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Research profile

I consider myself as a transdisciplinary human, skilled at uncovering and realising creative opportunities in diverse fields of study, enabling me to cross boundaries and link people and city. At TU Delft’s Faculty of Architecture, alongside city stakeholders, international experts and young innovators I define spatial solutions that are vital for the future wellbeing of people, cities in an era of climate emergency and spatial inequality. Complimenting those city ambitions at TU Delft, I hold the position of ‘Professor of Architecture’ at the Grenfell-Baines Institute of Architecture in the United Kingdom.

My doctoral thesis, the first to be awarded at the Manchester School of Architecture, proposed a spatially creative design method for the sustainable growth of cities. Expertise evolving to meet societal urban challenges through a first of a kind participatory and public space creative live labs that I lead across Europe. My aim is to bridge together the culturally creative and technical industries for the advancement of cities, public space and societal value. Ensuring that city aspirations for the environment are amplified and nurtured by the families who will live them.

Academic background

   What is life? It is the flash of the firefly at night…

it is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset

  

DIALOGUE 

   The words of Chief Blackfoot, inspiration for the Fireflies permanent public art work in central Manchester. Based on the little illuminated insects caught briefly by children in jars, twenty-four solar-powered harmonic sculptures would evolve through conversations between an artist and architect. Their design, an interpretation of natural harmony and intelligence. Their achievement, the bridge they made between art, technology and the public realm. Suspended above the trees, accessible for all to see, hear and wonder. No need to visit the museum, tropics or internet, their daytime and nocturnal success being the unexpected public encounters they’d activate during people’s rhythms and rituals.

   An interventional artwork that publicly explored how technology can reach out and help define the future direction of art, architecture and public space within the city. Gaining the knowledge and experience to link every city scale, from the technically tangible and detailed, to the unimaginably visionary, has allowed me unique insight.  It continues to teach me how best to creatively support communities in addressing spatial inequalities and urban challenges. That an interpretation and merger of the local (i.e., place, people and family), with the global (i.e., inequality, climate change), has the power to re-establish vital spatial narratives within cities. A force that can begin conversations between people with different specialisms and backgrounds. A realisation shaped by the diverse educational, cultural and city contexts I’ve worked with and brought together. From these experiences I consider myself a transdisciplinary human, skilled at uncovering and realising creative opportunities in many fields, enabling me to cross boundaries and link people and city.

  

LISTEN

   A key finding that has emerged from the many dialogues and radical public space solutions I’ve had the opportunity to lead and contribute to, is to listen. Through listening I’ve discovered that people are expert in how they live and spatially interact with their cities. That time invested in them, asking the right questions, listening sincerely to their experiences and needs, is the greatest step one can take toward societal value in the built environment. As a Professor of Architecture, at an institution located within the region I grew up, it’s a privilege to share with them my lessons learnt. For me, this a personal story that comes full circle. A story motivated by breaking down social barriers and raising people’s aspirations for the space that surrounds them.

  

REIMAGINE

   As a boy, my passion, purpose, was to reimagine the world surrounding me through drawing. As an art student, later appreciating the shared joy creating can give to those around me. Reimaging the built environment around us, society, followed. Without realising it, I became a public spatial thinker, at that same moment guiding the technological and future urban vision of a high-ranked institution in the United Kingdom. That synergy of expertise taking me onto Delft to develop methods that spatially, socially and technologically reimagine public space across Europe. In Belfast, Dubrovnik, Izmir, Menorca, Sevilla, Roeselare, Preston, Nicosia, and in The Netherlands (Amsterdam, Delft, Amersfoort, Elburg, Zutphen and planned for March 2022, Amsterdam’s Indische Buurt). Those experiences being the foundation of the City-zen roadshow, an public space creative live lab, recently described by the European Commission as a success story, innovative and first-of-a-kind for the impact made in the heart of communities.

 

EQUALITY

   The pandemic accelerated and tipped into normality radical spatial solutions that my colleagues and I have developed alongside cities over the last decade. For example, city streets reimagined into connected communities, places to meet once unknown neighbours, landscapes for the exchange of locally produced culture, energy and food. Crisis magnifies the inevitable.

