Alison Pooley

Senior Lecturer, Course Leader for BA (Hons) Architecture

Faculty:Faculty of Science & Technology

Department:Engineering and the Built Environment

Location: Chelmsford

Areas of Expertise: Built environment

Alison joined ARU in 2012, and currently teaches architecture and environmental management. Her research examines learning in an industry that's under pressure to adopt environmentally responsible practices.

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Previously, Alison was programme leader for the Professional Diploma in Architecture at the Centre for Alternative Technology, Wales, where she taught for nearly ten years. Before turning to teaching in higher education, Alison worked for several years in architectural practice in London.

Alison’s research examines learning in the built-environment professions, an industry under increasing pressure to adopt environmentally responsible practices. It particularly emphasises the transformative nature of learning: the impact on one's own practice, profession, and the wider community.

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


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BA (Hons) Architecture


  • BSc (Hons)
  • Dip Arch
  • PGCertLTHE

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Member, the Society for Research into Higher Education (2010-present)
  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

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. 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.