UStED CONSORTIA CORE TEAM

Ian Simkins- Curriculum Vitae

 

Ian Simkins

Dr Ian Simkins BSc, Dip LA, PCHE, PhD, FHEA, MI Hort, CMLI
Chartered Landscape Architect
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Freelance Landscape Consultant practicing as:
IMS landscape consultancy

Since obtaining a Graduate Diploma in Landscape Architecture from Leeds Metropolitan University in 1999 my professional career has been complimented by research and teaching. The research activity led to the foundation of the Experiential Landscape Place Research and Development Unit (www.elprdu.com) with Dr. K. Thwaites of the University of Sheffield. I am also an active member of the "core team" of UStED (Urban Sustainability through Environmental Design) an International network of researcher's educationalists and practitioners, gathering, updating, co-ordinating and disseminating tools of Sustainable Urban Design, with special emphasis on ‘public space’ (www.usted-urbandesign.org).

My current teaching is in both Further Education (since 2004), where I teach garden design, and in Higher Education (since 2000), currently at The University of Sheffield, where I lecture and tutor on various urban design related modules. In November 2005 Dr. Kevin Thwaites and myself were invited to tutor a group of postgraduate students at the Politecnico di Milan in a four day workshop as part of an EUSF funded course.

As a Landscape Practitioner I have been involved in a number of School Grounds improvement projects from Nursery and Primary Schools and a Senior School project, this together with the elp:rdu activities have lead to the development of my current PhD study.

PhD Research (The development of an approach and methods to reveal the place experiences of primary school aged children) was conceived to develop a design language to assist landscape architects and other environmental design professionals improve quality of life for young children by enhancing the experiential potential of places routinely encountered. The research responds to the importance of encouraging an increase in young people’s use of the outdoor environment, and in particular to promote positive behaviour in children through contact with experientially rich outdoor settings.
The research focused on primary school age children and the spatial experiences encountered on their routine journey from home to school. It explored a range of experiences related to place attachment, orientation and the development of a sense of neighbourhood, or home ground. Work in progress has been disseminated since 2004 through a number of articles, international conferences and symposia presentations and in a recent co-authored book: Experiential Landscape: An approach to people, place and space.

   

 

 

PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS/MEMBERSHIP
Chartered Member of the Landscape Institute (CMLI)
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
Corporate Member of the Institute of Horticulture (MI Hort)
Member of The Urban Design Group
Member of iaps – International Association For People-Environment Studies.


OTHER
CRB Enhanced Disclosure

EDUCATION
2004 - 2008 THE UNIVERSITY OF SHEFFIELD
PhD, Department of Landscape.

2004 - 2006 THE UNIVERSITY OF SHEFFIELD
Post Graduate Certificate in Higher Education

Sept 98 LEEDS METROPOLITAN UNIVERSITY
- June 99 GradDip Landscape Architecture (with Distinction)

1995 - 1998 LEEDS METROPOLITAN UNIVERSITY
(Part time) MA/GradDip Bridging Course in Landscape Architecture

1994 - 1995 ASKHAM BRYAN COLLEGE YORK
BSc (with Distinction) [University of Leeds]
Land Management and Technology

1991 - 1994 ASKHAM BRYAN COLLEGE YORK
HND (with Distinction)
Landscape and Horticultural Technology

ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENTS:
Graduate Diploma Landscape Architecture - Distinction
Attained one of five distinctions awarded on the Graduate Diploma Course.

BSc Land Management and Technology - Distinction
Achieved highest ever marks on the BSc course, and awarded one of only two distinctions.

HND Landscape and Horticultural Technology - Distinction
Achieved second highest mark amongst HND peer group.
HND design selected to represent Askham Bryan at the 1994 Chelsea Flower Show, final design received a Silver Medal.
Ibstock cup winner “Best first year Landscape Design Student”.

