This is a project that explores how we can create sustainable places for education. It addresses the immediate issues of how we make learning spaces that thrive in a digital world as Universities seek to have life-long academic relationships with their graduates. We’re interested in the way our current building stock can be adapted and transformed in an age of climate change and resource scarcities.

It is our intention to take a building, life expired, unloved and unfit for purpose. We propose to strip it back to its bare essentials and rebuild it as contemporary learning, teaching and social spaces. To help achieve this, we imagine such a building operating in its future state in 2030 where trends that at present might be merely a suggestion become reality.

"The purpose of the project is to produce a clear vision as to how the University should provide distinctive and productive environments for learning. It should go beyond a series of written aspirations and produce tangible visions of designed spaces and their programmes."

Building Futures is a joint project with the University’s Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainabability and the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, part of the University’s Edinburgh College of Art.

Our thanks to:
Commissioning group (volunteer) students:
Pelagie Couroyer, Clifton Esteban, Ziye Lu, Ana Martinez, Lizzie Rhoades, Kelly Thompson, Danlei Zhou
Design students:
Peiling Cai, Yifan Huang, Sara Kliczka, Aning Kuswinarni, Elfi Lempida, Andreas Makas, Mariela Martinez, Claudia Mucino, Mayela Salazar, Lucia Savastano,Elizabeth Seaver, Yuanyue Sun, Gayathri Vasu, Qingqing Zhang

Callum Robertson : University of Edinburgh Estates and Buildings
David Somervell: Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability
Andy Arnott: Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability
Caitlin McLeod and Rosie Milne : Exhibition Design and Production

John Brennan : Programme Director MSc Advanced Sustainable Design
Dr Elizabeth Vander Meer : Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability 

“I would very much like to see more projects like this in the future … if we just keep pushing for more interdisciplinary work, more collaborative work, I think it will be good for everyone … different minds work together and the product will be better.”

project partner


project partner

project  sponsor