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About

Marko&Placemakers is a city design and research consultancy based on transformational principles of placemaking and green urbanism established in 2013 by Igor Marko and Petra Marko, following their long-term collaboration on successful urban regeneration projects.

We bring together a team of urban designers, researchers and architects with a unique combination of skills in design, masterplanning, urban strategies and communication, in order to address social, environmental and economic issues that cities face today. Our portfolio of people-oriented projects such as Northala Fields Park builds on over a decade of experience at FoRM Associates, a practice previously co-founded by Igor Marko.


Consultancy
Drawing on long-term experience of bridging professional boundaries between urban design, architecture, art and engineering, we create unique partnerships to address different scenarios and contexts, helping cities, private clients and design professionals (architecture, engineering and other creative practices). From concept stages to complex strategies, our advice is based on design thinking and creativity as main drivers to create better places to live in, work in and enjoy.

Research
We are constantly exploring new methods for city development and regeneration, from experimental and theoretical models, to practical application. Combining experience from practice with observations and ideas developed in theory, we are building up a comprehensive knowledge of scenario-based methods. Through mapping and visual ethnography we make data accessible to reveal the real psychogeography of the place.

Mentoring and teaching
Knowledge transfer from academia into practice is fundamental in order to bring creativity back into the forefront of city making. We translate our practical experience of working in an interdisciplinary and collaborative environment into engaging and inspiring teaching methods, focusing on the transformational value of placemaking.



Igor Marko MA ARCH ARB

Igor Marko is the founder and creative director of Marko&Placemakers. As architect, urbanist and urban designer, Igor has been advising on and delivering successful projects beyond traditional realms of architecture over the last 20 years. His experimental approach to urbanism resulted in winning commissions for visionary ideas such as Car Free London, preparing the ground for transformation of London’s pedestrian and cycling environment.

Upon completing his architecture studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava, Igor moved to London in 1990s, joining several established practices before co-founding the inter-disciplinary design studio FoRM Associates. As Director of FoRM, Igor led a number of transformational projects in Europe and North America including Northala Fields Park in London, critically acclaimed as an exemplar of people-led sustainability; and Irwell River Park, a complex strategy for revitalisation of Manchester’s waterfront.

Focusing on the transformational value of placemaking, Igor has been advising both private and public sector clients on the integration of public realm in new developments and major regeneration schemes. He has supervised a number of workshops and initiatives internationally for organisations including European Urban Design Laboratory Stadslab, Aspen Institute Prague and various architecture schools.

Igor is a regular speaker at conferences and debates concerning sustainable urban development, having presented at forums such as the Changwon Eco-City conference in South Korea and the European Economic Congress. His work has been widely published in North America, Europe and Asia.


Petra Marko MA ARCH ARB RIBA, MA Creative Entrepreneurship

Petra Marko (née Havelska) is an architect, communicator and enabler with experience in architecture, public realm, facilitation and project management. She co-founded Marko&Placemakers with Igor Marko following their long term collaboration at FoRM Associates, where she was involved in several stages of the Irwell River Park strategy and had invaluable communication input in a number of competitions.

Pursuing her role as facilitator of good quality built environment, Petra completed a masters in Creative Entrepreneurship at Goldsmiths, University of London, in order to develop her skills in business, management and communication. At Marko&Placemakers, Petra has been developing her understanding of places through research-led projects, having led a number of town centre and high street studies for public and third sector clients. Her professional experience includes work on the London Olympic Energy Centres for McAslan&Partners, and development management for Solidspace, where she led several innovative housing developments in central London.

Combining social engagement, entrepreneurship and education, she has been a speaker at numerous events hosted by the RIBA, London Festival of Architecture, Urban Transcripts, reSITE and others. As an advocate of research through practice, Petra led the Unstable City think tank for The London School of Architecture in 2016 jointly with Grimshaw. She is the author of Together Alone. Architecture and Collaboration (Artistbooks, 2011) - a book exploring the future role of architects. In 2015, she cycled over 300 miles from Bilbao to Madrid in three days with Pedelle – the property industry's first charity cycling challenge for women.

Petra grew up in Bratislava, Slovakia and gained diploma in Architecture from Vienna University of Technology before moving to London in 2006. She is a chartered member of the Royal Institute of British Architects and a board member of the RIBA Small Practice Group, a panel advising on the formulation of policy and strategy for the RIBA. She currently sits on the steering group for the RIBA Guerrilla Tactics conference.


Stephanie Mills MA ARCH Urban Design ARB RIBA

Stephanie Mills is an architect-urban designer and film-maker with over three decades of experience in Europe, North America and Southern Africa. She is a passionate urbanist with a lifelong interest in the ‘drivers of change’ impacting cities. Her work has evolved from built environment practice towards more strategic and collaborative forms of action research, public participation and visioning processes within, and across, a range of disciplines and sectors with the aim of developing social innovations and spatial typologies that begin to address the issues of our time.

She is developing a research database identifying exemplars and processes that increase social connectedness, resilience and capacity in communities and cities. She is also actively involved in building social networks by engaging a wide range of citizens, communities and organisations in re-envisioning places, including safeguarding key heritage buildings with the aim of bringing these back into community use including shared workspace, enterprise, exhibition, performance and co-production spaces.

Following her architecture studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa, Stephanie obtained a masters’ degree in Urban Design from Harvard University, USA. She is a chartered member of the Royal Institute of British Architects, a fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) and a member of the Academy of Urbanism.


Jorge Martín MA ARCH, MSc City Design and Social Science

Jorge Martin is an architect, urban designer and researcher working in the interdisciplinary realm amongst urban studies, political science, social sciences and design, keen on bridging disciplines and knowledge.

