Designing for Welfare:

The Architecture and Landscape of Post-1945 Public Housing

Course Leader

Luca Csepely-Knorr

Amber Roberts

Matthew Steele

Landscape, architecture and planning, in the post-1945 period, is often associated with the idea and ideals of the ‘Welfare State’ which aimed to create and secure ‘fair shares for all’ with policies such as the ‘National Health Service Act’ (1948), the ‘New Towns Act’ (1946) and the ‘Housing Act’ (1949) In the face of today’s growing housing and environmental crisis, it is crucial that we understand the built, landscape, and ideological legacy of this period if we want to uncover long-term sustainable solutions. The continued demolition of housing from the post-1945 period makes the documentation of these buildings and their landscapes a timely intervention, and reinforces the relevance of historical research to contemporary design.

This unit introduced students to core historical research sources, and applied design-based analytical methods. It followed a case study approach allowing students to undertake detailed analysis of a specific case. This year the focus was on various post-1945 public housing developments and their landscapes, which were created in the period of the so-called ‘Welfare Consensus’ by the State in Britain. Students worked in small, multi-disciplinary groups.

We worked with guest experts and the Landscape Institute Archives at the Museum of English Rural Life and the Archives of Historic Environment Scotland.


Aiman Hakim Bin Rahman

Athol Thomas Jeremiah Ruston

Ben Burke

Charlotte Bromley

Deng Yucheng

Elliot Foster

Erin Hughes

Harry Charalambous

Hemen Galal

Jonathan Quail

Raghav Garg

Thomas Halliwell

Xii Lim

Xiongzhe Shi

Zain Sayed Jameel Mustafa Hasan Alsharaf