Transition by Design (10) — sankalpa supported activity
projects

Transition by Design

Oxford, United Kingdom

Transition by Design is a RIBA chartered and Passivhaus certified architecture and design cooperative based in Oxford. The team builds homes, neighbourhoods and cities for an ecologically sustainable and enjoyable future.

As of 2011, the team have specialised in ecological architecture, community engagement, citizen-led and participatory design, action research and community-led housing.

Supporting Transition by Design

Following two years of research into alternative housing models and co-production techniques, sankalpa supported T/D with project financing in the form of a loan, and a grant. 

The support was used to undertake two projects with a focus on alternative housing models and co-production techniques:

  • Makespace Oxford — taking once empty and underused buildings and reviving, repurposing and transforming them into affordable, community-driven workspaces;
  • Homemaker Design School — a three-year action research project using design to explore the opportunities for using Oxford's empty and underused space to tackle the city's rising homelessness crisis.


Empty and underused buildings continue to present a major issue in England’s cities and surrounding areas, therefore creative responses are needed to tackle issues of affordability and accessibility.

Published in Autumn 2017, a government report stated a 14% increase in homelessness across the country — with Oxford highlighted as one of the eight local authorities with increased numbers of rough sleepers. 

sankalpa has given us support at key moments which has helped boost our credibility and launch new initiatives which continue to generate benefits to our members and the wider social enterprise sector and community-led housing sectors in Oxford. Beyond this they have shown belief in our work and helped us connect with other inspiring groups which is invaluable for young mission-driven organisations.

Andy Edwards, co founder & director at Transition by Design
Transition by Design (6) — sankalpa supported activity
Transition by Design (7) — sankalpa supported activity
Transition by Design (5) — sankalpa supported activity
Transition by Design (8) — sankalpa supported activity
Transition by Design (9) — sankalpa supported activity

Transition by Design, today

Makespace Oxford and partners have teamed up with local councils to launch a new £1.7m programme to breathe life back into high streets and urban centres across Oxfordshire, supporting communities to bounce forward from COVID-19.

‘Meanwhile in Oxfordshire…’ is the first in the UK of its kind. From 2021 onwards, along with six local partners, Makespace Oxford will bring 50 vacant buildings back into use; create or safeguard 300 jobs; create 35 traineeships; provide construction jobs to local businesses; and provide support to those occupying and reanimating each space. 

The funding for the programme has been secured through a capital grant from the government’s Getting Building Fund via the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP), coordinated by Oxford City Council with Oxfordshire’s District Councils.

As a co-founder of a small, purpose driven creative agency, longstanding Makespace Oxford resident and board member, I’ve experienced first hand the difference affordable workspace connected to like-minded organisations can make to our work and wellbeing.

Makespace Oxford is delighted to have the opportunity to broaden its impact and help hundreds more organisations across Oxfordshire access space to grow, connect and thrive.

Jess Harvey, chair of the Makespace Oxford board & co-founder of Woven Ink

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