Why we exist

Finding a way to live on this earth, in balance with nature and everyone else here, is the defining challenge of our time, and the way in which we develop land and create new places is central to our collective response.

True innovation is extremely difficult within the traditional process of development. Despite what are often good intentions, the competing interests of various stakeholders, the way finance is structured and land is valued has created a model which is very resistant to the scale of systemic change most would recognise is needed.

Neighbourhood was founded on the desire to experiment with a different way of doing things – to see if, by approaching each project with curiosity and free of the pressure to impose a predetermined model, we could change the way development happens. Could we find a new way of doing it that wasn’t just less bad, but might actually be good? Could development be a collaborative process, with true sustainability and wellbeing at its centre? Could it even begin to heal the land for future generations? These are the questions that sit at the heart of Neighbourhood’s work.

Duncan Blackmore

Duncan has spent the last decade working as a design-led independent developer, focused on the planning and delivery of high quality buildings on complex and contested urban sites. Projects led from conception to occupation have won multiple architectural awards, including The Manser Medal and RIBA London Best Small Project. Duncan also serves on various awards judging panels and is engaged in teaching and criticism at a number of architecture schools. He is motivated by a desire to demonstrate that imaginative development, even on a relatively small scale, can enhance our lives and our environment.

John Nordon

John has 23 years experience in the property industry with a significant track record of using design-thinking in all its aspects to create meaningful impact and change markets. This is demonstrated by being directly responsible for more Housing Design Awards than any other individual in the UK, working with a wide range of organisations from privately owned and PE funded business, to pension funds, local authorities, not for profits and other purpose driven organisations.

Lou Dawson

Lou has spent over twenty years working in the areas of corporate strategy, brand development and communications, with organisations such as Nike, Nationwide, WWF and Channel 4. Her work in the property sector has been primarily in the area of communal housing schemes and large-scale regeneration projects, with a particular focus on brand, product design, operations and local integration. Lou is also a qualified mediator and equine-assisted coach.

The Davidson Prize

Winner, 2023

Kiosk of the Future Competition

Winner, 2022

Circular Block: Reinventing the Mikrorayan Competition

Honorable Mention, 2022

Liverpool Townhouse Competition

Awarded Second Place, 2021

Low Rise: Housing Ideas for Los Angeles Design Challenge

Honorable Mention, 2021

Working together

In our three years of operation, working with like-minded partners, we have invested significant time, energy and financial resources in researching and piloting initiatives designed to answer some of the the questions we have about how to evolve the model for development.

By no means do we have all of the answers (yet!), but we’re starting to believe that we might have some.

We know we are not alone in wanting to make things better, so if you would like to work with us on a project or join us in exploring these questions, we would love to hear from you.