the value of vernacular craft, and architectures that are build by occupants themselves, without recourse to abstract aesthetic principles, but which are guided by intimate responses to needs and lifestyles.

Architecture Without Architects


Frank Duffy

Looking at the effects of the vast increase of office dominated environments in our city centres, and how best to avoid these situations in the future.

Work and the City


Robert Cowan

An irreverent and clever summary of Urbanism and its key players and concepts, minus the jargon.

The Dictionary of Urbanism


Loughborough University

The following diagrams are from the University’s continuing research into adaptability in architecture and the built environment. If you want to find out more about Adaptable Futures please visit



Story Tellers


Saul Steinberg

Steinberg’s illustrations make everything deeper, they help you see things differently, better, funnier, more… an unloved façade reveals a hundred and one beautiful tales of love, exhaustion, anger, boredom and lust… a metro carriage on a friday night becomes an aviary of lurid and clucking tropical specimens… The patina of an old cabinet case is in fact the venerable layers of dust on a grand turn of the century brownstone.

His Many Urban Illustrations



Michael Steimer

A collection of tales and stories from Neighbourhoods around Europe, with residents talking about their engagement with each other, their local area, their hopes for the future, and memories from the past.

Culture and Neighbourhoods


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