Expertise, research, publications & media

Remote and face-to-face design advice

Building for a Healthy Life training, advice and audits

Study tours

Concept design/masterplanning

Design advice and review for proposed and completed developments

Development management

Planning policy (design policies within Local Plans and Supplementary Planning Documents; Local Design Codes, design briefs)

Public speaking

Presentations, television and radio

Since 2008 I have worked within and for local planning authorities, government agencies, universities, developers and landowners. My work and research has taken me across the UK and further afield to Australia, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

I have delivered talks, presentations, training and workshops in England, Australia and Spain; contributed to BBC TV and Radio programmes and written articles for The Guardian and professional publications (Journal of Urban Design, RICS Land Journal and RICS Property Journal).

I am co-author of Building for a Healthy Life, the government-endorsed design tool for new build residential and mixed use developments. Building for Healthy Life was originally published in 2012 as Building for Life 12 with a version published by the Welsh Government and the Design Commission for Wales. In 2020, NHS England commissioned an update to Building for Life 12 and the tool was renamed as Building for a Healthy Life.

  • Design Review Panel Member and Enabler for Design: Midlands and Design: West
  • CABE Enabler within the Urban Design and Homes Team (2009-2012). CABE was the UK government’s advisor for architecture, urban design and public space.
  • Visiting lecturer at the University of Nottingham (March Sustainable Urban Design).


Awarded a doctorate in 2018 for research that explored the effectiveness of BfL12 as a regulatory design tool within the English planning system; the thesis challenges established thinking that emphasises regulatory mechanisms as the principal means to improve the urban design qualities of new, volume built residential developments.

Through an adapted ‘Total Design’ model the thesis demonstrated how design quality considerations could be better integrated into the land buying and planning processes by using emerging digital technologies to create:

  • A more efficient and effective planning system
  • Better designed places
  • A more dynamic and meaningful way for the public and other stakeholders to participate in the planning process


You can find my thesis at the British Library.

Publications & Media

Publications

Birkbeck, D. and Kruczkowski, S., S. with Jones, P., Singleton, D. and McGlynn, S. (2020) Building for a Healthy Life. 

Kruczkowski, S. (2019) ‘E-planning: an opportunity for Place and Building Information Modelling?’ in Royal Institute of British Architects President’s Award for Research 2019: Book of Abstracts, London.

Birkbeck, D. and Kruczkowski, S. (2018) Building for Life 12: Maidstone edition.

Kruczkowski, S. (2018) ‘Exploring the effectiveness of Building for Life in improving suburban residential design quality’Nottingham Trent University.

Kruczkowski (2016) Book ReviewJournal of Urban Design (Volume 21).

Birkbeck, D. and Kruczkowski, S. (2015) Building for Life 12 Wales, Welsh Government.

Birkbeck, D. and Kruczkowski, S. (2015) Adeliladu am Oes 12 Cymru, Arwydd o le de I fyw ynddo, Welsh Government.

Kruczkowski, S. and Martinelli, A. (2015) Quantifying quality’ in RICS Land Journal, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, London.

Kruczkowski, S. and Martinelli, A. (2015) Quantifying quality’ in RICS Property Journal. Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, London. 

Birkbeck, D. and Kruczkowski, S. (2015) Building for life 12: the sign of a good place to live. Kruczkowski, S. 2015. Is there any value left in building for life? In: M. Hoxley and A. Crabbe, eds., CADBE Doctoral Student Conference [Nottingham Trent University, 9-10 June 2014]: 2014 proceedings.Nottingham: Nottingham Trent University: CADBE, pp. 173-181. ISBN 9780957600980

Birkbeck, D. and Kruczkowski, S. (2014) The sign of a good place to live: Building for Life 12. 

Kruczkowski, S. (2014) ‘Is there any value left in Building for Life?’

Kruczkowski, S. (2014) ‘The eight problems that plague new housing developments’, The Guardian.

Birkbeck, D. and Kruczkowski, S. (2012) Building for life 12: London. Design Council/Design for Homes/Home Builders Federation.

Kruczkowski, S. 2010. An investigation into the compatibility of government housing quality aspirations and the working practices of house builders, local authorities and consumer behaviour. In: S. Bandyopadhyay, ed., College Conference: Re-defining Research, 8 July 2010: conference proceedings. Nottingham: Nottingham Trent University: CADBE, pp. 61-69. 


Media

BBC Radio Five Live, BBC Radio Wiltshire, BBC Radio WM, BBC Radio Hereford and Worcester (October 2018): design of new settlements; 

BBC One Politics Show (regional): Design and garden towns (June 2018); 

BBC One (regional): ‘Inside Out’ programme – Brutalist architecture (October 2016); 

BBC Radio Nottingham: Building for Life and car park design (two programmes, 2015).

“Stefan’s input is always creative, reliable, and timely.

Highly recommended, and we will certainly be hoping for the relationship to continue.”

Cat Hartley Group Manager – Planning & Economic Development, Blaby District Council

Urban Design Doctor is a company registered in England and Wales: 10942368. Our registered office is Urban Design Doctor Limited, Wellington House, 207 Leicester Road, Ibstock, Leicestershire, LE67 6HP. VAT registration: 297663542

Urban Design Doctor® and Gateway Code® are registered trademarks of Urban Design Doctor Limited