The Glass-House Community Led Design wants to make great places a reality for everyone.

We are a national charity dedicated to connecting people with the design of their places, and connecting design with people.

We see design not only as a tool for creating great places, but also as a way to connect people and empower them with enhanced confidence, skills and a greater sense of agency.

For two decades, The Glass-House has enabled people and organisations to work collaboratively to improve the design of their buildings, open spaces, homes, and neighbourhoods. We engage with live projects providing hands-on support, training and practical resources and constantly seek to experiment, innovate and inspire new thinking and debate through action research, events and knowledge exchange.


We are an independent advocate for the value of empowering design practices and for the importance of design quality and its effect on people’s quality of life.


We use design to bring people together to work collaboratively to improve their places and support local relationships and networks that help build community.


We empower people and organisations through design by building new skills and confidence that give people the agency to contribute to and lead inclusive local change.


We test new ideas and methodologies with partners, projects and places and share what we learn to inform and innovate design practice.

Our History

The Glass-House Community Led Design was conceived and initiated by The Glass-House Trust as an action research project. It was first led by the Architecture Foundation and National Tenant Resource Centre (now the National Communities Resource Centre) from 1999.

In 2006 we launched as an independent national charity and have since become a leading voice in the UK on the value of design practices in placemaking that involve and empower.

Since 2013, our work has been supported by a strategic partnership with the Open University’s Design Group. Our partnership innovates, supports and promotes community-led, participatory and co-design practice and research for the benefit of better places for all.

The Glass-House Trust continues to support The Glass-House Community Led Design.