Top image: self-builders in Belford

Mary Kelly, Chair

Mary Kelly, Architect, self-builder and teacher. Practice is based in Northumberland where I live and am building my own home. Currently also lecturing part-time at degree and post-graduate level on the Architecture programme at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston.

A little background

After peripatetic, unpredictable and enjoyable early years spent living and learning in many different places in West Africa and the UK I ended up at Hull School of Architecture. Once there I got involved in student action, with live projects, with Community Architecture and, for one unforgettable and inspirational term, was taught by the architect Walter Segal. Self build has enabled me to combine and share these constant enthusiasms – through my work in practice and on projects and more widely.

After ten years co-ordinating the activities of the Walter Segal Self Build Trust – supporting the development of individual and group housing and community self build projects throughout the UK – I went on to work as an architect, project manager and practical trainer for group and individual self build eco-projects through my own practice. Recent projects include work as architect/ trainer, teacher, project and on-site support for Women’s Construction Skills Training and self build Project, for North Northumberland Women’s Network, Amble – and for additional works, associated workshop and training activities. I also run courses at different locations/ venues round UK & in Ireland focusing on Walter Segal MethodAn Introduction to Environmentally friendly timber frame self build” for people wanting to build their own homes & community bldgs. Our house is open to people interested in self build who are encouraged to visit through Heritage Open Days each September.

Writer/ contributor: articles and features to national, regional and local press and other media outlets – most recently to the publication produced in support of the Protohome self-build project in Newcastle over summer 2016 and as workshop presenter in support of the successful 1000 Huts Campaign in Scotland.

Art Gene shares many of the unique features of Barrow-in-Furness and surroundings – enjoying and creating temporary inhabitations and installations within a landscape scattered with cast-aside waste from earlier, industrial generations yet surrounded and dominated by open sky and sea… Their projects are expressive and rich in detail – tackling and responding to the context head-on and celebrating both the geology and history of the place in their proposals for the future. I am very pleased to have joined the Board of Directors and look forward to promoting and being involved with such an exciting and dynamic organisation.

Mary Kelly

Image below:  Fourth Action women’s self build, Northumberland

Further Reading