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Waterfront Building, University Campus Suffolk, Ipswich © Nick Hufton

The Built Environment as Sustainable Ecosystem: The Suffolk Paradigm

This event will explore the need to think and act within ecosystems in the built and natural environment. Representatives from the University of Suffolk will present the vision, as well as specific research projects that showcase integrative approaches for a sustainable life.

The University of Suffolk and the Suffolk Sustainability Institute in partnership with RIBA Suffolk and RIBA East invite you to a programme of visually rich talks and presentations with a focus on ecosystems, sustainability and the built environment. This virtual conference will run as a participative event. Delegates are encouraged to interact throughout the half day to enrich our collective understanding of some of the wider societal challenges of creating sustainable urban landscapes and buildings. Delegates are invited to explore with us how architectural and building practice have been evolving to meet these transitional needs.

During the event, we will introduce to you the role of sustainable development in our communities, identifying historic emergence, the current built environment and global imperatives and the research areas that the University of Suffolk is working within under the Suffolk Sustainability Institute.

For a full breakdown of the programme of events please see below.


13:00 - 13:15 Keynote with Prof Mohammad Dastbaz (UOS)

Introduction of the overarching vision for sustainability at the University of Suffolk

13:15 - 13:45 Sustainable Development: How we got here are where we are now (The Development of the SSI) with Prof Nic Bury (UOS)

The International rise of sustainability and the role of the Suffolk Sustainability Institute (SSI)

14:00 – 14:45 Talk 1 – Unlearning how to live: Sustainable pedagogy, with Dr Liana Psarologaki (UOS and RIBA) and Dr Marco Spada (UOS).

Double-interview style talk on how we become sustainable as citizens, humans and societies

15:00 – 15:45 Talk 2 – Leading by example; The University of Suffolk and BT Digi-Tech Centre Eco Lab, with Ben Powell (Studio Manifest)

A case study of sustainable architecture designed by

15:45 – 16:15 Ecology in the built environment with Justine Oakes (SSI)

Blue-green infrastructure on a blue-green planet.

16:15 – Closing Remarks


  • Prof Mohammad Dastbaz is the Deputy Vice Chancellor at the University of Suffolk and the co-editor of Sustainable Ecological Engineering Design (Springer, 2020).
  • Prof Nic Bury is Professor of Environmental Toxicology, Associate Dean for Research in the School of Engineering, Arts, Science and Technology at the University of Suffolk, and academic lead for the Suffolk Sustainability Institute (SSI) and Digital Futures.
  • Dr Marco Spada is an architect, Lecturer in Architecture (design studio and urbanism lead) at the University of Suffolk, and guest editor of the special issue of Sustainability journal: "The Fourth Pillar: Culture in Sustainability".
  • Ben Powell is an architect, Lecturer in Architecture, the sustainable design lead for Architecture at the University of Suffolk and the Director of Studio Manifest.
  • Dr Liana Psarologaki is an architect, Senior Lecturer and the founding academic of Architecture at the University of Suffolk and Chair of Education for RIBA East Region.
  • Justine Oakes is the Sustainability and Environment Manager at the University of Suffolk, lecturer on the Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Science BSc, Convener for EAUC and Business and Research Lead for the Suffolk Sustainability Institute.


Disclaimer: By registering for this event, your personal information will be sent to the University of Suffolk in order for them to process the RSVP. By registering your interest you are giving permission for the University of Suffolk to obtain and use your details.