Ian Cooper is a partner in Eclipse Research Consultants. Unusually for an architect, he has spent his working life not as a practitioner, but as a researcher – originally as an academic and for the last 27 years in the private sector as an independent research consultant.
He has made a profession out of his curiosity: “I’m happiest when working on new and emerging issues. I always want to know ‘What?’ closely followed by ‘Why?’ and then ‘Who benefits?’ I am perpetually intrigued by what is coming over the horizon, by what our clients are going to be expected to cope with next. I spend much of my time scanning for issues, looking for new developments before they break.”
Over the past thirty-five years, he has accumulated expertise in the design, management, monitoring and impact assessment of research programmes, portfolio and projects, especially those relating to the built environment and sustainable development. His experience as a workshop designer and facilitator – and in strategic forward planning, envisioning and stakeholder dialogue exercises – has taken him all over Europe and to Russia and China.
- an associate director of the Sustainable Development Foundation – a non-profit organisation that works to deliver a radical step-change in sustainability performance for the UK built environment,
- an associate of Cambridge Architectural Research Ltd – an independent consultancy providing specialist advice for the construction industry, design professions and policy-making institutions.
- vice-chair of Sustainable Built Environment East (SBEE) – an independent expert body bringing together specialists from across the construction sector to consider issues impacting on the delivery of growth, sustainable communities and the built environment for the East of England
- a visiting professor at the School of the Built Environment, University of Salford, and a former founding director of SURF.