about

what if: projects start with a question. The stories we tell invite people to a different, greener and better world. We expand on the positive aspects within the context of a place to shift the perception from problems to potential. Our work is focused in inner city areas and we develop ideas and strategies for more sustainable urban environments. Proposals for change are based on a detailed understanding of an environment and the people that inhabit it. The engagement of stakeholders and local communities is essential to the development and delivery of our projects.

what if: projects have delivered high-quality design work that has been awarded, exhibited and published in the UK and internationally. We develop and delivery our projects in collaboration with specialists, stakeholders and user groups, recognizing the importance of co-ordinating and integrating both technical and functional requirements from the outset to the delivery on site. Due to our extensive experience in the building industry we are expert at delivering high quality work to limited budget.

what if: projects are an RIBA chartered practice and are on the GLA panel for Community Engagement and Local Regeneration.

Ulrike Steven
Architect (AK NRW, D), FRSA
Co-founder and director of what if: projects ltd
Since 1997 Ulrike has developed ideas into deliverable projects and designed, managed and implementated buildings, urban design and artistic interventions. Working in collaboration with stakeholders and communities she has helped to secure funding for a number of projects. In 2014 she established the Peckham weeklies, a community interest group that engages with urban planning and produces magazines on the subject.
Ulrike is part of the GLA’s Special Assistant Team supporting ‘project set up’.
Before setting up what if: projects in 2006 she worked for Ove Arup and RLE on the large transport infrastructure project St. Pancras International Station (2002–05).
Ulrike studied architecture at the Technische Universität Braunschweig, Germany (1991–95) and the University of East London (1995–97).

From 2005 to 2011 Gareth and Ulrike taught a degree unit at the University of East London running a programme that mirrored what if: projects preoccupation with neglected, vacant space in the city and the possibilities these areas can offer.

Gareth Morris
Architect (ARB), FRSA
Co-founder and director of what if: projects ltd
Gareth has considerable experience in the building industry and has been actively engaged in a broad range and scale of building proposals and completed building projects. Prior to establishing what if: projects  in 2006 he has worked for Sewell and Hawkins Architects principally on housing projects, both new-build and refurbishment including conversions and extension to listed buildings, medium housing and mixed-use developments and development strategies.
Gareth is a member of the Design Review Panel in Harrow and Croydon.
Gareth studied architecture at Portsmouth Polytechnic (1989–91) and at the University of East London (1995-1997).

Liam Morrisey
RIBA part II, (PG)DipArch, MA
Liam has worked with what if: projects since 2008 and has been involved with the design and delivery of a broad range of projects including mini Holland, Greening Romford Ring Road and VACANT LOT. From 2012-2013 he ran the Albert meanwhile project in Kilburn that provided studio spaces, a canteen, sports hall, performance and exhibition spaces for over 150 artists and creative practitioners.
Liam completed his graduate diploma in Architecture and Masters in Spatial Planning at the London Metropolitan University.

Elsa Escobedo
Dip Architecture and Landscape Design (DSAA DETH), MA Urban Planning (M2)
Elsa has worked with what if : projects since 2015 and has been involved with the mini Holland and Lamlash Street community garden projects, amongst others.
During her studies in Paris she carried out internships in Spain, Japan and UK and was involved in a variety of building projects.
Elsa graduated in architecture and landscape design at the Ecole Boulle (Paris) in 2014 and completed her Masters in Urban Planning in 2016 at Paris 1 – La Sorbonne. In 2014 Elsa received a scholarship from the City of Paris for a post diploma research project focused on public spaces in Bilbao.

website & graphic design: Kaisa Lassinaro