The Civic Entrepreneur

> 2021 Projects

The following is the brief for the 2020-21 academic year at Diploma 20.

The Civic Entrepreneur

This is a time for new dreams.

Over the past decade, we have witnessed a dramatic shrinking
of the civic realm with the loss of spaces for coming together
and the vital tools for civic agency. Diploma Unit 20 The
Civic Entrepreneur invites the next generation of architects
to rigorously apply their creativity to reinvent architectural
practice in service of enriching civic life.

We see the ultimate goal of architecture as contributing to
the creation of settings where we collectively thrive. From
bringing communities together, to offering care, to rebuilding
livelihoods, to a renewal of our visions of the future - this
involves everyone. In our unit we see everyone an explorer, a
teacher, an investor and a partner.


We are an incubator for civic entrepreneurs. We will be
cultivating an audacity of civic imagination and vision,
alongside the business acumen, social investment and
local mandate to turn bold ideas into action. Intelligent and
accountable identification of problems, speed of ideation,
iterative testing and real-life prototyping will be of crucial
importance. To achieve these goals will require agility and

Build confidence for collective impact

We will work in Custom House in East London; a place
promised regeneration for thirty years that is now on the
cusp of that promise made real with the help and resolve of a
community shaping its own destiny. Our goal is to be first-hand
participants in the process they have already started and build
our collective confidence that the change we imagine is within
our capacity to realize.

This comes with immense responsibility, and all the zest and
grit of making change happen. We'll be taking risks, attracting
investment, trading skills, reopening derelict shops, taking
back abandoned land. And above all we'll be forming deep
relationships, bringing together unlikely allies to re-imagine
and re-make a neighbourhood for the world.