Maurice Mitchell AA Dipl. RIBA Professor Architecture of Rapid Change and Scarce Resources (ARCSR) London Metropolitan University.
Maurice Mitchell teaches, researches and directs live projects in the Faculty of Architecture and Spatial Design (FASD) at London Metropolitan University where he runs a Diploma Studio. He has also taught at the Architectural Association, Oxford Brookes University and the Development Planning Unit, University College London.
His area of interest lies in the narrative interplay between technical and everyday cultural factors in the production and sustainability of the built environment, particularly in situations of rapid change and scarce resources where new identities are forged in the process of remaking.
Educated at the Architectural Association, his early career included extended periods of work in the shanty towns of Ghana to initiate and establish the Tema Housing Cooperative with the Department of Housing and Planning Research at Kumasi University and as Regional Building Materials Advisor to the Southern Regional Government of Sudan. His first book Culture, Cash and Housing (1992) explores the lessons learned from the experience of Voluntary Service Overseas in the field of building for development. He has been involved with and published on typhoon resistant construction in Vietnam in cooperation with NGO Development Workshop - France, of which he is a board member.
Ideas relating the building process and appropriate building technologies to architectural education are explored in his second book The Lemonade Stand: Exploring the unfamiliar by building large scale models (1998) which highlights the importance of the culture of making within architectural education by drawing on the exploratory work produced during hands on courses which he has run over 25 years at the Centre for Alternative Technology, Wales. His Diploma studio undertakes an annual field trip in which students engage proactively with a local situation, usually in a transitional urban settlement, devising imaginative responses to specific cultural and technical issues.
Work undertaken by the studio in Kosovo is recorded and discussed in his third book Rebuilding Community in Kosovo (2003). For the last eight years the studio’s focus has centred on design for situations of rapid change and scarce resources in India (Gujarat 2002, Meerut 2003, Delhi 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009 and Agra 2006, 2010). This work is covered in his fourth book Learning from Delhi (2010) published by Ashgate. He supervises PhD’s in the research area Architecture of Rapid Change and Scarce Resources.
He directs live projects in the Projects Office at FASD funded by the Water Trust. Recent live projects include the Kutchhpura Sanitation Upgrading Project, Agra, India with Indian NGO CURE; the Navi Mumbai bridge classrooms for the children of quarry workers with Indian NGO ARPHEN and the Kaningo School project in Freetown Sierra Leone with Sierre Leonian NGO CESO.