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UEL architecture academic appointed Design Advocate for Mayor of London

UEL in London

Dinah Bornat is part of a select group of 50 leading architects and designers

A senior lecturer in architecture at the University of East London (UEL) is one of 50 architects and designers who have been selected as Mayor’s Design Advocates, part of a new programme to provide quality building and design in the London. 

Dinah Bornat (far top right with glasses and a black top), who lectures in architecture at UEL and runs her own practice, ZCD Architects, is now tasked with providing quality advice to Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, his team at City Hall, and local councils as they implement the Good Growth by Design programme.

Launched on 10 July, Good Growth by Design aims to enhance the design of buildings and neighbourhoods for all Londoners.

Ms Bornat said, “I am really proud to be one of the Mayor's Design Advocates. Our job will be to support the Mayor of London's programme of good growth by using our skills and experience to bring out the best in London's housing, regeneration and development projects.

“My research, that began life at UEL, is about placing people and children at the heart of design thinking, which is very much how I will be approaching the role.”

Ms Bornat is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and member of the Hackney Estate Regeneration Design Advice Group.

Her research into residents’ use of external spaces in housing developments means she is regularly asked to contribute to publications and participate in events associated with health and wellbeing, social use of space and play. 

She is actively collaborating with Hackney Council, Harrow Council, Policy Studies Institute, A New Direction, Reading University and others.

The Mayor’s programme will set and apply ambitious design standards for London buildings, and launch a new social enterprise - ‘Public Practice’ - that will place talented designers and planners in local authorities for up to a year.

Speaking at the launch event at the London School of Economics, Mayor Khan said, “We must embrace London’s rapid growth with both hands and take this chance to use good architecture and planning to make a real difference to the lives of Londoners. 

“And this is a chance to learn from past mistakes, some of which are still dotted across our city, and blight the lives of the communities that live in them.

“One of the ways I want to apply the principles of Good Growth is to re-balance development in London away from the high-price homes in central London towards more genuinely affordable homes for all Londoners. 

“This is just one of the ways in which Good Growth has the potential to transform London. This programme will ensure we make the most of London’s growth so that every community is able to share in the fruits of development.”

According to the Mayor’s Office, London needs to provide space for 46,000 new jobs and build 50,000 new homes a year just to keep up with demand, as well as build the social infrastructure to support both. 

Other Mayor’s Design Advocates include celebrated architects Sir David Adjaye OBE, Alison Brooks, Sadie Morgan, and influential fashion designer Wayne Hemingway MBE.