Dr Philip Black

Senior Lecturer in Urban Design

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Philip joined University of Manchester as a Lecturer in Urban Design in 2015 after previously working for University of Reading and Queens University Belfast. Before entering academia Philip worked as an urban designer for architectural firm HBD Architects Ltd who have offices in Belfast, London, and Pune (India). He is currently the Director of the Manchester Urban Design LAB; Programme Director for MSc Urban Design and International Planning; a member of the Manchester Urban Institute; and a Recognised Practitioner and Executive Committee member of the Urban Design Group.


Philip extensively researches and publishes on applied urban design, with a particular interest in design quality and evaluation; design control; cycling and mobility; and process and methods in urban design. He has lead projects across all these areas funded by a range of partners including local authorities, universities, and research councils. He supervises a number of PhD students on studies related to these interests. His experience as both a practicing urban design professional and academic see him work directly on the interface of practice and theory, with a research strategy aimed at making real-world impact on how designers consider and design places and spaces.


In 2020 Philip established,and became Director of, the Manchester Urban Design LAB [MUD-Lab] - www.manchester.ac.uk/mudlab - a world-class urban design labortatory providing

  • a wide range of resources, both physical and digital;
  • top-class design-focused research and publications;
  • high-quality engagement and impact with industry;
  • training for the current and next generation of urban designers in the UK and internationally.

MUD-Lab supports a studio-design culture, teaching and researching urban design as a technical applied discipline. It aims to position The University of Manchester as the leading international location for studying urban design. MUD-Lab is based in the School of Environment, Education and Development (SEED) at The University of Manchester, with strong links to SEED's department of Planning and Environmental Management.

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

  • Academician of Academy of Urbanism
  • Member and Executive Committee of Urban Design Group
  • Fellow of Higher Education Academy 
  • Member Royal Geographic Society (with IBG)
  • Editoral Board - Journal of Urban Design and Planning [ICEPublishing]

Areas of expertise

  • NA Architecture - Urban Design, Masterplanning, Urban Theory, Design Control, Design Quality


  • urban design, design, masterplanning, design quality, design governance

Education / academic qualifications

  • 2015 - Fellowship Of Higher Education Academy, Higher Education Academy (Formerly Known As Learning & Teaching Support Network)
  • 2015 - Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice, Higher Education Academy (Formerly Known As Learning & Teaching Support Network)
  • 2014 - Certificate in Research Career Management (SEDA Professional Development Framework), The University of Reading
  • 2012 - Doctor of Philosophy, The 'Veil' of Control: Exploring Design Controller Attitudes and Perceptions, Queen's University Belfast
  • 2005 - Master of Science, Urban Design, Queen's University Belfast

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Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Activity: Participating in or organising event(s)Organising a conference, workshop, exhibition, performance, inquiry, course etc

Activity: Participating in or organising event(s)Organising a conference, workshop, exhibition, performance, inquiry, course etc

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