RESEARCH (PhD): The development of an approach and methods to reveal the place experiences of primary school aged children
The research is conceived to develop a design language to assist landscape architects and other environmental design professionals improve quality of life for young children by enhancing the experiential potential of places routinely encountered. The research responds to a reawakening, evident in recent publications, of the importance of encouraging an increase in young people’s use of the outdoor environment, and in particular to promote positive behaviour in children through contact with experientially rich outdoor settings (Worpole,2003).

The research focuses on primary school age children and the spatial experiences encountered on their routine journey from home to school. It includes consideration of the entirety of the journey including all external spaces from home front door to and including the school grounds. The research pioneers use of a new method of open space analysis and design (Experiential Landscape Place, or elp), developed in the course of the research, which translates aspects of human experience into a spatial vocabulary, focusing in particular on a range of experience related to place attachment, orientation and the development of a sense of neighbourhood, or home ground (Thwaites, 2001). Case studies are to provide insight into a range of different settings including urban, suburban and rural.

The elp concept and the components and procedures of the mapping process are to be used to assess the experiential potential of the existing study sites. Analysis of resulting maps establishes an experiential profile for each of the journeys in the study and highlights the nature of improvements to be made through subsequent design. The process of improvement is designed to be participative and children using the study routes inform the design process through the use of a combination of methodology which includes semi-structured interviews and wish poems, cognitive mapping, text and photographic diaries (Sanoff, 2000; Romice and Frey, 2003). GIS and CAD based technology is used to record and analyse data in a visual form.

The findings will contribute to the development of a design language to enhance the experiential potential of these journeys. The emergent language is then applied to the journeys in the study and observations can be made about the increase in experiential potential by comparing elp maps of the existing journey with those of the design proposals. Developed further the elp method of analysis and design potentially provides a means with which to measure experientially impoverished outdoor settings encountered by children and propose remedies.

Romice,O., and Frey,H. (2003) Communities in Action: the handbook, Glasgow, Dept. of Architecture and Built Science, University of Strathclyde.

Sanoff,H. (2000) Community Participation Methods in Design and Planning, New York, John Wiley and Sons.

Thwaites,K. (2001) Experiential Landscape Place: an exploration of space and experience in neighbourhood landscape architecture, Landscape Research, vol.26, no.3, pp.245-255.

Worpole,K. (2003) No Particular Place to Go: children, young people and public space, Groundwork UK.

RESEARCH: Experiential Landscape Place (elp:rdu)
elp:rdu is a UK based research unit concerned with exploring the relationship between human experience and its spatial expression in urban open spaces. It develops, publishes and applies tools for the analysis and design of urban settings based on the innate human need to:
• attach significance and value to preferred places
• find their way around
• know and identify their homeground

elp:rdu was formed by Dr. Kevin Thwaites of the Department of Landscape, University of Sheffield and Ian Simkins who practices as a Chartered Landscape Architect and freelance Landscape Consultant, IMS Landscape Consultancy based in North Yorkshire, UK.

Experiential Landscape Place is an approach to urban landscape architecture which stresses the importance of place experience to the planning and design of fulfilling urban open space settings.

It is based on increasingly compelling evidence that quality of human life depends, in part, on there being a close bond of association between open space and human experience. Although this is known to be an important contributor to the psychological health of individuals and communities, it is not always given the same level of attention in the planning and design of urban landscape as, for example, technical, aesthetic or economic considerations.

The Experiential Landscape Place Research and Development Unit has been established to research the relationship between human experience and its spatial dimensions and explore how this can be applied to the design of better urban landscape.

The work, as it develops, forms an integral part of our educational practice and consultancy and is widely disseminated via conference presentations and papers in academic and professional journals.

RESEARCH:

March 00 to Jan 03 LEEDS METROPOLITAN UNIVERSITY
Research Assistant (part time)


REFEREED PUBLICATIONS
Simkins, I.M. and Thwaites, K. (2008) Revealing Hidden Dimensions of Place Experience in Primary School Aged Children. Landscape Research, 33:5, 531-546.

