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Architecture students studying at Loughborough University

Architecture students at Loughborough University

Loughborough University joins campaign to inspire “joyful” architecture

Loughborough University is aiming to inspire a new generation of architects to create “joyful” buildings as it links up with a 10-year global campaign.

The University is the first academic institution to partner with the Humanise movement – which calls for an end to “soulless and boring buildings” and their negative impact on public health and the planet.

The collaboration will involve developing content together for a new MA programme in Architecture & Design, launching in autumn 2025. There will also be a series of lectures and workshops exploring the idea of emotion as a function of design.

Dr Robert Schmidt III of the university’s School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering, said: “We are tremendously excited by the opportunity to collaborate with Humanise. Our history as a university has long explored the fusion of design and making, rooted in the Arts & Crafts movement. Some of our earliest pedagogical philosophies were all about 'training on production' and 'learning through doing'.

“This shared belief in making, and collaborating with creatives, builds on LU-Arc’s established ethos of ‘architect-maker’. Together with our research expertise at the intersection of architecture and psychology, it perfectly complements the Humanise agenda. I think this initiative will benefit our students tremendously, opening up access to broader approaches and practical opportunities.”

Abigail Scott Paul, Global Head of the Humanise Campaign, said: “Loughborough has always been a pioneer and this new course is symbolic of a sea change in architectural education. It will challenge the rigidity and over-specialisation of so much teaching in the past and nurture a new generation of architects.”

“It has the potential to be a game-changer in our quest to create buildings that better serve people and the planet, and we’re thrilled to welcome Loughborough as a partner of the campaign.

This announcement follows a research symposium hosted by the Humanise campaign in March 2024, involving a team from Loughborough. The event gathered 40 of the world’s leading academics working at the intersection of architecture and neuroscience with a group of industry experts to debate how the outside of buildings impacts on people’s health, emotions and behaviour.

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: 24/58

About Loughborough University

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme and named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2024 QS World University Rankings – the eighth year running.

Loughborough is ranked 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2024, 10th in the Guardian University League Table 2024 and 10th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’, and in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 over 90% of its research was rated as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally-excellent’. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.

About the Humanise Campaign

The Humanise Campaign, launched in October 2023, aims to spark a global movement calling for radically more human buildings. Inspired by Thomas Heatherwick’s book of the same title, the campaign shines a light on the catastrophic impact boring, soulless buildings have on our mental health and the health of our planet. Find out more and join the movement at

Thomas Heatherwick’s book, Humanise, has now sold 6,000 copies in six months in the UK, in a market where the top selling architecture titles usually sell around 900 copies a year. An American edition has also been published, the Chinese edition will launch on 19 June 2024, a Korean edition is due for publication later in the year, and the Japanese edition early in 2025.