The role of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) in creating better places

When: Wednesday 24th May 2023, 2pm – 4pm

Where: Design Commission for Wales, 4th Flr, Cambrian Buildings, Mount Stuart Square, Cardiff CF10 5FL

Booking: This is a free event but please secure your spot on Eventbrite.

Join us for an event to consider the design of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) in new development and regeneration in Wales. Designers, developers, engineers, and those involved in delivering new development, the event will examine:

  • How SuDS can reintegrate the landscape in urban areas.
  • How SuDS can complement good urban design.
  • Has the implementation of the SuDS legislation met the aspiration?
  • How a multi-disciplinary approach to SuDS can create better places.
  • How can the design, approval process, implementation and maintenance of SuDS be improved to contribute to better places.

The event will highlight good practice in the design of SuDS and there will be the opportunity for attendees to contribute to the discussions, identifying good practice and informing the future of SuDS requirements in Wales.

Speakers include:

  • Ian Titherington, Engineer, Sustainable Drainage Advisor for the Welsh Government
  • Simon Richards, Landscape Architect, Director of Land Studio, Design Panel Chair at the Design Commission for Wales
  • Lisa Sawyer, Engineer, Director of Land Studio
  • Chris Gentle, Urban Designer, Divisional Director at Roberts Limbrick

Please book using the following link – Eventbrite. Do not use the Book Now button.


Event Cancelled – A Manifesto for Towns

Unfortunately we have had to cancel this event.  Our next Hatch event will be in June, please look out for future DCFW events.

Our next event is an evening talk and discussion open to all as well as our Hatch network.

Following refreshments we will have a presentation and discussion with Will Brett, Director of Communications at the New Economics Foundation, the people-powered think tank.

Will is co-author of a report, published in October last year, called Cities and Towns: the 2017 General Election and the social divisions of place. This report demonstrated the increasing electoral divide between our largest cities and smaller conurbations, and presented the bare bones of a policy agenda to support the flourishing of towns. He will speak about the findings of the report and set out his latest thinking on a policy agenda for towns. There will be time to discuss the findings of the report and consider the implications for the town in which we live and work.

Will’s career has spanned journalism, politics, campaigning and policy research. He has worked for a number of high-profile politicians (Tessa Jowell, Stella Creasy, Ed Miliband), campaigning organisations (the Electoral Reform Society) and academics (Prof Andrew Gamble). Will appears regularly on national broadcast media and has written for a wide range of newspapers, magazines and journals including the New Statesman, Prospect, the Daily Telegraph and Political Quarterly.

This event is open to all so please feel free to invite others who you think might like to attend.

There is a £5 booking fee for this event.


Hatch: Digital Placemaking

Join us for a co-hosted event by the Landscape Institute Wales and Hatch (DCfW) on Digital Placemaking.
Dr Jo Morrison will launch Calvium’s Ideascape: Digital Placemaking for Porth Teigr Report; a six month research project supported by the Porth Teigr Community Fund and sustainable developers Igloo. Its ambition is to inspire local communities to imagine how the creative use of digital technologies in the public spaces of Porth Teigr might foster new and engaging experiences for all those who spend time there. The event will explore how digital technologies can be used to support urban innovation and people’s experiences of the public realm. It will focus on regeneration and use the ‘Ideascape: Digital Placemaking for Porth Teigr’ project to illustrate how digital placemaking can enable rich social experiences in public spaces, help local economic activity to thrive and celebrate cultural heritage. After the presentation, the audience will be invited to have an open discussion with Jo and other members of the panel which has been specially convened for the evening.


Merthyr Tydfil Industrial Heritage Charrette

9.30am start, closing with dinner and drinks at 7.30pm

Merthyr’s place in the history of Wales and the industrial revolution is clear, but despite the real progress that is now under way at Cyfarthfa, the town’s rich store of heritage assets has yet to achieve the coherence and national impact that it deserves. With bold vision those assets could yet stamp themselves on public consciousness in a way that befits the capital of the heads of the valleys – a place of regional, national and international significance.

The development of the City Region in south-east Wales presents Merthyr with a golden opportunity to use those heritage assets to carve out a place for itself as a destination comparable with similar places in Europe – an anchor site on the European Routes of Industrial Heritage – as well as a major contribution to a city region better balanced between its coast and hinterland.  With funding, there is potential to make a real impact through a creative and integrated approach to celebrating Merthyr’s industrial heritage.

