Andy Clayden

Andy Clayden BSc DipLA, MA

Senior Lecturer

Telephone: 0114 222 0612
Floor 12, The Arts Tower

email :
Research Cluster: Creative Spatial Practices



My research focuses on the design of cemetery landscapes and natural burial, but also reflects my broad interests in design, education and issues relating to the creation of less damaging and, where possible, sustainable environments.

Andy Clayden


I first became interested in Landscape Architecture after completing a geography degree at the University of Wales in 1986. Before taking up an ESRC funded place on the postgraduate course at the University of Sheffield, I travelled and worked for two years for a landscape design and build company in London. After completing an MA in Landscape Architecture in 1992 I was employed as a research assistant working with GIS and landscape planning. During this time I worked as a consultant for ECUS (Environmental Consultancy University Sheffield) and contributed to department teaching where I focused on the application of emerging digital technologies. In 1994 I was appointed as a Lecturer in the Department of Landscape and promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2009. Since my appointment I have contributed to a wide range of teaching and administrative activities and continued to practice as a consultant landscape architect working on a range of planning and design based projects.

Teaching responsibilities

LSC111 What is Landscape Architecture?
LSC116 Space Making
LSC136 Introductory Environmental Design Studio
LSC233 Materials of Landscape - Construction Design
LSC 308 Integrated Design Project
LSC332 Integrated Urban Design Project


Teaching Activities

My teaching activities reflect my broad interests in Landscape Architecture, design processes and the application of digital technologies. I am particularly interested in the detail of design and how even the most functional design solutions can, through thoughtful design and craft be elevated to a thing of beauty. This fascination partly stems from my experience as a landscape contractor and has continued to develop throughout my teaching, research and practice career. I have also made, and continue to make a major contribution to developing the departments IT facilities and how we approach the teaching and integration of digital design and communication. In recent years this has seen the development of bespoke software applications and online tutorials, high spec landscape IT suits and most recently an integrated printing and reprographics facility, which the Landscape Department jointly manages with the School of Architecture.

Whilst I deliver a range of lectures on design and construction my preference is to be working in the design studio alongside students and colleagues, or better still, out in the landscape. Whilst design is informed by relevant theories and precedent it is through practice that an idea is crafted and refined. In developing our skills to design and shape landscape there is no substitute for time spent looking, drawing and recording how we as a society engage with our environment.


My research focusses on three areas: sustainable approaches to housing design and specification of landscape materials, cemetery design and management and the application of digital technologies in design education. Cemetery research specifically focuses on the Natural Burial movement and what we can learn about society from these new landscapes of death and disposal. In 2007 I was awarded a three-year research grant (300K) from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to investigate the cultural and social implications of natural burial. The housing research seeks to broaden our understanding of how buildings and their environment may be thought of in a more integrated manner in order to improve their sustainable profile. Digital technologies and landscape perception and education explores the role of computers in enabling designers and users to experience and evaluate designs which have yet to be realised.

Areas of Potential Research Supervision

  • Sustainable design including: materials and detailing, water management and housing, and the application of sustainable assessment tools e.g. BREEAM.
  • Issues relating to the design development and management of cemetery landscape and natural burial.
  • The application and of digital technologies to design development and communication.
watercolour orchard watercolour orchard

Consultancy Work

I have been involved in a range of deign consultancy activities in recent years working with consultants on range of projects based in the UK. Examples include:

Toyota Motor Manufacturing Ltd In this project the Landscape Department were recruited as design consultants for Toyota Ltd. Working alongside colleagues Prof James Hitchmough and Jeff Sorrel the project involved the development of design strategy and masterplan proposals for the Toyota car plant in Derby, UK. The proposals aimed to improve the sustainable profile of the factory site by: increasing habitat diversity, social spaces for employees, a sustainable urban drainage system and an alternative energy strategy. The outline proposals are currently being refined and implemented through a series of phased developments.
Hunters Bar Infant School Consultancy and development of masterplan proposals for the schools grounds. Leading consultants Bureau of Design Research.
Home Zone Initiative Sheffield Local Authority Evaluation of recently completed Home Zone developments in Manchester and Nottingham through community consultation. Working with two communities based in Sheffield to develop new street designs to provide improved community space.
Urban Mines Feasibility study for a sustainable business park based in Castleford. Consultants BDR.
Firth Park Community consultation and preparation of regeneration masterplan proposals for the purpose of bidding for HLF funding. Consultants ECUS
Longley Four Greens Community consultation and preparation of regeneration masterplan proposals for the purpose of bidding for regeneration funding. Consultants ECUS
Parsons Cross Park Community consultation and development of regeneration proposals and detailed design proposals. Consultants ECUS
Building Research Establishment (BRE) Contract research to provide content for the `Whole Life Value Project´ which was to provide a resource for designers and developers in relation to sustainable development.

Administrative Duties

Department of Landscape Director of Learning and Teaching, Chair of the Department Learning and Teaching Committee, Chair of Staff Student Committee, Chair of Department IT sub committee. Member of the Department Executive Committee. I have also been external examiner on the postgraduate MA in Landscape Architecture at Newcastle University and undergraduate programme at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Selected Publications

View full list of publications

Journal articles


  • Clayden A, Hockey J & Powell M (2010) Natural Burial: The De-materialising of Death? In Hockey J, Komaromy C & Woodthorpe K (Ed.), The Matter of Death Palgrave Macmillan
  • Clayden A, Green T, Hockey J & Powell M () From Cabbages to Cadavers: natural Burial Down on the Farm In Maddrell A & Sidaway JD (Ed.), Deathscapes: Spaces for Death, Dying, Mourning and Remembrance Ashgate