His interest to connect social sciences with urbanism led him to undertake an MSc in City Design and Social Science at London School of Economics in 2012. Before moving to London, Jorge practiced for 8 years as urban designer and architect within several established international practices including West8 (Rotterdam), Cero9/AMID Arquitectura (Madrid) and Josep Llinàs (Barcelona). At Josep Llinàs Jorge led the development of the new Cultural Municipal Complex in Vic (Spain) including a theatre, an auditorium and a music school.

Jorge joined Marko&Placemakers in 2013 to work on both urban design and research-led projects alongside his PhD at the Bartlett School of Planning at UCL. His research focuses on the relationship between collective action and urban design, its implications on urban governance and the construction of social networks regarding urban public space. He seeks to underline the importance of socio-spatial agencies in the governing processes of urban practices.


Milota Sidorova Ing PhD

Milota Sidorova trained in landscape architecture, urban planning, graphic design, film production, urbanism, methods of social research and human resource management at schools in Europe, Asia and America. In 2012, she was awarded Fulbright scholarship to study urbanism in New York City where she further developed her role in communication, coordination and interdisciplinary research.

Prior to joining Marko&Placemakers, Milota was instrumental in setting up and co-leading reSITE international conference on livable cities in Prague, bringing together leading experts from urban planning, architecture, policy and social initiatives. At Marko&Placemakers, Milota facilitates interdisciplinary research projects in Central Europe, including the recently completed Obchodna Street socio-economic study in Bratislava, applying new methods of urban mapping and research to develop and implement change on social, spatial and policy levels.

Milota has been a contributor and speaker at numerous initiatives exploring the role of culture in urban development. She is particularly interested in empowering of non-governmental sector, civic initiatives and individuals in order to enable sustainable urban development. Milota combines her research projects with her role as founder of Women. Public Space. Prague – a network promoting active role of women in architecture, urban planning and development of community life.

Selected Awards:

2017
Igor Marko wins ASB Personality of Architecture and Construction Award
2014
Special Jury Prize, Trenčín City on the River masterplan, International Competition
2013
Highly Commended, Vauxhall Missing Link RIBA Competition
2013
First Prize, Racianske Myto Park Bratislava, International Competition
2011
Finalist WAN Award - Trafford Wharf Promenade
2010
Winner Street Design Pedestrian Environment Award
2009
Winner HW Landscape Amenity Award for excellent community engagement
2008
Winner Green Flag Award
2008
BURA Award, Northala Fields Park, London
2008
Winner Landscape Institute Award for Northala Fields Park
2008
Highly Commended Landscape Institute Award in Urban Design and Masterplanning
2007
Finalist, New Olympic Park London, International Competition
2006
First Prize, Shepherd’s Bush Green London, Int. Competition
2005
Finalist, Wenceslas Square, Prague, International Competition
2001
First Prize, Westminster Street Furniture London, International Competition
2000
First Prize, Car Free London, International Competition

Press & Media:

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

09/2010 NY ARTS / Three Rivers Park Strategy, Pittsburgh

Press Archive:

2009 Bratislava City Interventions Catalogue / ‘Green’ Old Bridge, Bratislava, Slovakia
12/2009 Paisea / Northala Fields Park, London
11/2009 Landscape Design / Northala Fields Park, London
09/2009 Landscape Design / Irwell River Park, Manchester
05/2009 Landscape Architecture / Northala Fields Park, London
03/2009 Central Salford / Irwell River Park, Manchester
02/2009 Landscape / Northala Fields Park, London
02/2009 Garten+Landschaft / Northala Fields Park, London
01/2009 ARCH / Northala Fields Park, London
2008 Inform Spring / Northala Fields Park, London
2008 Design / Northala Fields Park, London
12/2008 Green places / Northala Fields Park, London
01/2008 Horticulture Week / Shepherd’s Bush Common, London
2007 Art & Architecture Journal / Three Rivers Park Strategy, Pittsburgh
11/2007 Green Places / Porteus Road Underpass, London
10/2007 Green Places /Irwell River Park, Manchester
09/2007 Horticulture Week /Irwell River Park, Manchester
06/2007 Evening Standard/ Northala Fields Park, London
05/2007 M.E.N. /Irwell River Park, Manchester
02/2007 Green Places /Northala Fields Park, London
09/2006 Gazette / Northala Fields Park, London
06/2006 Landscape / New Market Square, Newport
04/2006 Ad architektura / Wenceslas Square, Prague
12/2005 Lighting / Mersey Wave, Liverpool
12/2005 Praha / Wenceslas Square, Prague
08/2005 Mondo / Three Rivers Park Strategy, Pittsburgh
03/2005 Landscape / Three Rivers Park Strategy, Pittsburgh
02/2005 BD Northala Fields Park, London
02/2005 Design for Fun: Playgrouds / Emslie Horniman Park, London
2004 Art & Architecture / Wet Rake Gardens, Rochdale
04/2004 Bullring Birmingham / Bull Ring Wind Wands, Birmingham
02/2004 Green places / Northala Fields Park, London
01/2004 AJ / Northala Fields Park, London
05/2003 Bullring Magazine / Bull Ring Wind Wands, Birmingham
03/2003 BD / Bull Ring Wind Wands, Birmingham
11/2000 Blueprint / Feature on Art2architecture - Peter Fink and Igor Marko
07/2000 Green Futures / Car Free London
04/2000 BD / Three Squares, Stratford, London
03/2000 Newham News /Three Squares, Stratford, London
07/1999 BD / Millennium Street Furniture, London
04/1999 BD / Car Free London
01/1999 The Sunday Review/ Emslie Horniman Park, London
01/1999 AJ / Emslie Horniman Park, London
01/1999 The Independent on Sunday / Millennium Street Furniture, London
01/1999 The Independent on Sunday / Emslie Horniman Park, London