The Design Commission for Wales and the Welsh School of Architecture at Cardiff University are convening a multi-disciplinary team to scope the possibilities within the town and surrounding landscape in a bold visioning exercise that will seek ways of making of Merthyr’s heritage assets something greater than the sum of its parts.  The one-day charrette will be supported by Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council (MTCBC), Merthyr Leisure Trust and Merthyr Heritage Trust.  The event has been made possible thanks to funding from MTCBC and support from Design Circle RSAW South.

The charrette – an intense day of ideas generation – sets the challenge of considering how Cyfarthfa Castle and its extended landscape and built heritage might become a world class visitor destination and experience and promote the strong sense of place that is already palpable there.  It will also consider new ways in which these central assets could be connected to others throughout the town and beyond.

The event will be held at Cyfarthfa Caste and will bring together up to 60 creative minds – architects, landscape architects, planners, heritage specialists, museum and tourism experts and artists – in appraising the potential around Cyfarthfa and in the wider town and landscape, in order to sketch possible visions of the future.  An integrated multi-disciplinary approach is advocated.

Registration – Register your place via Eventbrite.  A £5 registration fee will be donated to Merthyr Leisure Trust’s Community Fund.

The event is open to all creative, interested individuals including architects, landscape architects, urban designers, planners, engineers, curators, branding and design consultants.  Contact DCFW for more information 029 20451964

Events Hatch

Hatch: Exploring the potential of the National Development Framework

Exploring the potential of the National Development Framework (NDF)

a joint event with Young Planners Cymru


Starting with light refreshments

A great opportunity to contribute your thoughts and design/planning talents to the shaping of a nation!

The Planning Directorate at Welsh Government has begun work on the NDF which will set out a long-term land use framework for Wales.  Hear from the Welsh Government team working on the NDF and their vision for Wales, discuss opportunities for design and collaborative working to shape the future of Wales, find out how you can get involved and make a real impact as work begins on this important piece of work.  We like to think of this as a giant masterplan design exercise for the whole of Wales, and work is just starting on defining the brief and analysing the site and context; so it’s a great time to get involved.

There are a couple of things you can do now to help you prepare for the event…

  1. Read Alister Kratt’s short essay, ‘Welsh Plan: National Vision’.  Written for DCFW’s LandMarks publication in 2015, it considers the opportunities the NDF offers.  Here’s a link to the publication:
  1. Consider the following questions:
  • What are the overarching issues for Wales in relation to land use and infrastructure?
  • What makes a sustainable place?
  • What information, resources and evidence exist which could be useful in understanding Wales as it is now? (maps, databases, research…)
  • How could the public be effectively engaged and consulted during the preparation of the NDF and subsequent reviews?
  1. Take a look at the current call for projects and evidence:

Please let us know if you will be attending

Find out more about Hatch here

Events Hatch

Hatch: Culture change

Two hours to change the world!  Well, we can make a start anyway!

Culture change requires fresh-thinking, creative people like you.  We’ll spend November’s Hatch meeting discussing ways to improve the built environment culture in Wales, from planning, to design, to delivery.  We’ll think about what needs to change and how those changes can happen.  Come with questions and ideas.


Refreshments provided.

Save the date for our Christmas social event: Thursday 1st December

Find out more about Hatch here


Teithio Llesol a Chreu Lleoedd: Y cyfle i greu cymunedau cysylltiedig


Mae Sustrans Cymru a Chomisiwn Dylunio Cymru yn eich gwahodd i ymuno â ni a’n panel gwadd i archwilio rôl pobl yn Neddf Teithio Llesol (Cymru), ac mewn dylunio strydoedd a gofodau yn ein trefi a’n dinasoedd. Cewch glywed gan ymarferwyr a rhannu arferion gorau, wrth i ni ystyried sut y gall profiad pobl o dir y cyhoedd helpu i greu mwy o gymunedau y gellir byw ynddynt.

