HomeGrown Plus is a not for profit organisation founded by Neil Pinder to address issues of diversity in architecture and beyond. We believe that only by including people from non-traditional backgrounds in fields like architecture can improvements be made in the built environment and other areas of society.

Our approach is non-adversarial and non-racial. Although race has dominated the diversity debate over the past thirty or more years, we believe that the inequality is as likely to be structural in nature as it is racial. HG+ Alumni includes people from all backgrounds united by the fact that they are not from the part of society that has traditionally dominated the profession.


Diversity must be approached in earnest and not reduced to a box ticking exercise that has failed generations of the Non-Traditional portions of society. We believe that many of those in positions of power recognise the need for change but are uncertain how to achieve it, to this we say we can help achieve their own goals of enhanced cultural equity.

We are focused on outcomes. We believe merely professing a “commitment” to advancing diversity is not enough; it is important to set understandable parameters by which to gauge success. So, we are keen to work with OPDC to set such parameters and to monitor what we do, to learn from both our successes and failures.


Providing secondary school students with an opportunity to get creative with Architects within an office setting.


Providing secondary school students with an opportunity to get creative with Architects within an office setting.


A network of university students & young professionals sharing their experiences to the next generation.


Enabling practical work experience through job placement for Part I and Part II professionals.


A dynamic design event mixing fashion & Architecture where students are challenged to create sustainable wearable Architecture.


A network of knowledge sharing through coaching/designing and discussion.


Help us financially to help others during their university studies.



Our long term goal of establishing a student exchange program for students from Non Traditional/Traditional backgrounds.


Providing secondary school students with an opportunity to get creative with Architects within an office setting.


Providing secondary school students with an opportunity to get creative with Architects within an office setting.

Neil Pinder, Hon Professor Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, Hon FRIBA, FRSA - Founder
Neil has taught in a number of inner-city schools for over 25 years, working with London Open House for much of that time. Neil is a trustee of Blue Print (formerly the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust) for the past 15 years. He is currently Head of Product Design and Architecture at Graveney School in south London, where he introduced Architecture to the curriculum, winning various Open House competitions and being honoured as “Open House Teacher of the Year”.

Neil has received national recognition for his Celebrating Architecture initiative recognising the work of young talented Non-Traditional and Traditional students at Graveney School and has been endorsed by the GLA good growth by design. Guest speakers at Celebrating Architecture have included; Baroness Doreen Lawrence, Professor Chris Wise and Wayne Hemingway, alongside some of the most prestigious national and international architectural practices.

Dennis Austin - Managing Director
Dennis is co-founder of daab design, a Battersea-based architectural studio. His interest in architecture spans from the micro scale of creating shelter to the macro scale of shaping cities.

Neil and Dennis met in 2010 and the two have been working together since sharing the classroom at the Graveney School, teaching students the importance of drawing and harnessing the curiosity of young minds to engage the next generation of designers, city makers, and architects.

Having been introduced to architecture by his secondary school instructor in New York, Dennis, like Neil, understands the importance of people and how their energy creates a spark, igniting and exciting our own imaginations.

As a practitioner Dennis believes that collaboration is the foundation to creative work and writes on large/small practice collaboration, knowledge sharing and the importance of a strong community voice in shaping the local environment.

Julia Nicholls - Communications Strategist
Julia Nicholls is a communications strategist with over 20 years’ experience collaborating with architects and creative companies.

During this time she has developed award-winning programmes aimed at linking creative business with communities to establish valuable local connections, engage young people in design and support diversity in the industry. Julia and Neil met judging the Thornton Education Trust’s Inspiring Future Generations Awards, and have since worked with Dennis to develop a communications strategy for HomeGrown Plus aimed at developing recognition and driving growth.

Frances Leung - Creative Director
Frances is a designer, graphic communicator and community engagement specialist. Her background in Spatial Design stems from her Architectural studies at the UCL. She has organized community engagement projects with various organizations including RIBA. Frances is passionate about inspiring young students by “doing” and runs workshops in primary schools promoting Art and Architecture. Frances feels that the true capacity to enthuse is by tapping into ones inner curiosity.

Frances applies her strong graphic imagery in practice working on council led projects and human centric design proposals. She is at ease with a host of graphic media ranging from editorial design to animations. In her spare time Frances can be found in a ceramic studio, or working closely with other organizations to curate exhibitions and magazine publications.

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