Leonard Design Architects Starts Partnership with University of Nottingham


Leonard Design Architects and the University of Nottingham (UoN) have started a new partnership to improve research and development in the architectural sector. The initiative is a first of its kind and it will allow students at the UoN’s school of architecture to work directly with local firms to produce cutting edge industry-based research.

As part of the Collaborative Practice Part 2 course at the University, students Jessica Tyson and Laura Cushnie will be employed by Leonard Design Architects over the next year to produce a piece of critical research that will help with the development of the business and its relationships with its clients.

“We are extremely excited to launch our very own research team at Leonard Design. This is a long-term relationship that we see only strengthening over the years as students at the University of Nottingham will be able to undertake practice-based research that benefits both Leonard Design and the wider sector. By working directly with our clients, Laura and Jess will have the opportunity to produce innovative industry-led research as demand for more R&D in the sector grows,” said John Morgan, director of Leonard Design Architects.

The research that both students explore will influence live industry projects – this could include anything from the impact of temporary spaces such as pop up shops and street food on public realm to the growth of the retail experience and how retailers are merging online and offline.

This is an exciting opportunity to continue working with an award-winning global architectural practice. I will work out of the Nottingham office for two and a half days per week for the first year of the two-year course allowing me to gain hands-on experience and produce a piece of independent research for the company that will count towards university credits,” said Jess Tyson, an architect assistant at Leonard Design Architects and University of Nottingham student.

“This is a completely new route into industry. Jess and I hope to make a real difference to the business and wider sector with our research and this new way of studying will allow us to continue working on-site and directly with clients gaining valuable experience. It really helps that the senior management team at Leonard Design are forward-thinking and extremely supportive,” said Laura Cushnie, also an architect assistant at Leonard Design Architects who will be undertaking the Collaborative Practice Part 2 course at the University of Nottingham.


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BDC 305 Jun 2023