Dydd Mercher 5 Hydref 2016

2.00pm – 4.30pm gyda lluniaeth ysgafn ar ôl cyrraedd

 Yng Nghomisiwn Dylunio Cymru, 4edd Llawr, Adeiladau Cambrian, Sgwâr Mount Stuart, Caerdydd CF10 5FR

Bwciwch eich lle am ddim drwy Eventbrite

Bydd y digwyddiad yn cael ei gadeirio gan Carole-Anne Davies, Prif Weithredwr Comisiwn Dylunio Cymru, a Jane Lorimer, Cyfarwyddwr Cenedlaethol Sustrans Cymru.  Bydd ein panel gwadd yn cynnwys:

Lindsey Brown, Dylunydd Trefol, Sustrans Cymru

Mat Jones, Pensaer a Darlithydd, Coombs Jones Architects & UWE

Allison Dutoit, Pensaer/Dylunydd Trefol a Darlithydd, Gehl Architects & UWE

Victoria Robinson, Rheolwr Datblygu, Cyngor Bro Morgannwg

Ymunwch â’r sgwrs i drafod sut y gall dylunwyr, penseiri a chynllunwyr ymgysylltu â phobl wrth lunio lleoedd bob dydd.


Places for Life: Design Commission for Wales Conference 2016

Where we live affects how we live and how we live affects everything else including our health, wellbeing, relationships, access to work, social life,  and impact on the environment.  Wales needs more homes and the future of residential development in Wales must be about more than just the number of ‘units’ that can be built – it must be about creating thriving ‘places for life’.

DCFW’s Places for Life conference will explore the interrelationship between mobility, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, placemaking and the important role of a clear vision in creating great places to live.

We are pleased to welcome the following speakers:

Keynote speech | Lesley Griffiths AM, Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs

Happy neighbourhoods, placemaking and mobility systems | Marten Sims, Senior Design and Engagement Specialist, Happy City

Drawing on the research undertaken and presented in the 2010 publication Happy City, Marten explores the powerful connection between urban design, place-making, mobility and happiness.

Delivering healthy homes | Ashley Bateson, Partner & Head of Sustainability, Hoare Lea

Ashley discusses the role of procurement and management in the delivery of healthy homes, including:

  • An overview of UK-GBC research on health and wellbeing in the home
  • Designing for comfort and wellbeing
  • Getting procurement and delivery right
  • The role of management

A vision for life in Cardiff Bay | Mark Hallett, Development Director, igloo Regeneration and Victoria Coombs, Architect, Loyn & Co Architects

The developer and architect of the proposed Porth Teigr residential development in Cardiff Bay will cover how igloo’s FootprintR policy has influenced the scheme in the context of a mixed-use masterplan and the importance of a vision for new homes based on a micro/macro design approach, the needs and aspirations of its future residents and research into “how we live now”.

Why it pays to invest in placemaking | Susan Emmett, Director of Residential Research, Savills

Creating great new places requires a dynamic mix of amenities, retail, employment, education and public realm as well as housing. Susan will focus on what is required to make the sums stack up financially for developers and landowners.  By drawing on experience in a number of case studies, Susan will look at what works, examine existing barriers and suggest potential ways forward so everyone wins.

There will be a choice of interactive workshops:

Applying Happy City’s holistic wellbeing framework | Marten Sims, Happy City

Strategic planning and placemaking | James Brown, The Urbanists

Developing a vision for places to live | Mat Jones, Coombs Jones Architects

The event will also provide space for discussion, debate and the exchange of ideas across sectors and disciplines.

By understanding the impact of design on the health, happiness and wellbeing of residents, those who shape the built environment, including planners, urban designers, architects, leaders and developers, can play a lead role in creating better value and better places.

Join us and expect to engage, question, debate, think and contribute.

Book now tickets £98

(Student tickets £45, limited places)

Eventbrite - Places for Life - DCFW Autumn Conference


If you experience problems using Eventbrite, please contact us on 029 2045 1964


Active Travel & Placemaking: The opportunity to create connected communities

Sustrans Cymru and the Design Commission for Wales invite you to join us and our guest panel to explore the role of people in The Active Travel Act (Wales) and designing streets and spaces in our towns and cities. Hear from practitioners and share best practice as we consider how people’s experience of the public realm can help shape more liveable communities.

Wednesday 5th October 2016
2.00pm – 4.30pm with light refreshments on arrival

At Design Commission for Wales, 4th Floor Cambrian Buildings, Mount Stuart Square, Cardiff CF10 5FR

Book your free place via Eventbrite using the link below

Chaired by DCFW Chief Executive, Carole-Anne Davies and Sustrans’ National Director Wales, Jane Lorimer, our guest panel will include:

– Lindsey Brown, Urban Designer, Sustrans Cymru
– Mat Jones, Architect & Lecturer, Coombs Jones Architects & UWE
– Allison Dutoit, Architect/Urban Designer & Lecturer, Gehl Architects & UWE
– Victoria Robinson, Development Management, Vale of Glamorgan Council

Join the conversation to discuss ways in which designers, architects and planners can engage with people in shaping everyday places.