   Public space is now valued more than ever before. A moment to be seized. Or risk retreat back to the overfamiliar, the comfortable, the same old spatial inequalities. We must strive to be radical pioneers in this new normal scenario and show the possibilities by ever stretching art and technology across the public realm within the sustainable city. My vision has always been to see the city cohesively connected and sustainable. Whether it be through building scaled and city distributed crystals, sparkles of urban fireflies or through multicommunal ecological peace corridors. That vision has strengthened over the last year.

Education/Academic qualification

UTQ University Teaching Qualification (The Delft University of Technology)

Award Date: 3 Jun 2019

Doctor of Philosophy - Urban Sustainability & Public Space (Manchester School of Architecture)

Award Date: 1 Jun 2007

Master of Arts (Post Masters) Cities, Public Space (Manchester School of Architecture)

Award Date: 24 May 2000

Bachelor of Architecture (The Manchester School of Architecture)

Award Date: 3 Jul 1998

Bachelor of Arts with Honours - In Architecture (The University of Manchester)

Award Date: 14 Jul 1995

External positions

Living Lab Coach, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS)

Professor of Architecture, University of Central Lancashire

Keywords

  • NA Architecture
  • Sustainable Cities
  • Public Space
  • Societal Impact
  • Positive Energy Districts

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  • KaDEr Gelderland 'Elburg' Roadshow

    C.L. Martin (Chair of programme committee), H. Zijlstra (Member of programme committee), Gerald Wagenaar (Member of programme committee), Hettie Tychon-Kwakkel (Member of programme committee), A.A.J.F. van den Dobbelsteen (Member of programme committee), Greg Keeffe (Member of programme committee), Riccardo Pulselli (Member of programme committee), S. Broersma (Member of programme committee), L.J.J.H.M. Gommans (Member of programme committee), Michiel Fremouw (Member of programme committee), Theo Heldoorn (Organiser), Arjan Klein (Organiser), Paul Thissen (Member of programme committee) & Peter Drenth (Member of programme committee)

    1 Sep 20213 Dec 2021

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

  • KaDEr Gelderland 'Zutphen' Roadshow

    C.L. Martin (Chair of programme committee), H. Zijlstra (Member of programme committee), Hendrik Haafkens (Member of programme committee), Anton de Lange (Member of programme committee), A.A.J.F. van den Dobbelsteen (Member of programme committee), Greg Keeffe (Member of programme committee), Riccardo Pulselli (Member of programme committee), S. Broersma (Member of programme committee), L.J.J.H.M. Gommans (Member of programme committee), Michiel Fremouw (Member of programme committee), Paul Thissen (Member of programme committee), Peter Drenth (Member of programme committee), Eva Boswinkel (Participant), Mathijs ten Broeke (Participant), Laura Werger (Participant) & Annemieke Vermeulen (Member of programme committee)

    6 Sep 20218 Dec 2021

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

  • UNFICYP YOUTH CHAMPIONS - Environment & Peace

    C.L. Martin (Speaker)

    10 Jul 2020

    Activity: Talk or presentationTalk or presentation at a workshop, seminar, course or other meeting

    File
  • DG ENER Seminar: Co-creational approach promoting happier, healthier and more connected communities

    C.L. Martin (Speaker)

    9 Oct 2019

    Activity: Talk or presentationTalk or presentation at a workshop, seminar, course or other meeting

    File
  • City-zen 'Nicosia' Roadshow

    C.L. Martin (Chair of programme committee), Marios Touvanas (Member of programme committee), Markella Menikou (Member of programme committee), Fikri Toros (Member of programme committee), Phidias Pilides (Member of programme committee), Panikkos Poutziouris (Member of programme committee), A.A.J.F. van den Dobbelsteen (Member of programme committee), Riccardo Pulselli (Member of programme committee) & Greg Keeffe (Member of programme committee)

    8 May 201919 May 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

    File