Rachel Sara

Dr., Professor

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Rachel is delighted to supervise PhD's around community architecture and co-design; architecture and/or design education (particularly live projects and the crit); transdisciplinary architecture (particularly architecture and dance); Green Standards (including an upcoming project around developing a new 4 tier certification standard for Birmingham to support a sustainable and biodiverse built environment that responds to climate risk and vulnerability while supporting human health and wellbeing).

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Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research and Innovation interests

Professor Rachel Sara is the Oscar Naddermier Professor of Architecture at Birmingham City University, where she leads research in the Birmingham School of Architecture as College Academic Lead for Research Innovation and Enterprise. Her personal research expertise is in co-design, community participation and agency in the built environment, the way in which health and wellbeing can be affected by architecture; live project practice and pedagogy; and transdisciplinary architecture collaborations particularly between architecture and dance. She is an experienced research project lead and collaborator around community participation and co-creation, spatial agency, sustainable and restorative design and bio-materials innovation.  She leads the Urban Cultures research cluster and the Creative Practice Pedagogies cluster at BCU. Rachel is co-founder and editorial committee member for Charrette the journal of the association of architecture educators and has published in international journals such as Co-Design, Architectural Design (AD), ArchNet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research and Journal of Health Promotion International. She holds a PhD in Architecture Education from Sheffield University (2004).

Teaching Interests

Professor Rachel Sara is an experienced PhD supervisor and lecturer. She set up the Extinction Rebellion Architecture studio for the Master of Architecture at Birmingham City University. Previously Rachel co-founded Hands-on-Bristol - A collaboration between the Department of Architecture and the Built Environment at the University of the West of England and the Bristol community that sought to encourage and strengthen knowledge exchange between education programmes and local communities through collaboration in participatory live projects. The project was highly commended in SEED awards 2017, Portland, USA; highly commended in Green Gown Awards 2017, UK; Ebenezer Gate Pocket Park selected in ArchDaily’s best student design-build projects worldwide 2016. 


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