Captured Moments : Reflected Spaces Exhibition

It is our interaction with the built environment that brings together the work in this exhibition. Observations and design studies that consider landscape, texture, heat and light as building materials allow us to question their effect on our experience of everyday surroundings.

Artist, Rhian Hâf and architects, Rhian Thomas, Dow Jones, HASSELL, Victoria Coombs and Wayne Forster explore environmental stimuli and capture transient moments in this multi-faceted exhibition supported by Ruthin Craft Centre in partnership with the Design Commission for Wales and BayArt.

Please join us for the opening of the exhibition at 4.00pm on Saturday 10 September, with architect Chris Loyn.

And on Wednesday 21 September at 5.30pm when Rhian Hâf and architects featured in the exhibition will be in conversation with Carole-Anne Davies.

Captured Moments Reflected Spaces


Physical materials, light, landscape, weather and time are the building blocks of place.  The works in this exhibition demonstrate the artist and architects’ empathy with these elements. Through design, these elements can be manipulated and composed to contribute to our experience of the built environment, the places we inhabit.

From Victoria Coombs’ intricate exploration of thresholds, to Wayne Forster’s study of the search for thermal comfort in a courtyard house, the designers consider some of the infinite variety of ways in which good design contributes to our enjoyment of day to day life.

Through ‘deep mapping’ of the Black Mountains landscape, Rhian Thomas explores architectural relationships with landscape and identity, and the shaping of landscape by human intervention over time. HASSELL’s sculptural installation records a series of journeys of recovery through a landscape where time, distance and topography take on a new significance.

Dow Jones Architects’ interest in how the careful manipulation of materials and light can elevate the apparent mundanity of the everyday into something more pleasurable and meaningful is evident in their Tanner’s Hill project. Light is also the focus of Rhian Hâf’s work. Through her understanding of the properties and qualities of glass, Rhian subtly controls the flow and density of light passing through her material, exploring effects that have a bearing on our everyday built environment.

Events Hatch

Hatch: Developing Cardiff Bay

For our next Hatch event we hope to make the most of the light evenings and (hopefully) nice weather and get outside.  Mike Biddulph will to lead a workshop looking at development and place-making in Cardiff Bay.

In this on-site workshop we will explore and discuss the area of Cardiff where Bute Street and Lloyd George Avenue become Roald Dahl Plas. We will explore the heritage, look for development opportunities and consider the key constraints and opportunities for anything that could happen here in the future. In addition we will reflect on the role of various actors in bringing forward improvements to this well-known bit of city.

Be prepared to look and talk.

Dr Mike Biddulph was Senior Lecturer in Urban Design at Cardiff University and now works in the Place Making Team at Cardiff Council.

We will meet at 6pm outside the Wales Millennium Centre.  If you arrive a little late you should be able to find us around that area.  If you can hang around for a bit longer we will also go for a drink somewhere in the bay after the workshop.  On the off chance it’s raining we will meet at our office instead.

Click here to find out more about our Hatch Network and how you can join


Symposium – Getting Things Done: Evolution of the built environment in Vorarlberg

The Welsh School of Architecture and the Design Commission for Wales
invite you to join us for

Getting Things Done Symposium
Evolution of the Built Environment in Vorarlberg

at the Pierhead, Cardiff Bay
on Thursday 28th April 9.30am – 4.30pm

Book your FREE place via Eventbrite by clicking here or using the ‘Book Now’ button below


The Getting Things Done Symposium, with invited experts from Vorarlberg, Austria and the UK, including exhibition curator, Wolfgang Fiel, Dow Jones Architects, Proctor Matthews Architects, Feilden Fowles Architects and Architype, will inspire discussions about the culture of landscape, materials, craft, environment, place and identity.

Click here to download the programme

Over the last half a century, the Austrian State of Vorarlberg has developed an international reputation for its radical yet sensitive and considered approach to architecture, design and building. A combination of innovative architects and clients, liberal building and planning regulations, an aspiring regional government and open-minded public has paved the way for a built environment and culture with design quality at its heart. Ecological sensitivity, the value placed on traditional and innovative crafts and skills, investment in young designers, and good understanding of local materials and landscape all contribute to the Vorarlberg phenomenon. Getting Things Done is a touring exhibition showcasing the architecture of Vorarlberg.

The Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University and the Design Commission for Wales are pleased to be collaborating with the Austrian Cultural Forum London and the National Assembly for Wales to bring this exhibition to the Senedd in Spring 2016 to promote conversations about the culture of place-making, crafts and design in Wales.

Please click here to find out about the Getting Things Done Exhibition

Sponsored by Presiding Officer, Dame Rosemary Butler AM


Common ground: shared language?

Join our guest panel to explore just how well designers, planners and place-makers really understand one another.

RTPI Cymru, RSAW and the Design Commission for Wales invite you to join us to explore the power of communication and the need for greater mutual understanding across professions. The nature of education, training and professional practice has an impact on professional understanding and can be critical to success in many projects. Are architects and planners really from different planets? Does everyone really understand what’s expected of them? Who is best placed to help the client understand the processes and why they may or may not have the final say?

Please book your free place via Eventbrite using the ‘Book Now’ button below.

Light refreshments on arrival.

Download more information here

Event Partners:
Commission Dylunio Cymru Design Commission for Wales promotes the importance of good design across sectors throughout Wales to help make it a better place. We promote good design and communicate its benefits, prioritising the design quality of places, buildings and public spaces.

The RTPI CYMRU is a Chartered Institute responsible for maintaining professional standards and a charity whose purpose is to advance the science and art of planning for the benefit of the public. RTPI Cymru represents the RTPI in Wales.

The RSAW: The Royal Society of Architects in Wales is the voice of the RIBA in Wales. It champions better buildings, communities and the environment, through architecture and its members. The RSAW provides support for members through CPD, Spring School and an annual conference. They recognise outstanding architecture through the RIBA Awards and the Welsh Architecture Awards, and support the National Eisteddfod of Wales with the delivery of the Eisteddfod Architecture Medal and student scholarship, which are sponsored by the Design Commission for Wales.


Carole-Anne Davies
BA Hons, PG Dip., FRSA Chief Executive, Design Commission for Wales A visual arts and literature graduate Carole-Anne is an experienced executive, former consultant to the Scottish Government and a former Trustee of the board of the National Museum Wales. She is an alumna of the CSCLeaders Commonwealth Study Conferences and an independent mentor and an active Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA). CaroleAnne loves international travel and is passionate about, some might say devoted to, her 10 perch allotment.

Dr Roisin Willmott, MRTPI, FRSA Director, Royal Town Planning Institute Wales and Northern Ireland Roisin, a Chartered Town Planner, first worked at Northamptonshire County Council, where she also studied for a Masters in planning at Oxford Brookes University. She moved to the Vale of Glamorgan Borough Council in the early 1990s working in regeneration, after which she moved to Coleg Gwent – at that time Wales’ largest FE College. Roisin then moved to economic and planning consultancy for ECOTEC across the UK and Europe. As Director for RTPI Wales and Northern Ireland, Roisin is responsible for leading the RTPI’s planning policy and practice activities and for delivering services for planners based in the two jurisdictions. Roisin studied parttime for a PhD at Cardiff University, analysing the changing governance systems in Wales used to implement European Regional Policy. Roisin is a Fellow of the Royal Society and until recently was the Chair of the Centre for Regeneration Excellence Wales (CREW).


Our contributors:
The Project Manager: Caitlin Forster BSc (Hons), PgDip, MRICS, Aecom
Senior Project Manager at Aecom, Caitlin’s career in development and construction has encompassed developing projects from inception to planning and Employers Agent post contract roles. From a town planning and regeneration background, Caitlin has managed a variety of projects through the design and development process, such as large mixed use regeneration projects, residential development, education, commercial and energy developments. Caitlin’s expertise and experience spans a full range of project and programme management, including co-ordinating multi-disciplinary design teams, strategic programme management, procurement and risk appraisal, financial reporting and stakeholder and resident engagement strategies across a variety of projects. Caitlin is passionate about sustainable place making that delivers high quality design responses and solutions and real community benefit.