Thwaites.K. Helleur.E. and Simkins.I.M. (2005) Restorative urban open space: Exploring the spatial configuration of human emotional fulfilment in urban open space. Landscape Research, Volume 30, Number 4, October 2005, pp. 525-547(23) 

Thwaites.K. and Simkins.I.M. (2005) Experiential landscape place: exploring potential in neighbourhood settings. Urban Design International (2005) 10, 11-22.

OTHER PUBLICATIONS
Simkins, I. M. (2008) The Development of the Insight Method: a participatory approach for primary school children to reveal their place experiences. Doctoral Thesis, University of Sheffield, UK.

Simkins. I.M. (2007) Listening to and understanding the voices of young children in the planning and design process, in Urban Sustainability through Environmental Design, eds: Thwaites. K., Porta. S. and Romice. O. Book commissioned by Spon Press, London.

Thwaites.K. and Simkins.I.M. (2007) Experiential Landscape: revealing hidden dimensions of people-place relations, in Urban Sustainability through Environmental Design, eds: Thwaites. K., Porta. S. and Romice. O. Book commissioned by Spon Press, London.

Thwaites.K. and Simkins.I.M. (2007) Experiential Landscape: An approach to people, space and place. Book commissioned by Spon Press, London. (available from: www.tandf.co.uk) click this link to order.

Thwaites K and Simkins I.M. (2007) Are you experienced? Landscape, 02.07, p.26-31.

Simkins I.M. and Thwaites K. (2006) Potential through Participation. green places, Issue 22, February 2006, pp. 22-27.

Thwaites.K. Helleur.E. and Simkins.I.M. (2004) Restorative Urban Landscape Settings: Exploring the Spatial Dimensions of Human Emotional Fulfilment in Urban Open Space. Paper and conference presentation at the international Open Space: People Space conference, Edinburgh, 27-29 October 2004.

Simkins.I.M. and Thwaites.K. (2004) The Spatial Experience of Primary School Aged Children: The Development of an Open Space Design Language. Paper and conference presentation at the international Open Space: People Space conference, Edinburgh, 27-29 October 2004.

Thwaites.K. and Simkins.I.M (2004) Experiental Landscape; an approach to people, place and space. Invited presentation at the Department of Architecture, The University of Strarthclyde.

Thwaites.K. and Simkins.I.M (2004) Experiential Landscape Place: a design vocabulary for people, space and place. Invited presentation to Analysis of Public Spaces and Policies for Public Life in Cities conference, Politecnico di Milan, Milan, Italy, 27 January 2004.

CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS
Thwaites K, Simkins I.M., and Mathers, A. (April 2009) Experiential Landscape: an approach to people, place and space: Principles and Practice. Invited public lecture, The Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia.

Simkins, I.M., Thwaites, K., and Mathers, A. (February 2009) Existing and aspirational neighbourhood place experiences of primary school aged children. Presentation as part of the Growing in Place 2009 symposium. Natural Learning Initiative, N.C. State University, Raleigh, NC, USA.

Thwaites K, Simkins I.M., and Mathers, A. (February 2009) Experiential Landscape: an approach to people, place and space. Invited presentation as part of the ' ARCHAOSUWE Open Lecture series 2008-9', University of the West of England, Bristol, UK.

Simkins, I. M. and Thwaites, K. (July 2008) Existing and Aspirational Neighbourhood Place Experiences of Primary School Aged Children. Presentation at the: Safety for Children In The City – A Formula for Children’s Well-Being or for Restraining Children Symposium. IAPS 20th International Conference, Rome, Italy.

Thwaites, K. and Simkins, I.M. (July 2008) Experiential Landscape: Approaches to Revealing Place Experience in Primary School Aged Children. Presentation at the: Children's Perspective in Environmental Perception Thematic Session. IAPS 20th International Conference, Rome, Italy.

Simkins, I. M. and Thwaites, K. (July 2008) Existing and Aspirational Neighbourhood Place Experiences of Primary School Aged Children. Presentation at the: Safety for Children In The City – A Formula for Children’s Well-Being or for Restraining Children Symposium. IAPS 20th International Conference, Rome, Italy.

