Social Responsibility and Sustainability

Design for well-being: modelling villages for 21st century

Staff and students are invited to explore whether the concept of a model village can be updated and reconstructed to provide a framework for community building in two contexts: within the globalised cityscape of Edinburgh; and a post-conflict living environment for displaced peoples in the South Sudan.

The University aims to utilise its institutional resource to promote good health, economic growth, cultural understanding and social justice. Putting our research in the service of community well-being and positive social transformation, requires us to pioneer new ways of inter-disciplinary working and foster more extreme modes of collaboration than hitherto.

This event aims to take a holistic approach to design, drawing multi-disciplinary understanding of well-being. Participants will be allocated to multi-disciplinary teams which will be required to solve two design challenges relating to: (i) the Edinburgh Village; (ii) the Global Village.

In the final practical session of the event, each team will showcase their design solutions to an expert panel. An ethnographer will be present throughout the event to observe the ways in which individuals and teams approach inter and cross-disciplinary working. The day will conclude with critical reflections on the ways in which the University can best support inter-disciplinarity and next steps needed to promote design for well-being.

Speakers include:

- Dr Winston Kwon (Business School)

- Professor Dave Reay (Geosciences)

- Dr Neil Thin (School of Social and Political Science)

- Professor John Ravenscroft (Moray House School of Education)

- Dr Andy Cross (Geosciences)

- Professor Luke Bisby (School of Engineering)

- Professor Ewan Klein (School of Informatics)

- Professor Andy Kerr (Geosciences)

- Professor Catharine Ward Thompson (Edinburgh College of Art)


The event will be facilitated by Professor Lesley McAra, Assistant Principal Community Relations and Chair of Penology.

Doors will open from 9am, with the event starting promptly at 9.30am. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

Background:Patrick Geddes’ book Cities in Evolution (1915), was published towards the end of the ‘model village movement’ in the UK. These villages (such as Saltire in West Yorkshire; Bournville near Birmingham, Port Sunlight and Garden Village near Liverpool) were constructed by industrialists keen to give their workforce access to better housing, schools and health care. Whilst such villages stemmed from genuinely philanthropic intentions on the part of industrialists, it was also evident that a flourishing workforce would be a more efficient and productive one. Thus, welfarist imperatives were inextricably linked to entrepreneurialism, with an expectation that investment in the village would result in greater profits for the business over the longer term and more control over the workers: a vision at odds with Geddes’ more democratic approach to design.

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Feb 20 2017 09:00 - 16:30

Design for well-being: modelling villages for 21st century

Entry is on a first come first served basis. If you are late, we cannot guarantee your place.
This event may be photographed and/or recorded for promotional or recruitment materials for the University and University approved third parties.

The Pod, Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation, High School Yards, Infirmary Street, Edinburgh EH1 1LZ