The Architect: Cora Kwiatkowski, Stride Treglown
Cora is a member of the Design Commission for Wales Design Review Panel. As a Divisional Director for Stride Treglown she has been responsible for a wide range of projects in the UK since joining the practice in 2006 including office, residential, masterplanning and education projects and design codes. Her previous experience in Germany, Sweden and Switzerland also included urban design and transport projects, notably an international competition winning masterplan for Siemens in Munich and a two level, 14 track train station in Cologne. Cora is a Member of the Devon & Somerset Design Review Panel and an appointed Built Environment Expert (BEE) for Design Council. Leading multi-disciplinary teams over many years as architect and technical advisor, working for private and public sector clients and being passionate about design and problem-solving has enabled her to develop high-quality design principles whilst delivering economically sound solutions. As lead architect for several work place and mixed-us schemes in recent years, her refurbishment of Eastleigh House for Eastleigh Borough Council won regional BrCO and RICS awards as well as the LABC Building Excellence Award for Best Inclusive Building. Cora regularly contributes to industry publications including Architect’s Choice and The Green Register; she is fluent in German, English and French.

The Private Sector Planner: Wendy Maden BSc, The Urbanists
Wendy is currently Assistant Planner with The Urbanists, planning and design consultancy. She is involved in a wide range of public and private sector projects of varying scale, for clients such as private developers, Local Authorities and Registered Social Landlords. She has worked on a variety of projects from inception to delivery, including education, commercial, residential, regeneration and energy developments. Wendy has previous experience with Newport Unlimited Urban Regeneration Company and The Planning Inspectorate, with both the Nationally Significant Infrastructure and Local Plans teams. She is a Cardiff University BSc City & Regional Planning graduate who spent one semester studying the Master of Urbanism and Strategic Planning via an Erasmus exchange at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium. Wendy is working towards the RTPI APC and is the Events Coordinator for Young Planners Cymru.

The Public Sector Decision Maker: Judith Jones, Head of Planning, Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council
Head of Planning at Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council since 2012, managing the Planning, Building Control and Countryside services, Judith is also the Council’s representative on the Planning Officers Society for Wales, which comprises the Heads of Planning of all 25 Authorities who regularly meet with Welsh Government to help shape the future of Planning in Wales. Graduating from the University of the West of England, Bristol Judith became chartered in 2002. In 2015 I was part of the team that were awarded the RTPI Award for Excellence in Planning and Design for the Public Realm. Judith has a Development Management background and is experienced in local government and private sector practice. She is well versed in the political aspects of Local Government and leads the Authority’s monthly Planning Committee.

The Art Consultant: Emma M Price, Director, EMP Projects & Associates
Emma M Price has been commissioning public art for over 15 years throughout the UK. Emma is founding director of EMP Projects & Associates, an independent curating and commissioning agency based in Cardiff. EMP works on the inception, development and brokering of a variety of commissions working with exceptional artists, architects, designers, and communities to contribute to the transformation of public spaces. Emma is a passionate advocate of socially engaged art in the public realm and of the evolving appreciation of the place of art in the built environment as part of the everyday experience for everyone. She is a board member for Rock Academy Wales and a national advisor for the Arts Council of Wales.

The Client: Ian Carter BSc, MA Urban Design, MRTPI
Ian Carter is Group Director of Development and Asset Management at Cynon Taf Community Housing Group. Ian joined the team there in June 2015 and leads the organisation’s asset management, maintenance, planned investment and development functions. Ian is a chartered town planner and qualified urban designer, receiving his Honours degree in City & Regional Planning and Masters in Urban Design from Cardiff University. He worked in the private sector and subsequently in Newport City Council’s Major Applications team as Principal Urban Designer, before joining Newport City Homes. In his role with Newport City Homes, Ian lead their ambitious regeneration programme for the Pillgwenlly area of Newport, an area of challenging housing conditions and significant deprivation. The team worked closely with the Design Commission for Wales throughout the project which aimed to address the ‘Radburn’ legacy and ensure long term, positive regeneration outcomes for Pil’s vibrant community. Ian is Commissioner on the Board of the Design Commission for Wales, a strong advocate for its work and is particularly committed to the value of its national Design Review Service.


We look forward to welcoming you – we hope you enjoy the debate.



Exhibition – Getting Things Done: Evolution of the built environment in Vorarlberg

Getting Things Done
Evolution of the Built Environment in Vorarlberg

at the Senedd, Cardiff Bay
5th April – 6th May

Over the last half a century, the Austrian State of Vorarlberg has developed an international reputation for its radical yet sensitive and considered approach to architecture, design and building. A combination of innovative architects and clients, liberal building and planning regulations, an aspiring regional government and open-minded public has paved the way for a built environment and culture with design quality at its heart. Ecological sensitivity, the value placed on traditional and innovative crafts and skills, investment in young designers, and good understanding of local materials and landscape all contribute to the Vorarlberg phenomenon. Getting Things Done is a touring exhibition showcasing the architecture of Vorarlberg.

The Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University and the Design Commission for Wales are pleased to be collaborating with the Austrian Cultural Forum London and the National Assembly for Wales to bring this exhibition to the Senedd in Spring 2016 to promote conversations about the culture of place-making, crafts and design in Wales.

Click here to find out about the Getting Things Done Exhibition Symposium on 28th April.

©Betina Skovbro Photography


©Betina Skovbro Photography


©Betina Skovbro Photography


Sponsored by Presiding Officer, Dame Rosemary Butler AM


Hatch Event: True Tuesday, Fantasy Friday!

Ever wondered what an architect does all day?  What motivates an urban designer?  What would be an engineer’s dream job?  This is your chance to find out.

Join us for an opportunity to better get to know each other, the disciplines we work in and our design ambitions.  Thanks to Blake Morgan, we can check out their brand new city centre offices at One Central Square at the same time.

Come prepared to share your True Tuesday & Fantasy Friday!

Tell us what you actually did during a day at work on Tuesday (it could be a Monday, Wednesday or Thursday, but we like a bit of alliteration!)  Was it a normal day at work?  What did you particularly enjoy?  What motivated or frustrated you?  What challenges did you face in pursuit of good design, engineering or planning?

Then share what you’d really like to be doing in your job on a Friday.  We don’t mean tell us you’d like to be a chocolate taster or professional rugby player instead of an architect or engineer.  What are your design ambitions?  What would your work be like if the barriers to good design were removed? What would your dream day at work be like?  Who would you be working with and what would you be doing?


NOTE: We will be meeting at Blake Morgan’s offices at One Central Square in Cardiff.  It the recently completed building, deigned by Rio Architects, located next to Cardiff Central Station.

Light refreshments provided.


Click here to find out more about our Hatch Network and how you can join


Inclusive Design in the Built Environment Training


Wales can lead the way in establishing sound principles of inclusive design. This interactive training is aimed at planners, architects and anyone whose work impacts on the built environment who want to be a catalyst for establishing Wales as an exemplar for inclusive design practice.

Building on the commitments set out by the Welsh Government in the Framework for Action on Independent living and in the context of proposed changes to Design and Access Statement (DAS) requirements, this half-day course will provide delegates with a clearer understanding of the principles of inclusive design and how to use these principles in their working lives.

The workshop-style training will cover:
> The social, legal, moral and economic context of inclusive design
> Who we are designing for and the impact of a disabling environment
> The principles of inclusive design
> The design process – beyond regulatory codes and towards a philosophy
> Addressing access with or without a DAS
> Recognising and overcoming conflicts of interest

Whether you are new to the concept of inclusive design or familiar with the principles, this training will provide new material for you to expand your knowledge, understanding and application of the approach.

The training is coordinated by the Design Commission for Wales, RSAW, Constructing Excellence in Wales and RTPI Cymru on behalf of the Welsh Government. The training will be led by Sandra Manley. Sandra is a visiting research fellow at UWE whose research and teaching has focused on the importance of designing to ensure disabled, elderly people and young children are able to participate fully in mainstream community life.

The training is taking place in Aberystwyth, Cardiff, Llandudno and Swansea in March and April.  It is free but you will need to register to secure a place. Please use the links below to book via Eventbrite and download the event flyer for  further information. If you have any queries please contact DCFW on or 029 2045 1964.

Please click on location below to book via Eventbrite

Aberystwyth, 10th March 2016

Cardiff, 18th March 2016

Llandudno, 7th April 2016

Swansea, 13th April 2016

Events Hatch

Hatch Event: Who are THEY?

THEY want to build 400 new houses on the edge of town.
THEY won’t allow us to build an extension to our listed house.
THEY might get rid of Design & Access Statements.
THEY keep going on about newts and bats!
THEY are spending a fortune on that new road.

Who are THEY?

Join us for an evening with the Policy Makers and find out how policies are made, what policy means for you and how you can get more involved.

