Team Cecilia Lindstrom 1 2400

Cecilia Lindström

Associate Director

Since the early days of practising urban design, I’ve wanted to celebrate the true diversity and layered complexity of our culture.”
Since the early days of practising urban design, I’ve wanted to celebrate the true diversity and layered complexity of our culture.”

So often, the opportunities for individuality in the built environment are compromised by the increasingly draconian planning system that dictates the growth of our cities. Since the early days of practising urban design, I’ve wanted to celebrate the true diversity and layered complexity of our culture, and veer away from a top-down masterplanning approach that tends to generate sterile and soulless places. It’s a question of self-expression, perhaps my one true obsession in life.

My academic explorations into facilitating systems for self-generated growth focused on organic and iterative transformation that takes place over time, enabled by many different catalysts and agents of change. Here, generosity and adaptability were the core placemaking values.

With these as my guiding principles, the tabula plena approach of Studio Egret West chimed with me. The Studio does things differently, unapologetically and with verve. It approaches every opportunity with a fresh perspective, moves effortlessly between the macro and the micro, and employs pragmatism and poetry in equal measures.

But more than anything, the backbone of the Studio’s practice lies in storytelling – an ability to tease out the inherent qualities of a place, or the potential future qualities of a place. Our work has provided a clear vision for Catford Town Centre through much-needed public-realm improvements and a diversified town centre. Our landscape-led framework for the once pioneering Dartington Estate in Devon seeks to reignite the estate’s experimental spirit and re-establish it as a progressive laboratory for learning and living. And our framework for Mayfield will reactivate a forgotten and redundant piece of the city and create the largest park in Manchester since the Victorian era. Through a process of collective discovery, site-specific responses can be formulated to help stimulate new life and abundant character.

Aside from project work, I also lead the Studio’s research effort and the content production for our Showroom’s temporary exhibitions, which focus on topics that affect our cities and built environment today, from living with industry to the future of car parks.