Aims and objectives

Place Production Group, formerly referred to as Place Research Lab has developed a particular approach to the study of and productive engagement with, places. Places are understood as being socially produced and the processes of their production are intimately bound into their nature. Nature is re-interpreted as a man-made construct; as one of many lenses through which the world can be viewed. From this critical position, our objective is to examine and interpret the specific processes of the production of places. Through active engagement, via teaching and practice, we are able to draw out strands of the productive processes that otherwise remain hidden. Through contributing to the changing nature of places, we are able to reveal more about their underlying processes than from an abstract position.

Our work is primarily undertaken through reflective writing and lecturing on our own architectural practice and teaching, with each in turn informing and adjusting the other in an evolving relationship. We are natural collaborators and each project brings together a range of fellow producers, but our core group membership remains constant as a clear voice to critique and reflect on our own work.

Our ongoing partnership on research, teaching and live projects with the Sustainability Research Institute is key to our engagement strategy. Our former colleague Michela is now a research fellow in Venice, and continues collaboration, working with Alan Chandler on the book 'The Production of Heritage' (Routledge) 2020 and on the development of conservation strategies with the Municipality of Madrid, Spain.

The group is recognised as a Research Group of the Sustainability Research Institute at
the University of East London.

 Research group leader:
Alan Chandler

Previous work

Our architectural research has developed a distinctive ethos focused around the social and environmental contexts that develops our pedagogical commitment to social responsibility into practice based or 'action research', frequently resulting in knowledge exchange and consultancy roles. Our research groups are driven by the belief that architecture and practice can effectively challenge and shape policy, delivering material interventions that bring socio-cultural value and wellbeing to local people through the regeneration of the public realm and shared spaces.

Under the PPG's former identity as Place Research Lab (PRL - its remit was described as being dedicated to researching the concept of Places and their complexities. PRL works at defining new cultural understandings of urban ecology through place-based and material collaborations with architecture practices, communities and the public/third sector. The work of PRL was recognised by the United Nations University as part of its London Centre for Excellence in Place based Education.

Co-Curators and fabricator of the 'London-Venice' installation on the Loggia of the Ducal Palace, St Mark's Square, Venice during the 2014 Architecture Biennale and the 2014 London Architecture Festival, June 2014.

Conference and workshops organised by Place Production Group team in 2012 at UEL; 40 high-quality papers presented.

Conferences attended

  • Green and Sustainable Building Conference, Bologna 2011 (paper d from delegates from all 5 continents of the world. Parallel construction and art workshops interacted with the conference proceedings. Pending publication.
  • Wellbeing, Birmingham University 2011 (paper presented)
  • Les Ateliers workshop conference, Irkutsk, Russia, 2011 (paper presented)
  • Les Ateliers workshop conference, Naya Raipur, India, 2012 (workshop documents presented and published)
  • Designing Place, Nottingham University 2012 (2 papers presented)
  • Low Carbon Solutions: Institution of Civil Engineers Conference 2011, Loughborough University (Keynote)
  • International Society of Fabric Forming international Conference, Bath University 2012 (Keynote)
  • Live Projects Conference, Oxford 2013 (paper and book chapter)
  • Live Project Colloquium Queens University, Belfast 2012 (paper and publication)
  • RIBA annual research conference, London, 2013
  • EAST conference, Basildon, 2014, (presentation on Naya Raipur workshop)
  • Keynote Speaker at the XIX Chilean Architecture Biennale in Valparaiso, speaking on the socio-political role of Heritage in architecture, May 2015.
  • Tangible and Intangible Heritage(s): Design, social and cultural critiques on the past, present and the future, London 2018

Current work

  • RSA Transition project - feasibility study for the establishment of a social enterprise to reduce re-offending in those leaving prison; pilot project with HMP Humber in East Yorkshire (ongoing).
  • Cressingham Gardens, with Social Life and Lambeth Council; pilot project for co-production process for the redevelopment of social housing estates.
  • Palacio Pereira, Santiago Chile completion 2021.
  • Fabric Formwork - finalisation of Heatherwick Studios technical research, completing book chapter on the project.
  • ARENA collaborations on 'Hood' and the use of cork in zero carbon housing with Studio Bark and SRI.


Collaborative practices:
Matter Architecture / Arts Lettres Techniques / Zector Architects / Febrik

Gallery of work

Contact us

Place Production Group

School of Architecture, Computing and Engineering

University of East London
Docklands Campus
4-6 University Way
London E16 2RD



Our location

We are based in UEL's Docklands campus which has excellent public transport links.