We will have three expert speakers on hand to explain the ins and outs of Welsh policy making and the influence it has on design of the built environment:

  • Stuart Ingram, Senior Planning Manager at Welsh Government – on Wales’ national planning policy
  • Judith Jones, Head of Planning at Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council – on local planning policy
  • Gretel Leeb, Deputy Director, Environment & Sustainability Directorate at Welsh Government – on  the Well-being of Future Generations Act (2015), aimed at improving the social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being of Wales

There will be plenty of time for you to ask questions and discuss the issues that are important to your work as shapers of the built environment in Wales.

Light refreshments provided, of course.


Click here to find out more about our Hatch Network and how you can join

Events Hatch

Hatch Event: Housing in Wales

Housing is a key issue and focus for DCFW in 2016.  We will be holding a series of Hatch events on this theme ahead of our annual international autumn conference.  The Hatch events will allow you to contribute to and help us shape and the conference.

This initial discussion will be introduced by Professor John Punter.  John is part-time professor in urban design at Cardiff University and sits on the DCFW design review panel.  His introduction will consider the Welsh housing crisis and provide a perspective on recent and emerging residential development in Wales.

After this thought provoking introduction the floor will be open for discussion.  We are interested in hearing your perspective and experience of the challenges and opportunities facing the delivery of quality housing in Wales.  Feel free to bring along examples and share ideas.  Even if you don’t have much experience of housing projects, we still value you input as a shaper of the built environment.  This initial discussion is about teasing out the issues that will help us to frame future debate, seminars and our autumn conference.

If you have not attended a Hatch event before please have a look at what the network is about here and if you think it is for you please join us.

Refreshments on arrival.


Architype: Delivering value for money in 21st Century Schools – is Passivhaus the answer?

A free seminar and networking event hosted by Architype at Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay, 6pm, Tuesday 1st December 2015

Architype invite you to join us for an evening of candid discussion and networking, which will uncover the experience of designing schools to the Passivhaus standard. Come along to explore how Passivhaus can deliver best value for money within the 21st Century Schools Programme. Can it be done? Does it cost more to build? Does it work? What are the actual savings in running costs?

Speakers will share their experience of delivering and monitoring Passivhaus in use, through a range of completed educational projects in both England and Wales.

Running Order

  • 6.00pm – 6.45pm, Reception Drinks
  • 6.45pm – 7.50pm, Seminar
  • 7.50pm – 9.00pm, Networking and Refreshments

Invited Speakers

  • Carole-Anne Davies / Design Commission for Wales – the need for a new approach
  • Lee Fordham / Architype – the design and construction of Passivhaus schools
  • Jerry Thomas / Smith Thomas Consult – the cost of delivering Passivhaus
  • Chryssa Thoua / Coventry University- results from 2 years of monitoring Passivhaus schools in use
  • Matthew Morgan / Dawnus Construction – Introduction to the Patrwm 21 Model

Chaired by Jonathan Hines, Managing Director of Architype





Creative Spaces for Creative People

The RSCW has identified the importance of the Creative Industries and Creative Economy sector to the various processes of regeneration in Wales.  The contribution of the sector to the regeneration process in Wales is growing.  The use of buildings, old and new, provides opportunities for innovation and enterprise for growth of the creative industries sector.

This event will focus on the experience of three local initiatives that provide a place and space for creative practitioners to develop their business ideas, enhance opportunities, and flourish in a highly competitive market.  The event follows on from the DCFW/RSA Cymru partner event ‘What is the value of Creativity?’, held on the 12th of May which examined creative learning opportunities and the risks posed to creativity in design practice.

The Regeneration Skills Collective Wales in partnership with DCFW, RSA Cymru and the RSAW invite you to join the conversation and help create the conditions for a creative economy.


City Futures – Challenge and Opportunity in an Urbanising World

Cities are engines of growth. More than half of the world’s population already lives in cities. The rise in prominence of cities in the global economy is unprecedented. Cities offer great opportunities yet they also consume the largest share of energy, contribute the largest CO2 emissions and have the greatest environmental impact.

When booking please indicate any dietary requirements in the message field.


Bigger, better, faster, more?

Join us for the third seminar in our housing series, delving deeper into the opportunities for delivering new homes. Jon Sawyer of Igloo shares custom build lessons from Cornwall, followed by an update on innovative approaches to delivery from White Design and Architype.


Shape My Town: Community-led planning

Come along and join the conversation on community-led planning, with Matthew Jones and Design Commission for Wales taking you through their new website, Shape My Town.