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Christina Duckett and Geoff Cook

Christina Duckett and Geoff Cook

Highly Commended Winner 2016
The Breaking Down Barriers Project at Reading: Educating for twenty-first century lives

Research Abstract

The Breaking Down Barriers project at the University of Reading responds to the need to address ethical, legal and moral imperatives to promote an inclusive society through innovation in built environment professional education.  It achieves this by going beyond current expectations of best practice in provision of teaching and learning relating to the construction, design and management of inclusive environments.  


The BdB project responds to the need for improvement in built environment professional education in inclusive design identified by the joint Government/Mayor of London Paralympic Legacy Built Environment Professional Education (BEPE) Project, and addresses new and emerging accreditation requirements of a range of professional bodies and QAA Subject Benchmark Statements relating to various disciplines.  


It also responds to the needs of employers. As the incidence of disability and impairment increases with age, and people are living and working longer, inclusive design of products and services is of increased importance, and high on the corporate agenda for many employers.


The University of Reading prioritises investing in shared resources, developing experiential learning activities suitable for a wide range of applications. It aims to make access and inclusion second nature amongst students and colleagues, and seeks to develop a culture of responsible citizenship relevant to 21st-century lives. 

Winner's Bios

Mrs Christina Duckett

University of Reading

Christina Duckett BA DipArch RIBA MRTPI SFHEA is an experienced architect, planner and higher education professional, Christina was until recently Deputy School Director of Teaching and Learning in the School of the Built Environment at the University of Reading UK with special responsibilities for Architecture, and a Lecturer on the University’s undergraduate Surveying and Construction Management programmes, with inputs to the MSc in Conservation of the Historic Environment at the Henley Business School. Breaking Down Barriers initiator and project lead, Christina is now a Visiting Fellow to the University of Reading, combining academic work with practice.  

Dr Geoff Cook

University of Reading

Dr Geoff Cook BSc(Hons) PhD CEng FRSA FRICS FCIOB MCIBSE MIESNA is an Associate Professor in the School of Construction Management and Engineering at the University of Reading, UK. The findings of his extensive research portfolio are embedded in BS8300: 2009; Design of buildings and their approaches to meet the needs of disabled people the BS committee and ISO 21542 Building construction – Accessibility and usability of the built environment.  


Geoff is a Past-President of the Society of Light and Lighting (UK), a Board Member of the Built Environment Professional Education Board and chair of the BS8300 Committee and the Accreditation Panel of the CIOB.  


Judge's comments

“This innovation in education is a practical, engaging and demonstrable way to bring to life a real social challenge with widespread value and application. The innovation shows a genuine commitment to invest in the UK’s building stock and educate the next generation of professionals to ensure the needs of all users of a facility are firmly met.”