Thwaites, K. and Simkins, I.M. (July 2008) Experiential Landscape: Approaches to Revealing Place Experience in Primary School Aged Children. Presentation at the: Children's Perspective in Environmental Perception Thematic Session. IAPS 20th International Conference, Rome, Italy.

Thwaites, K. (et al) (July 2008) Urban Sustainability through Environmental Design: Approaches to Time-People-Place Responsive Urban Spaces. Presentation at the: Values and Worldviews and Environment-Behaviour Relations Thematic Session. IAPS 20th International Conference, Rome, Italy.

Thwaites, K. and Simkins, I.M. (July 2008) Restorative Urban Design. Presentation at the: Restorative Environments: New Directions for Research Symposium. IAPS 20th International Conference, Rome, Italy.

Thwaites, K. and Simkins, I.M. (July 2008) Reading Experiential Village Identity. Presentation at the: Home Range: Experiences and Meanings across Cultures and Contexts Symposium. IAPS 20th International Conference, Rome, Italy.

Thwaites K and Simkins I.M. (April 2007) Experiential Landscape: an approach to people, place and space. Invited key note presentation as part of the RSAW Spring School 2007 (Royal Society of Architects in Wales, in association with the Landscape Institute in Wales). Portmerion, Wales, UK.

Thwaites K and Simkins I.M. (April 2007) Experiential Landscape: reading experiential characteristics in residential settings. Paper and workshop presentation at the Housing Studies Conference 2007, York, UK.

Thwaites K and Simkins I.M. (March 2007) Experiential Landscape: an approach to people, place and space. Invited key note presentation as part of the 'Seven mirrors' conference organised by the Centre for Place and Learning, Stockholm, Sweden.

Thwaites K and Simkins I.M. (November 2006) Experiential Landscape: an approach to people, place and space. Invited presentation as part of the 'Landmark' lecture series, The University of Sheffield, UK.

Thwaites K and Simkins I.M. (November 2006) Experiential Landscape: an approach to people, place and space. Invited presentation as part of 'The Experience' lecture series, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK.

Simkins I.M. and Thwaites K. (September 2006) Place experience of primary school children: revealing the spatial dimensions. Presentation at the Children, Youth and Environments meeting, IAPS 19th International Conference, Alexandria, Egypt.

Thwaites K and Simkins I.M. (September 2006) Experiential Landscape: exploring the spatial dimensions of human emotional fulfilment in outdoor open space. Joint paper and presentation IAPS 19th International Conference, Alexandria, Egypt.

Thwaites K and Simkins I.M. (September 2006) Experiential Landscape: reading experiential characteristics in residential settings. Joint paper and presentation at the Housing Network Symposium, IAPS 19th International Conference, Alexandria, Egypt.

Simkins I.M. and Thwaites K. (July 2006) Developing tools and techniques for revealing spatial dimensions of place experience in primary school aged children. Seminar presentation and paper at: "Planning and designing healthy public outdoor spaces for young people in the 21st century" conference hosted by the faculty of the Built Environment, University of the West of England, Bristol.

Simkins I.M. (April 2006) The development of tools and techniques for revealing spatial dimensions of place experience in primary school aged children. Seminar presentation at: Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Conference. Department of Sociological Studies, The University of Sheffield.

Simkins I.M. (March 2006) Reflection on Undertaking Reserach into the Spatial Dimensions of Children's Place Experience. Seminar presentation at: Practicalities of Working Inclusively with Children. Centre for the Study of Childhood and Youth, The University of Sheffield.

Simkins I.M. (March 2006) Revealing spatial dimensions of place experience in primary school aged children. Presentation at: Recovering Landscape Workshop. Department of Archaeology, University of York.

