Collective Design Practice is an architecture and research organisation founded by Nicola Antaki in 2022. Nicola is an architect, researcher and educator specialising in civic learning, co-design and design for social change. Together research and practice investigate architecture as an activist and democratic tool. As an architecture tutor at the London School of Architecture she focuses on encouraging critical praxis through site situated and community integrated means in response to the current social and climate crisis. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at Paris La Villette architecture school working on a European research project on everyday community resilience and ecological transition. Situated in Mumbai between 2011 and 2019, her doctoral research combined education and design practices to co-develop a collective design approach with a school to include children in (re)designing their environment. This research won the Thornton Education Trust Inspire Future Generations award (2021), was shortlisted for the RIBA Presidents Award (Cities and Community category, 2020) and won the UCL Public Engagement Award (student category, 2018).
Nicola completed her PhD in Architecture from the Bartlett School of Architecture and Development Planning Unit at UCL in 2019 with Professors Yeoryia Manolopoulou and Camillo Boano's supervision. She has worked as senior architect at Turner Works (2019 - 2022) and We Made That (2012 - 2017). She studied Architecture at Oxford Brookes University and then The Royal College of Art. After graduating from the RCA, she worked for a number of years at Cottrell and Vermeulen Architecture, designing sustainable schools and nurseries, where she completed her ARB/RIBA professional certificate, at the Bartlett School of Architecture. Her practice-led research was situated in Mumbai, India between 2011 and 2018, looking at the links between architecture and learning, and developing a design pedagogy that includes school children in the design of their environment.
She co-founded the Mumbai biennial Photography Festival FOCUS (2013 - 2017), and collaborates regularly with urban farming initiative Fresh & Local based in Mumbai, that works to create places for communities to grow their own food organically and improve health through gardens in the city.