Luke went to University in the mid 1980s to study sociology and politics but in the spirit of the time ended up graduating with a law degree. In 2007, after 17 years in commercial practice as an environmental lawyer, he switched to an academic position at SHU. Since then Luke has completed his Master of Research (MRes) in sociology, planning and policy. He researches issues that involve the intersection of discourse, material things and everyday practices related to the management of the built environment. Key projects include research into metal theft; the afterlife of abandoned military bunkers and owners and climbers’ perceptions of safety and liability for access to abandoned quarries (a project he’s working on in collaboration with the British Mountaineering Council). He holds a teaching position at SHU, and he is a course leader of the BSc (Hons) Real Estate. Luke primarily teaches surveyors and environmental management students. He thinks out loud about the issues that he researches and teaches about, and how they fit together, on his blog. Sometimes he forgets what his discipline is. He thinks that’s a good thing. Not everyone agrees.
Collecting things isn’t just about haunting antique stores and garage sales. The built environment provides plenty of fodder for roaming enthusiasts, such as markers made for topographic surveys since the 19th century.
A problem with designing nuclear waste repositories is that they are meant to last for up to 100,000 years – far longer than we can imagine. Do our efforts to conceptualize “deep time” find us out of our depths?
Rock paintings: high art or 30,000-year-old graffiti? In a defunct rock quarry, climbers vie with spraycan-wielding artists for the right to public expression.
Metal theft costs the public sector a fortune, yet the thieves gain virtually nothing. Why do they steal?