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Architecture & Place Contacts

Ian Gilzean | Chief Architect
0131 244 7483


Following graduation from Edinburgh University School of Architecture in 1982, Ian worked in architectural practice for a number of public sector organisations (including the London Boroughs of Ealingand Haringey) as well as in private practice. He has also worked in community design units in Wester Hailes, Edinburgh and Drumchapel, Glasgow. Between 1994 and 1999, he worked for the Scottish Arts Council on its Capital Arts Programme funded by the National Lottery. Ian joined the then Scottish Executive in 1999 as a Senior Architect in the Chief Architect's Office, became a Principal Architect and head of the Architecture Policy Unit in March 2002 and became Chief Architect in 2006.

Ian is responsible for the development and implementation of the Scottish Government's policy on architecture. He advises Scottish Ministers on architecture and the built environment and liaises with other Directorates in the Scottish Government, the architecture profession and external agencies. Ian has been involved in architecture education for 19 years and is currently an External Examiner for Canterbury School of Architecture and the Architects Registration Board (ARB). He is also visiting Professor at the University of Strathclyde's Department of Architecture.

Susie Stirling
0131 244 0902

Susie read Geography (BA Hons) at the University of Liverpool, where she went on to complete a Master of Civic Design. During her Masters she won an advanced ERASMUS award to study urban design at the University of Lisbon, Portugal. She joined the Scottish Government, after having previously worked in local government, private sector and academia. Whilst working at the Government, she achieved a Certificate (First) in Environmental Law (UK and EU) from the University of Strathclyde.

Susie is Head of Branch and for the past eight years has taken the lead on the urban design agenda, starting by helping to create the first policy statement on design in Scotland, calledDesigning Places. Following on from that, she has worked at producing a new series of design based Planning Advice Notes (PANs) such as Housing Quality, Design Statements and Housing in the Countryside. As part of her role, she maintains liaisons with a wide range of bodies including local authorities, developers, Homes for Scotland, Historic Scotland and Architecture and Design Scotland. In addition, through secondment opportunities she has developed relations with the Bavarian Ministry, as well as, recently returning from being based in London, for nine months, within the Chief Executive's Department of the Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment.

To help push the design agenda forward, she has just completed working on a live project, in partnership with Mactaggart & Mickel Ltd and East Renfrewshire Council on residential streets. The challenge was to re- design an existing masterplan, by using the Government's guidance, and to create a better place simply by starting with the street. With regard to the rural agenda, Susie has been working with the Outer Hebrides and Orkney Islands Council to produce "short but smart" design guidance, as well as developing a more rural venacular kit house.

Sandy Robinson
0131 244 7446

Sandy joined the Architecture and Place team in February 2009, having spent several years working in private practice as an Architect and Urban Designer.

As Principal Architect, Sandy heads the Architecture Branch and has responsibility for a range of projects and policy initiatives including the Scottish Sustainable Communities Initiative and the recent publication the Scottish Government street design policy Designing Streets.

Prior to joining the Architecture and Place Division, Sandy's experience in architectural practice centred on delivering projects with a focus on sustainable place-making and the fostering of strong communities and local economies. This included a variety of projects across the UK and Europe including the masterplanning of major town expansions and new settlements, regeneration schemes and neighbourhood renewal projects, urban strategies and visioning processes, as well as a range of detailed architectural commissions.

Les Scott
0131 244 7462

Les is a Senior Architect. He studied at Edinburgh College of Art where his MArch thesis was on Urban Design. He has worked in central Government for almost 30 years, and has previously served in Government Divisions relating to Housing, Construction Industry Policy, Research (Housing and Energy issues), Prison Buildings, Chief Architect's Office and the Architecture Policy Unit. He has worked on the development and implementation of architecture policy since inception.

Stuart Watson
0131 244 7077

Stuart studied at the University of Leeds and Pennsylvania State University (MEng), and at Edinburgh College of Art (DipArch). He's worked with several leading practices, including Proctor Matthews Architects, on developments including Greenwich Millennium Village, and Princesshay in Exeter. He was in Bennetts Associates' team for University of Edinburgh's Informatics Forum. He's also contributed to several voluntary projects in East Africa.

Since joining Scottish Government in 2009 Stuart managed research and carried out in-house projects, contributing to the strategic direction of Scotland's built environment policy. He led the design, development and publication of the new sustainability standard within Building Standards.

He is involved in supporting the creation of higher quality places through the Scottish Sustainable Communities Initiative and via policy implementation, focused around Designing Streets Policy

He occasionally tutors at Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture