To counteract the global commodification of architectural education, alternative teaching methods and practices based on engagement with specific places and involving collaboration and partnership with local citizens and organizations are much needed. Our call is thus for a hybrid form of pedagogy that offers a more equal cultural exchange between ‘East’/‘West’ and ‘Global South’/‘Global North’, with design briefs exploring intersections between issues such as the environment, ecology, gender, economic inequalities and power structures. The chapter contends that global marketable icons indicate the triumph of wealthy individuals and/or multi-billion corporations in making insertions into our cities, we call for a more culturally inclusive and socially sensitive design pedagogy for architectural schools that celebrates the ordinary, the everyday, the different, and the invisible others. The chapter’s other key argument is that architectural education should be about students learning a more culturally inclusive and socially sensitive pedagogy in Britain and elsewhere – to celebrate the ordinary, the everyday, the different and the invisible. Equally important is a design engagement with actual issues in actual places that can be directly implemented or else identify potential strategies. Thus, we encourage students to explore difficult contexts not as problems but as fertile grounds for creativity.

Two of the case-study examples discussed are from the West Bank and Gaza Strip, involving students working with us in the Palestine Regeneration Team, while the other two feature projects, sited in North Africa, are designs by students from the University of Westminster and Bartlett School of Architecture.