Zero Ambitions Podcast

We spoke to Tara Gbolade and Marianne Heaslip about how work towards demand reduction and healing our homes must be grounded in social justice. In what will be one of many conversations on these themes, we discuss the gender, race and class barriers within the construction industry, and explore ways that we can promote broader, truly diverse and representative design and construction teams.

Show Notes

Tara Gbolade is an architect, passivhouse designer and cofounder of Gbolade Design Studio, a design-led, community centred practice, focused on sustainable design. She is a member of the Architect’s Declare steering group, sits on a number of design panels and co-founded the Paradigm Network, an organisation that champions black and asian representation in the built environment: https://www.paradigmnetwork.co.uk 
 
Marianne Heaslip is an architect and expert in retrofit, low carbon design, building performance evaluation and participative design. She is an Associate Principle at URBED, works in collaboration with Carbon Coop and plays a key role in People Powered Retrofit, an organisation that exists to tackle many of the barriers homeowners face in commissioning retrofit work on their homes: https://retrofit.coop   
 
Our conversation started with a run-down of International Women’s day and the current state of the industry and went on to explore topics such as: how retrofit needs to be user-centred, solving complex problems by bringing broader voices to the table, and how we can learn from pioneers such as Wangari Maathai and Kate Raworth, who stepped outside and beyond their professions to have wide-ranging positive impacts. 
 
Tara and Marianne signposted lots of fantastic resources:
Book: Culture is Bad for You: Orian Brook, Dave O'Brien and Mark Taylor: https://thesociologicalreview.org/reviews/culture-is-bad-for-you-by-brook-obrien-and-taylor/
Book: Rebel Ideas: The Power of Diverse Thinking: Matthew Syed
Community Organisation: Homebaked Community Land Trust: https://homebaked.org.uk/ 
Training Organisation: B4Box: https://b4box.co.uk
 
Plus a few more post-podcast references:
Community Organisation: Arts Emergency: https://www.arts-emergency.org 
Book: Programmed Inequality: Mar Hicks: https://programmedinequality.com 
 
And don’t forget to check out: 
https://www.paradigmnetwork.co.uk 
https://retrofit.coop  
https://www.gboladedesignstudio.com
http://urbed.coop
https://carbon.coop 

What is Zero Ambitions Podcast?

A podcast about sustainability, the built environment, and carbon-zero goals.

Focused on what can be done to meet the collective challenges that lie ahead, this is a podcast to share good practice, advice and stories about the importance of sustainable building and our obsession with retrofit.

The podcast will bring you interviews with organisations and institutions that play key roles in the move to net-zero homes and the stories of people who are living in them.