Thwaites.K. Helleur.E. and Simkins.I.M. (2004) Restorative Urban Landscape Settings: Exploring the Spatial Dimensions of Human Emotional Fulfilment in Urban Open Space. Paper and conference presentation at the international Open Space: People Space conference, Edinburgh, 27-29 October 2004. view paper

Simkins.I.M. and Thwaites.K. (2004) The Spatial Experience of Primary School Aged Children: The Development of an Open Space Design Language. Paper and conference presentation at the international Open Space: People Space conference, Edinburgh, 27-29 October 2004.
view paper


RECENT CAREER HISTORY
Nov 03 to Date FREELANCE LANDSCAPE CONSULTANT

TUTORING EXPERIENCE
Higher Education Tutoring
Nov 2000 to date
Taught/tutored modules at Post Graduate/Undergraduate levels:

The University of Sheffield

Undergraduate:
Basic Landscape Construction - 06/07
Integrated Urban Design - 04/05, 05/06, 06/07, 08/09
Advanced Landscape Construction - 04/05, 05/06, 06/07, 07/08, 08/09.
Post Graduate:
Technical Drawing - 05/06, 06/07, 08/09
Urban Landscape Design – 03/04, 04/05, 05/06, 06/07, 07/08, 08/09
Integrated Urban Design - 04/05, 05/06, 06/07, 08/09
Special Project (formerly special design) – 07/08, 08/09

Special Design (Master planning/Whole site proposals) - 04/05, 05/06
Special Design (Planting) - 04/05, 05/06, 06/07
Exam Panel Moderating: Special Design – 03/04

Leeds Metropolitan University
Habitation Option - 2000 to 2003
Autocad additional support following departure of staff member.

Further Education Tutoring
Askham Bryan College York
September 2006 to March 2007- Northern College for Further Education (NCFE) Level 2 Certificate in Garden Design.
July-August 2006 – Course design: (NCFE) Level 2 Certificate in
Garden Design.
September 2005 to February 2006 - Open College Network Level 2
Certificate in Garden Design.
September 2004 to July 2005 - City & Guilds Level 2
Certificate in Garden Design.


Dec 02 to Nov 03 HARTLEPOOL BOROUGH COUNCIL
Senior Landscape Architect
Portfolio of work included several primary school projects involving the Borough Architects and members of Partnering teams and SRB and Heritage Lottery work.

Sept ’99 to Dec 02 HARTLEPOOL BOROUGH COUNCIL
Community Landscape Architect (SRB funded post)
Provision of a comprehensive Landscape Design and project management service.
• Green Corridors and Gateways Project (SRB)
Development and implementation of a landscape strategy of environmental improvements on strategic and major corridors throughout the two SRB areas. Schemes were executed with involvement of the local community, ward members, agencies and public bodies together with business stakeholders. The projects also required the maximisation of local employment, training and safety initiatives. The schemes were driven by consultation and participation of the community through workshops and exhibitions.
• Grounds for Learning Project (SRB)
This project involved a variety of landscape improvements to schools within the SRB area. The improvements were developed through workshops with pupils, teachers and governors. Proposals were then finalised and managed to completion.
• Intermediate Labour Market (ILM)
Various projects of environmental improvement implemented by the management of the ILM, basic horticultural techniques demonstrated at induction lectures and handbook compiled for reference.

July ’95 to June ’98
Freelance Landscape Designer
Provision of bespoke designs for commercial and domestic clients.

May ’97 to Nov ’97 CITY PARKS SERVICES
(Division of City of Sunderland Direct Services)
Software application design (freelance)

June ’94 – Sept’94 CITY PARKS SERVICES
(Division of City of Sunderland Direct Services)
System auditing and re-organisation.

Aug ’92 – Sept’93 CITY OF SUNDERLAND PARKS CONTRACTS SECTION
(Division of City of Sunderland Dept. of Leisure)
Assistant to Landscape Manager (undertaken as part of HND course)
Part of Landscape team that undertook all new landscaping works awarded to the department.

April ’92 LAND RECLAMATION SITE St. HELENS
A Groundwork Trust project in the reclamation of a derelict spoil heap in Lancashire.
Sub-contract Drawing
Working under the direction of the freelance Landscape Architect for the site interpreting sketches, provision of formal drawings for planning application and original detail design work.

   
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