Duncan Baker-Brown

Duncan Baker-Brown

Founder of BakerBrown, Climate Literacy Champion (Principal Lecturer) at the School of Architecture Technology & Engineering (ATE) University of Brighton, Member of RIBA Council, Co-Chair RIBA Climate Emergency Expert Advisory Group, Architects Climate Action Network (ACAN), Architects Declare Steering Committee, Member of Brighton & Hove City Circular Economy Oversight Board, Member of South Downs National Park Design Review Panel, Member of Governance Board for UK Net Zero Carbon Buildings Standard Brief Biography Duncan is a practicing architect, academic and environmental activist. Author of ‘The Re-Use Atlas: a designer’s guide towards a circular economy’ published by RIBA, he has practised, researched, and taught around issues of sustainable development and closed-looped systems for more than 25 years. He recently founded BakerBrown, a research-led architectural practice and consultancy created to address the huge demands presented by the climate and ecological emergency as well as the challenges of designing in a post-COVID world. Over the years Duncan’s practices (and academic ‘live’ projects) have won numerous accolades including RIBA National Awards and a special award from The Stephen Lawrence Prize for the Brighton Waste House – the prize money has since been used to set up a student prize for circular, closed loop design at the University of Brighton where Duncan teaches. Duncan has worked on projects as diverse as ‘The Greenwich Millennium Village’ in London, the RIBA’s ‘House of the Future’, the multi-award-winning ‘Brighton Waste House’ and recently he designed a new building for Glyndebourne Opera that will be constructed from waste flows and organic materials grown on site. Duncan is currently working on schemes for Net-Zero Carbon social housing with Brighton & Hove City Council, where he has recently lead on drafting of their recently published Circular Economy Route Map.

Duncan is currently Module Coordinator for both undergraduate Technology and Professional Practices. He is Principal Investigator for two EU Interreg research programmes focussing on the re-use of construction waste, building deconstruction and re-construction. Duncan curated and organised the recent international digital summer school in August 2021. Named ‘The School of Re-construction’, it asked 11 teams of students (totalling. 80+), and team leaders from across the world, to consider the social, economic, political, ethical, phenomenological and environmental issues associated with re-use or ‘Mining the Anthropocene’ as BakerBrown calls it. Duncan is principal investigator for the University of Brighton steering a year-long study into affordable strategies for low carbon retrofitting of social housing for seven local authorities known as The Greater Brighton Economic Board

Lecture series /opening:
18:00 h
Day tone

Mining the Anthropocene; exercising the right to reuse

Recently humans have suffered the COVID-19 pandemic, climate-induced mass bush & forest fires, floods and world-wide draughts. Add to that a war that is currently holding much of the world to ransom because of its reliance on exported fossil fuels. As a consequence, even the world’s most affluent countries are suddenly very much aware of the real value of Planet Earth’s finite resources. No wonder ‘everybody’ wants to know how to reduce the need to consume stuff, and re-use what they have rather than throw the old thing away in order to buy a new one. It’s becoming ever more obvious to many people that we need immediate systemic change to facilitate a dramatic reduction in the harvesting for our planet’s raw materials, whether that is climate-heating fossil fuels or iron ore, timber or sand. Fossil fuels and raw materials are just too expensive for most people to afford. Duncan Baker-Brown will consider how to implement circular systems that will dramatically reduce our need for mass consumption of new resources by reusing what humans have already processed; to Mine the Anthropocene.