Sandra Denicke-Polcher is Deputy Head of Architecture at London Metropolitan University and has been teaching architecture design since 2000. In 2017, she was awarded the University Teaching Fellowship by LondonMet for her outstanding, highly innovative and impactful contribution to learning and the learning development within the field of architecture.
Sandra studied architecture in Germany, France and the UK, shaping her teaching philosophy and practice of inclusive education, constructionism and collaborative learning, which she pursues to empower students, colleagues and communities. Sandra explores the opportunities and challenges of engaging with live projects as part of the university-based architectural education. Her work identifies the complex relationships between education and practice with an emphasis on community-based projects initiated by students and tutors.
She has used live projects to powerful effect for the benefit of students’ learning. Her teaching pedagogy of ‘Architecture of Multiple Authorship’, establishes for students an overtly participatory engagement with architecture, and aides the integration of clients, participants and collaborators as co-learners and co-creators.
Impact of work
Sandra’s use of live projects in teaching has been endorsed through her students being recognised for their work by winning the NWLSA (North West London Society of Architects) Price for Live Projects, RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) London, in three consecutive years (2013/2014/2015), enabling their easy transition into employment.
Sandra is recognised for using a thoughtfully confident approach to leading and influencing the development of colleagues' teaching practice at subject and institutional levels, with local as well as international impact. Her research into architecture pedagogy and contributions to conferences and publications impacts not only architectural education outside of LondonMet, but also other disciplines beyond the subject area.
With a keen interest in lifelong learning, she has taken on several validation and governing roles at different institutions. She is currently External Examiner at the University of Westminster and Governor of King Alfred School.
Plans for the future
Sandra is currently enhancing her constructionist and inclusive teaching philosophy working on a live project entitled “Crossing Cultures” sited in Italy. This project creates an international educational environment, initiating a holistic collaboration between undergraduate and postgraduate students, recent graduates, tutors, locals, refugees, and other stakeholders - an innovative contribution to the ontology of architectural practice.
Deputy Head of Architecture
London Metropolitan University