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Ulrike Steven

Studio Tutor Unit 2, M ARCH: Architecture
Central Saint Martins
Person Type
Ulrike  Steven


I am a registered architect who has taught Architecture at the University of East London and the Cass School of Architecture, and I am the co-founder of what if: projects, an architecture practice that embraces the complexities of politics and people. Crossing the boundary between community enabler, architect and infrastructure designers, what if: projects develop interventions with goals ranging from radically improving space for cycling and walking, to increasing the transparency of local planning activity and through to designing and financing the re-generation of community spaces.

Preoccupied with neglected, vacant spaces in the city and the possibilities these can offer to communities, I have helped to initiate a number of acclaimed projects including the Livesey Exchange workshops on Old Kent Road, community centre Charterhouse Road Club in Hackney and the Vacant Lot allotment programme on 21 housing estates in London. I am part of the GLA’s Special Assistant Team supporting ‘project set up’ and contributes to Croydon’s Place Review Panel.

what if: projects have won awards including the Architect of the Year Infrastructure Award 2018 for the Mini Holland series of interventions in Waltham Forest. The Vacant Lot programme has been published and exhibited internationally generating considerable media attention and informing government policy on health and equality.