Dr Alison Pooley

Deputy Head of School: Architecture and Planning

Faculty:Faculty of Science and Engineering

Location: Chelmsford

Alison has worked in the Department of Engineering and the Built Environment since 2012 and is course leader for Architecture at Anglia Ruskin University.



Before joining Anglia Ruskin, Alison worked as a housing officer in East London, and was in architectural practice for several years before going on to teach at the Centre for Alternative Technology, Wales, where she establish a Professional Diploma in Architecture (Part 2) and taught on postgraduate programmes for nearly ten years.

Alison's research interests include transformative learning within the construction industry and environmental change. Her current research is focused on housing and forms of housing that address the future needs of an ageing population. Alison's preoccupations remain focused on environmental responsibility and equity.

Alison completed her PhD exploring learning and transformation in the construction industry, at the Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University in 2016.

Research interests

  • Learning and change in the construction industry
  • Education and environmental responsibility; strategies for transformation
  • Climate change adaptation
  • Building performance evaluation beyond energy consumption
  • Design challenges and behavioural change – learning through the built environment 
  • Transformative learning – strategies for transformation and environmental responsibility
  • Resilience and community – specifically development of social and supported housing


BA (Hons) Architecture


  • BSc (Hons) Architecture (RIBA Part 1 exemption)
  • Dip Architecture (RIBA Part 2 exemption)
  • PGCertLTHE
  • PhD (Typologies of Transformation: learning, environmental responsibility, and the UK construction industry)

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Member, the Society for Research into Higher Education (2010-present)
  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Fellow of the RSA (FRSA)
  • Trustee of the Legacy East Almshouse Partnership

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

  • Workshop coordinator for Designs on the Planet 3, Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff (2009)
  • Developing a sustainable construction strategy for leading UK contractor (2005)
  • External advisor for postgraduate course development, Kent Institute of Art and Design (2004)
  • Board Member, Circle 33 Housing Association, London (1997-1998)

Selected recent publications

Pooley, A  and Brown, A. 2017. The Almshouse Reimagined: challenging students in creating community. Paper presented at the Passive Low Energy Architecture (PLEA) Conference 2017: Design to Thrive. Edinburgh, 3 – 6 July, 2017. Heriot-Watt University.

Pooley, A. 2017. Things Change: Exploring Transformational Experiences Within the UK Construction Industry. In: Building Information Modelling, Building Performance, Design and Smart Construction. Springer, pp. 223-240

Pooley, A. 2016. Things change: exploring transformational experiences within the UK construction industry. Paper presented at the International SEEDS Conference 2016: Sustainable Ecological Engineering Design for Society. Leeds, 14 - 15 September, 2016. Leeds Beckett University.

Pooley, A. and Wanigarathna, N. 2016. Integrating students through a multidisciplinary design project. Paper presented at the Integrated Design International Conference (ID@50). Bath, 30 June – 1 July, 2016. University of Bath.

Pooley, A. 2015. Transforming practice: re-linking professional experience and the curriculum. Local Economy, 30(3).

Pooley, A. and Bruce, H., 2014. Spaces of Transformation: The Experience of Architecture Students. In: Nicolaides, A. and Holt, D. (Eds.). Spaces of Transformation and Transformation of Space: XI International Transformative Learning Conference. Teachers College, Columbia University, 23-26 October 2014. New York: Columbia University, pp.948-954.

Jones, P., Pooley, A. and Tinning, B., 2012. Ecology, Critical Reflection and the Praxis of Change. In: Schwartz, M. and Lubell, C. and Gall, R. and Omer, A. (Eds.). A Future for Earth: Re-imagining Learning for a Transforming World: Proceedings of the 10th International Transformative Learning Conference. San Francisco, 1-4 November 2012. San Fransisco: Meridian University, pp.391-395.

Pooley, A., 2011. Transforming futures: re-linking research and teaching for positive environmental change. Paper presented to the Society for Research into Higher Education Annual Newer Researchers Conference, Newport, Wales, 6-7 December 2011.

Pooley, A., 2011. Typologies of Transformation; learning and environmental responsibility in the UK construction industry. Paper presented to the Human Behaviour and Climate Change Conference, Cardiff University, Wales, 22 September 2011.

Pooley, A., 2011. Construction in crisis; environmental responsibility and an industry ready for change. Paper presented to the 9th Transformative Learning Conference, Athens, Greece, 28-29 May 2011. Also published in M. Alhadeff-Jones & A. Kokkos (Eds.). Transformative learning in time of crisis: Individual and collective challenges: Proceedings of the 9th international conference on transformative learning, Athens, 27-30 May 2011 (pp.237-243). Athens, Greece: Hellenic Open University.

Pooley, A., 2010. Valuing reflection in learning; uncovering a relationship between transformative learning and student choice. Paper presented to the Society for Research into Higher Education Annual Conference, Newport, Wales, 14 - 16 December 2010.

Pooley, A., 2010. Challenging practice through changing values; encouraging students to reflect on their learning. Paper presented to the 5th Learning and Teaching Conference, University of East London, 1 July 2010.