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Introducing LSA Lab — a new collaborative space for experimental pedagogy

The London School of Architecture is launching LSA Lab‚ a year-long project that will test, develop and deliver innovative learning and industry initiatives. 

The LSA is where practice and social enterprise meets knowledge and design teaching. Building on this and projects already in development within the school and its Practice Network, LSA Lab creates a nimble space for experimentation, analysis, and demonstration of design and its impact. 

Lara Kinneir, formally Design Cities Lead at the LSA, will take on a new role as Lab Director, bringing more than 15 years of teaching and alternative practice experience, as well as a wealth of industry and academic connections. 

 

Why are we doing this?

We need to take a different approach to trial new modes of education and practice to ensure design and its teaching can effectively contribute solutions to the many societal challenges we face. The Lab will bring together critical and diverse voices, a range of skills and disciplines, and new research and thinking, strengthening our core academic programme and deepening our offering to contemporary and future practice in the process. 

Over the coming year, Lara will deliver a varied programme of work to augment the LSA’s academic programme. This will include: developing a series of vertical design charrettes for students, faculty and the practice network; testing new pedagogical approaches and enhancing current course content. To support and develop our practice-based faculty, she will scope opportunities for practice-led research initiatives, strengthening student and faculty research skills and methodological rigour. 

The Lab will also support our three Teaching Development Fellows — our early career tutors: Jordan Whitewood-Neal, Yanni Pitsilliides and Indujah Srikaran. It will also support our new Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation Fellow to deliver innovative studio- and workshop-based activities as part of our enhanced Outreach programme. 

LSA Lab will be outward-facing: contributing to an even more ambitious programme of public and community engagement, carving out a civic role for our school in the heart of East London. Students, educators and practitioners will work alongside wider skill sets and civic voices, creating interdisciplinary and collaborative working environments as well as learning opportunities.

By its nature, LSA Lab  is a collaborative endeavour. If you are interested in getting involved, extending our network of collaborators and working together to support our mission and vision please contact us at lara@the-lsa.org

 

LSA CEO and Head of School, Dr Neal Shasore said:

‘Our school is built on innovation, collaboration, and a critical perspective on the challenges our world faces. As the LSA matures, we need to maintain a space to think, reflect, and challenge; to effectively research and develop to keep our model fresh and forward-looking. Our new Lab will allow us to do this, as we chart a course for the LSA’s next phase. I’m delighted that Lara will be at its helm.’ 

 

Director of LSA Lab, Lara Kinneir said: 

‘Design and its implementation has a critical offer to make to our world. I have long been focused on how we as a design industry can further demonstrate and deliver on the value of design to improve societal challenges. LSA Lab comes at a critical time to provide a new structure to cultivate relationships across design education and practice, and beyond to other industries that we seek to innovate and learn from. I look forward to working across the school and sector to forge new routes for impact.’

 

LSA alumnus and current Design Tutor, Chiara Barrett said: 

‘The LSA Lab is an exciting next step in the school’s commitment to connecting academia and practice, where opportunities for professional development are now expanded to alumni and disciplines outside of architecture. As a former student and now design tutor at the school, I look forward to participating and widening our impact.’