Originally trained as a landscape architect, Michael has had wide-ranging, international work experience in the fields of urban regeneration, community engagement in the design process. He helped develop both the theory and the implementation of social, ecological and financial sustainability issues at the £60 million the Earth Centre millennium landmark project, and later worked for the DEMI project (an on-line resource for sustainable design education).
As Lecturer in Sustainability he is active in the Faculty’s lively sustainability research and teaching environment. Prior to joining Kingston University in 2006 he spent nine years based at Leeds Metropolitan University where he developed specialist knowledge in sustainable product design. He has also taught at Goldsmiths College (University of London), and the University for the Creative Arts.
Research interests include the potential contribution that design can make to sustainable urban wellbeing and the communication of sustainable design to practitioners and in higher education. In his teaching Michael has sought to encourage the active engagement of students through the use of an experiential learning pedagogy – creating ‘live’ projects with links to wider commercial, academic and local residential communities; by bringing in practising designers and specialist tutors; setting up competitions and awards with expert judging panels. An interest in inclusive design has led him to initiate and deliver student design projects with the support of organisations such as the RNIB and the Refugee Council.
During his post graduate studies, Michael won second prize in the Design Category of the IFLA International Design Competition and in 2004 won first prize in the ‘Living laboratory’ run by the Giraffe Consultancy at Sustainable Innovation 03, Sweden for his concept for a sustainable business model which was commended for its “blue-sky, thought-provoking, radical concepts and ideas”.
He is a Fellow of the RSA, sits on the steering group for the annual ‘Teach-In for Ecological Literacy’, and in his spare time enjoys adventures in the outdoors, cycling, ceramics, garden design and construction, food growing, and active involvement with the Campaign against Climate Change and the Transition Towns movement.