The Dean’s Foreword
Like many communities, The Bartlett was forced to adapt to challenging circumstances in 2021. Nonetheless, we remained focused on the common causes that unite us as a faculty.
Welcome to The Bartlett Review 2021.
This is The Bartlett’s opportunity to reflect on another transformative year in which our diverse global community came together – in person and online – to continue advancing our shared mission of building a better future.
In the last year, like so many communities around the world, our faculty spent much of the time in lockdown. Living under various levels of restriction, we were unable to work, research, teach or learn in the usual ways. And so, we poured our creativity into transforming practices, innovating pedagogy and embracing new (mostly digital) methods. We learned how to be global without travelling. We found ways to build relationships and share knowledge while distancing. And we strengthened our connections to place, with many of us spending more time than ever before immersed in our local neighbourhoods, getting to know the spaces and people around our homes in deeper and slower ways.
Throughout, we remained intensely focused on the issues that unite us as a faculty: taking action to address the climate crisis, developing solutions for resilient urban futures, ensuring just and equitable spaces for all and reshaping design education as part of our long-term goal to be more diverse and inclusive. These efforts are all captured in this year’s Review.
In October 2021, as part of the faculty’s climate action initiative, we announced The Bartlett’s commitment to achieve net zero by 2030. Our journey to reach this goal is shaped by extensive work and thinking on sustainability, which ranges from advising the government on how to use biomass in the clean energy transition to understanding how accelerated environmental change is threatening heritage buildings.
As we learn to adapt to climate change, we also need to make our built environment more resilient – not only to physical threats but also to social needs. The pandemic has put immense pressure on cities, homes and livelihoods, revealing – and producing – inequalities that range across health, education, mobility, housing, energy, access to green space, and more. We are rebounding but the question remains: how do we build back better? Bartlett researchers are answering this question, whether it is by studying how Britain’s homes performed under lockdown, why face-to-face still matters in decision-making, new ways to enable community participation in building design or how good street design can improve our health.
“Working closely with our many partners in London and around the world, we are driven to create a post-pandemic future that is just, sustainable and healthy.”